Sunday 26 June 2011

Sunday baking: Cinnamon Peach Cake and Gooseberry Elderflower Cupcakes

Long titles for a bunch of desserts!

The green grocer had those doughnut peaches in yesterday, two punnets for £1, so I whipped up a peachy variation on strawberry cake. I skinned the peaches by pouring boiling water over them, pureed about 8 or 9 (they were only small) and then chopped the rest and put in the mixture, with a good shake of cinnamon, which I think goes very nicely with peach. Early tastings suggest it is a Win.

(Edit: it was not a Win. It fell apart coming out of the tin. Woe! The pieces will taste good with ice cream, though).

Last weekend I made a batch of gooseberry curd, according to this recipe (which is very similar to my regular curd recipe, and in fact from the same website). I adapted it slightly by reducing the ingredients by one third, but keeping the number of eggs at three; It's still quite liquid, but it's very yummy. I do love a good curd and it has been a struggle not to scoff the lot stirred through yogurt this week. However, I managed to save half a batch for these cupcakes.

3 cups plain flour
4 tsps baking powder
2 cups caster sugar
8oz butter
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat in the butter (which should be nice and soft - it's been so hot today that mine was like a paste) until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Beat the eggs, milk and vanilla together in a separate bowl and then add to the flour mixture in three batches, beating until smooth. Don't overmix, though.

Scoop into cake cases and bake at 180 degrees C for 20-25 minutes. This recipe makes about 24 - don't overload the cases like me because they will overflow! The resulting cakes will be quite flat, perfect for this recipe.

Fill with the gooseberry curd, using the cone method. Google it: I'm so hot and tired after all my baking (and exam marking) today that I am too lazy to.

8oz butter, very soft
Icing sugar (I used about a box)
Elderflower cordial

Beat the butter for 2-3 minutes until it is pale and whippy. Beat in icing sugar - about 4 cups, I reckon. Then add about half a cup of elderflower cordial.

I advise caution here - my elderflower cordial is quite weak, 1 part cordial to 3 parts water. If you have a stronger cordial you might want to replace half the amount with milk. I built up the flavour until it was tangy enough for me, adding more icing sugar as necessary until I had the right consistency.

Smooth or pipe the buttercream onto the cakes, and then eat them. These are really very tasty and I can highly recommend them. I am hoping to score some more gooseberries this week for a repeat effort: try as I may, buttercream is still a little too sweet for me and I'd like to try and get the elderflower flavour into a different type of icing.

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