These scrumptious little cupcakes are just the thing to bake when you need to bring some sunshine into your life. and as this cruelly cold winter drags on, sunshine is something I'm missing terribly. The raspberries cut through the sweetness of these richly iced cupcakes, and taste fresh and spring like with the blood orange citrus crumb.
My own, makes 12 small/medium sized cupcakes
for the base:
125g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
125g caster sugar
45g ground almonds
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed blood orange juice
finely grated zest of 1 blood orange
12 fresh raspberries, washed and dry
1. Turn the oven to 180 (160 fan) and place medium cupcake cases in a 12 muffin baking tray. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, until smooth and fluffy.
2. Throw in the eggs one at a time and beat in, adding a spoonful of flour after each one. Then stir in the orange zest and the of freshly squeezed blood orange juice.
3. Next sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture, stirring gently until the batter is well combined.
4. Spoon the batter into each cupcake case, until they are approximately two-thirds full (you want to leave enough room for the cakes to rise). Press a raspberry face down into the top of each cupcake batter.
5. Place in the oven for 20 minutes. You'll know the cakes are done when a skewer comes out clean.
6. Take out of the oven and leave for a few minutes, before moving the cupcakes in their cases to a wire rack or plate to cool.
for the icing and topping:
200g unsalted butter, room temperature
400g icing sugar
about 3 pin pricks of food colouring paste (I used Ruby tint, by Sugarflair)36 fresh raspberries, washed and dry
approx toasted or untoasted flaked almonds
8. Beat the butter until creamy. Stir in the milk and mix together.
9. Sift half the icing sugar into the mixture, and stir thoroughly, before adding the other half and continuing to stir until it is a thick paste. Take care stirring the icing sugar, as this is a bit messy, I tend to wear an apron as I've been known to accidentally drench myself in it when stirring too vigorously!
10. When the icing is combined, the only thing left to do is to colour it. Add about 3 or 4 pin pricks of colour tint paste before stirring it in to give the icing a beautiful strong raspberry colour.
11. Get a pint glass and place a piping bag with a nozzle inside the glass, so that the nozzle is on the bottom of the glass. Fold the piping bag edges over the glass rim. Spoon the paste into the piping bag, then carefully take the bag out of the glass and twist the end of the bag so that the icing is well contained.
12. Pipe the icing over the cupcakes . To pipe a rose or a nest, you start piping in the middle of the cupcake and work outwards. Top each cupcake with 3 raspberries, and add a few flaked almonds.
These cupcakes were idly baked while listening to Beck's album Mutations