Posted by Lou. The time is2.55pm here in London, UK.

I've realised that if I'm to post here consistently and regularly I need to find something in my life that is worthy of posting beyond the occasional review of films and books. (Beyond live-blogging my watching of Mad Men season 3 when it turns up...) The answer is... baking! But in the guise of avoiding copyright infringements I am not actually going to include the actual recipes (the real reason being that I can't be bothered writing them out).

First up:

The Baklava Cupcake Incident

For my birthday last year the lovely Kelly gave me a wonderous selection of glorious baking-related items including this recipe book Cupcakes: A Fine Selection of Sweet Treats and some silicon cupcake/ muffin cases. (I will tell you a fact to keep with you for life: silicon bakeware is the shizz. I will never look back. Especially after this one incident, in which I forewent the silicon bakeware to my demise.) This recipe book is also the shizz - it has a beautiful textured hardcover, and each recipe is is accompanied by a delightful full-page illustration that has you foaming at the mouth.

So I was heading to a birthday picnic in the weekend and decided to try out the Baklava Cupcakes recipe. Essentially it is rather simple: a fairly basic cupcake mix with a combination of chopped nuts (walnuts and almonds in this instance), sugar, butter and cinnamon placed in the middle and on top (pre-cooking!), with warm honey brushed onto the cupcakes as they cool.

The mistake I made was in defying the silicon moulds. I didn't have enough, so thought "hey, why don't I just put some paper cupcake cases into a large rectangular dish?". Do not do this. This is the second-stupidest thing I have done all year*. In case - like me - you haven't picked up on the obvious: there is a point to cupcake moulds. Paper cases do not keep their shape. You will end up with a big blob of a cake-like substance rippled through with paper cases.

Thankfully I had a brain-wave and recovered the situation by allowing them to cool, cutting them into smaller square shapes, and placing them delicately in the remaining cupcake cases. Of course there was a second disaster in that they turned out to have not actually cooked all the way through due to the lack of space between cupcakes, but this allowed the second brainwave of pushing the not-quite-fully-cooked bits cut off the sides into the magical silicon cupcake moulds before the second attempt at cooking them through, which left me with the bonus of having Drunken Cupcake Snacks when I got home in the middle of the night.

The Baklava Squarecakes were very well received and I can testify - on the basis of extensive testing of the square, cups and scrappy bits - that they taste mighty fine. Mighty fine indeed.

*The stupidest thing I have done all year is the fatal decision to take the number 100 bus home last Tuesday during the torrential downpour. This led to me spending more than an hour and a half on a hot and damp bus surrounded by wet people and their even wetter umbrellas and bags as we made a tour of all of London's traffic jams in defiance of the usual 40 minute travel time. I nearly cried.

On a happier note:

The Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes are the One Of The Best Things Ever. They are not-too-difficult to make, look amazing, and taste like heaven.

Essentially you: make a plain vanilla cupcake, only 3/4 filling the moulds and only 3/4 cooking them. Scoop out the centre. Put in a big fat dollop of lemon curd (I home-make mine but will only judge you a little bit if you buy it in a jar). Put an even bigger, fatter dollop of uncooked meringe on top, and bake just a couple of minutes until they start to look brown.

Et voila:

These specific ones were made for a Ladies Afternoon Tea Party.
Please note the glorious silicon cupcake moulds, which both
look good and slip off without even a hint of sticking.

My tip to enhance the experience of these is to scrunch the bits of scooped-out cupcake into the bottom of a smallish dish (or larger muffin moulds), spread on your leftover lemon curd, ditto with the meringue, and you have some mini- lemon meringue pies for that all-important Drunken Midnight Snack/ Hangover Breakfast.

2 thoughts on “Cupcakes!!”

  1. YUM. Food porn blogging FTW!!! I have an entire folder in my computer of my baking this year. A computer archeologist will one day uncover my abandoned files and make some wild assumptions about the state of my diet. He would be right.

    Totally with you on not writing out recipes. Buy the books, people! (Unless you feel that the recipe needs to be on the internet)