So. Remember that photo of the cupcakes I posted right before I went off on holiday? (Actually you probably don’t, simply because it’s been ages since…) Anyway, I’ve decided that it’s high time I blog about them, and take one thing off my seriously worrying list of backlogs. I mean, I have things dating back to January that are still in the ‘someday’ pile. Eeep.
But enough about that, and on to the cupcakes. As I’ve mentioned previously, I *love* Bill Granger. His recipes are simple, he provided me with my favourite pancake recipe and seems like a genuinely nice person (on his show anyway). What more could you want? He is also by far, one of the smiley-est chefs I’ve seen on tv – in fact he smiles so much that sometimes I struggle to wonder what he would look like without a huge grin on his face. I currently own three of his cookbooks, and I love all of them. The gorgeous photos help, of course (one to each recipe, the way I like it!). Every recipe I’ve used from his books has worked well, with the added bonus of them being really easy to whip up from ingredients you’ll tend to find in your fridge/storecupboard.
I was intrigued by this recipe for a buttermilk cake with a raspberry syrup the moment I saw it. I like using buttermilk when baking, as I find it makes the cakes/bread/cupcakes very soft and moist. The best thing about it is that you can easily make your own buttermilk at home – just add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Voila, you have buttermilk!
I tweaked the recipe slightly, as I preferred the raspberries in the cake as opposed to only being in the sauce. I also made them into cupcakes because… they’re cuter. Plus it gave me a chance to experiment with a sugar icing topping, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. However, I did find that many of the raspberries burst during the baking process, which meant my cupcakes were slightly ‘wetter’ and denser than I would like. Maybe that’s why the recipe calls for a raspberry syrup… hmmm. And perhaps I should learn how to follow recipes properly. But no matter, because despite my issues with it’s ‘wetness’, I still enjoyed the cupcakes – a lot.
Raspberry buttermilk cupcakes
Adapted from a Bill Granger recipe in Bill’s Food
For the cupcakes:
- 125g butter, softened
- 180g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 250ml buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 200g raspberries
- pinch of salt
For the sugar icing:
- 60g icing sugar, sifted
- 2-3 tablespoons hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- raspberries (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar until it becomes pale and fluffy. I use my trusty Kitchen Aid (on high speed), but this will work just as well with handheld electric beaters.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between the addition of each egg.
4. Turn the mixer down to low speed, and beat in the buttermilk and vanilla extract until just combined.
5. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt into the mixing bowl in two batches, mixing well (either with a spatula or with your mixer on low speed) in between each addition.
6. Lastly, carefully add the raspberries into the batter – they’re quite fragile so take care to not ‘burst’ all of them, or you’ll end up with a red batter!
7. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin tray/muffin cases.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean/and the cupcakes are golden. Leave to cool.
9. Whilst the cupcakes are cooling, make the topping. Mix the sugar, hot water and vanilla extract in a bowl until it forms a smooth mixture.
10. Once the cupcakes have cooled, pour the sugar icing over each cupcake. Do not pour too much on as it will envelope the whole cupcake in icing, and it won’t look as nice.
11. Top with raspberries (if you like), and serve.