Yesterday I attended the very fabulous and utterly scrummy Secluded Tea Party hosted by Miss Sue Flay – what a great alias!
I’ve never been to a pop up restaurant or foodie event before so this was my first, it was held at the Cambridge Cookery School, a shiny and new food school in Cambridge – perfect for the tea party.
I found it via Twitter and me and a few other Cambridge foodie friends ( Nora, Ireena & Sarah ) went along to join the party.
We had some brilliant tea from Tea Pigs and Tea Box Online – I had the rhubarb and custard tea from Tea Box and it was yummy, just right on its on and slightly sweet. The Earl Grey was much nicer than any I’d had before, not the fake orangey-bergamot you get from mass produced earl grey, that was from Tea Pigs.
But now, on to the food! We had red onion jam & pancetta tartlets, little sandwiches with the crusts cut off, chocolate macarons sandwiched with vanilla cream (my favourite), huge fruit scones with peach & amaretto jam and cream, and lastly a rich chocolate cake with chocolate ganache.
We left with very full bellies, all going home for a nap!
There will be more tea parties in the future so keep an eye on the Secluded Tea blog for dates, each one will be in a secret location!
These are properly syrupy, sticky and sweet cupcakes with a lovely lemon tang – I didn’t start out intending for them to be gluten free but they are which is a great bonus! I made them by replacing the flour for ground almonds – which makes the cakes light and slightly nutty as well as gluten free.
I sprinkled the cupcakes with sugar before baking for an extra crisp top, and then drizzled them with a generous amount of syrup when the came out of the oven.
Makes 12 muffins / large cupcakes
175g unsalted butter
200g ground almonds
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 2 lemons
1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder
Cream the butter and sugar together til well combined, then whisk in eggs, fold in almonds, zest and baking powder. You can add a dash of vanilla extract here too. Spoon into cupcake cases, leaving about 1cm from the top of the case. Sprinkle each cake with sugar, be generous!
Bake in the oven for 10 – 15mins til cooked through, they will be squidger than normal cakes but they will be cooked through. They won’t rise to a dome like a flour cake either, mainly cos of the sugar topping too, but the baking powder will help them along a little bit.
for the drizzle:
juice of 2 lemons
approx 3-4 tablespoons of sugar
mix the drizzle ingredients together til you have a consistency like double cream, set aside while the cupcakes cook. as soon as the cupcakes come out prick them a few times each with a fork, and then drizzle some of the syrup over the top.
Leave to cool and then eat! These are so soft and syrupy that they make a lovely pudding with some creme fraiche or ice cream.
Happy National Cupcake Week everyone!
I believe this week is just promotional for a baking magazine but it is a good enough excuse for me to bake cupcakes, so yay!
As the weather is getting colder and Autumn is approaching I thought I’d make something comforting and spicy. I had some muscovado molasses sugar in the cupboard and ginger seemed like a good match, a bit like sticky toffee pudding without the dates. I have iced the cupcakes with a light lemon cream frosting which goes really well against the rich sponge.
Ginger Molasses Cupcakes
Makes 12 large cupcakes
100g butter, softened
175g dark muscovado or muscovado molasses sugar
dash of vanilla extract
zest of half a lemon – optional
175g self raising flour
175ml buttermilk or whole milk
1 heaped teaspoon of ground ginger – I opted for ground as I didn’t want stringy bits of fresh ginger in my cakes.
Mix together your butter and sugar until fully combined, you may need to blend it slightly to combine as the sugar is thicker and denser. Whisk in your eggs one by one using a hand whisk or an electric one. Then add in the vanilla, ginger and lemon if using.
Alternately add a small amount of your flour (sifted in) and buttermilk/milk til all of it is used up.
Fill cupcake cases up 1cm from the top, you want nice full cupcakes, and bake in a preheated medium oven for 15-20minutes until cooked through.
Light Lemon Cream Icing
Ices 12 cupcakes
100ml of double cream
juice of one lemon
3 tabelspoons of icing sugar
Whisk your cream with an electric whisk until it forms soft peaks, then slowly with a hand whisk combine in your icing sugar and lemon juice. Taste for sweetness/lemonness, add more to your taste.
Chill in the fridge until the cupcakes are ready to ice. These cupcakes are best iced just before you eat them so the cakes don’t get soggy. The icing will keep in a bowl in the fridge for a couple of days so you can ice as you go!
I topped mine with some cute little blackberries that I picked in my garden, they worked really well with the creamy gingery cupcake.
Yum! I hope you bake something yummy for national cupcake week.
ps – apologies for the quality of the pics, it is getting dark in the evenings! 🙁
I think this may well be the most perfect cake I have made. Hurray!
I cooked this cake in my lovely new non stick brownie pan, to get little squares of cake all neat and tidy. Yes I am weird.
I have made this cake before with blackberries and it was good then, but this time I spent a bit more time whisking to get a light fluffy batter, I had a nice cake tin and my oven was behaving.
I am a big fan of buttermilk in cakes, it stops any cake from becoming dry, and makes it easier to mix.
I also swapped out half the sugar for honey instead, which didn’t affect the flavour (in fact I think all sugar would have been too sweet) and makes it a teeeeny bit healthier (ish).You will also notice that this cake only has 50grams of butter in it!
This cake is very versatile, as I mentioned I have made it with blackberries before, you can swap out the raspberries for any small soft fruit – blueberries, strawberries- maybe even some small plums halved. I might even give it a go with rhubarb as our plant has gone a bit huge! You could even use the cake mixture as a base for a nice chocolate chip cake – oooh now there is an idea! Anyway I am going off on a tangent here…
I made these with some sweet local raspberries from my local market, they are nearly at the end of the season now and this cake is a lovely last wave to the summer fruits.
Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
adapted from Smitten Kitchen & Gourmet
50 grams of unsalted butter (1 stick)
75g of caster sugar (1/3 cup)
75g honey (1/3 cup)
1 large free range egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of half a lemon – optional
1/4 teaspoon of salt
130grams of self raising flour (1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
110ml buttermilk (1/2 cup) – you can make buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar to cream or milk, leave for 10 minutes before adding.
150g fresh raspberries (1cup)
Preheat your oven to 200c / gas mark 6
Cream together your butter, sugar and honey – in a mixture or using an electric whisk is best – til light and fluffy. Add in your egg and whisk to combine. Then add in your vanilla and zest and combine again.
Then alternately add in your flour and buttermilk, adding a small amount of each, combining and adding the next. Have your mixer on a medium setting and your whisk on a medium too.
Once nicely incorporated spoon the mixture into a 9 inch round or square cake in, non stick or lined with paper. Then lay your raspberries on top.
Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar or you can instead drizzle on some honey.
Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.
Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out on to a board and then on to a plate.
UPDATE: I made this again a few days later with Rhubarb (yes we ate the raspberry one really quickly) and it was really good. I cut 2 sticks of rhubarb in to small chunks, sprinkled it with 1 tbsp sugar and let it sit for a 5 minutes then scattered over the top of the cake and baked in the oven as normal. I also added some ground ginger to the batter, yum!
I’ve been hearing about boy bait for a while from smitten kitchen, domestic sluttery and some lovely twitter friends including alice of Snap Dragon Beads.
Such a cute name for a cake, I mean it is really just a cake but if you call it boy bait then everyone wants to makeit – Especially if it has blueberries in. And then I went all out and replaced the buttermilk with some lovely coconut milk instead.
This cake is super easy to make, moist, sugary and has the best name ever.
The coconut flavour only comes through slightly, but it makes up for that by adding moistness and sweetness.
I think I’ll add a few tablespoons of desiccated coconut next time.
Blueberry & Coconut Boy Bait – adapted from Domestic Sluttery
125g of brown sugar
1/2 tbsp salt
125g unsalted butter
125g of self raising flour
1 150ml mini tin of coconut milk (these are readily available in most supermarkets, and very handy)
1 punnet blueberries – approx 125g
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tsp cinamonn
handful of blueberries
Heat oven to gas mark 4 / 350f / 180c.
Cream together the butter and the sugar, then add in your eggs one at a time, combining each time before adding the next.
Add in the flour slowly and then pour in the coconut milk. Stir to combine and then add in the blueberries and the salt.
Pour into a 9 inch round or square cake in. Top with the rest of the blueberries, cinnamon and sprinkle over the sugar generously.
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.
Dust with icing sugar, slice and transfer to your mouth!