I lived through a few typhoons while I was in Hong Kong. Or, more accurately, slept through them. But even the famous T10s were not as scary as the storm in Manchester yesterday. While I was at work the wind was positively howling between the buildings and whistling through the windows. Branches of various size thudded against the tram home as it wobbled along the track. As I walked back to my house from the tram stop, bracing myself against the gusts of wind and stepping over puddles and fallen roof tiles, I feared being knocked unconscious by windswept debris. I believe the noise I made when I finally battled through the front door was something like: “Waaaah!”
So as Valentine’s Day approaches, I am not feeling the love for the weather. But I’m always feeling the love for cake, so here’s a little booster for the bad weather. I made these cakes last year so they are not vegan, but I remember them being very cute and tasty.
Raspberry Romance Cupcakes
Makes 12, slightly adapted from Cupcakes From The Primrose Bakery
110g butter, softened
180g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
120g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp raspberry jam, seedless (or pushed through a sieve to remove seeds)
Ready-to-roll Fondant icing
Red food colouring
1-2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar.
3. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
4. Sift in one third of the combined flours and mix in well.
5. Mix together the milk and vanilla, pour in one third and mix it in.
6. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk.
7. Gently stir in the raspberry jam – try to keep the batter streaky rather than turning it all soft pink.
8. Spoon the batter into the prepared cases, filling each one two thirds full (they do rise a fair bit!).
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
10. Stand in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
11. Colour one third of the fondant icing red. Roll out the white fondant on a surface sprinkled with icing sugar and stamp out circles.
12. Brush a little jam on the top of the cakes…
13. …and gently press on a white circle.
14. Roll out the red fondant and stamp out little hearts.
15. Brush the back of each heart with a smidgen of jam…
16. …and gently place the heart in the middle of the white circle – they start slipping a bit, so be gentle but sure.