You may have read that here at JAM towers, we’ve gone all organic in aid of Organic September – the Soil Association’s celebration of anything and everything organic.
You may not have read however that this week (16-22 September) is National Cupcake Week, during which the nation gets a full seven days to celebrate the humble cupcake in all its delicious forms.
Established by British Baker, the industry title for the entire baking industry, the week is designed to promote the popularity of cupcakes to help bakers boost their sales – as if most of us need any encouragement!
Like many people during this time of year, I’ve been hit by Bake Off fever. Watching Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry judge the efforts of an often incredibly talented bunch of amateur bakers week after week always makes me want to chuck on an apron, crack open the icing sugar and make a right royal mess in the kitchen trying to emulate their skills!
What better way then to celebrate National Cupcake Week than to bake a home made batch of calorie-laden treats for the lovelies at JAM towers?
The below recipe is from the book Boutique Baking by the fabulously talented Peggy Porschen, the owner of the gorgeous bespoke cake company of the same name based in Belgravia, London.
Simple to make and delicious (and only the five calories, of course) I’ve adapted these to suit our September theme. These (Mostly Organic) Lemon and Raspberry Cupcakes will go down well in any office. Just ask Team JAM!
200g full-fat cream cheese
200g unsalted butter, softened
500g icing sugar, sifted
Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
For the sponge:
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
4 medium eggs
200g self-raising flour
Punnet of raspberries, plus extra for decoration
For the sugar syrup
150ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
150g caster sugar
1. Preheat your oven to 175 / gas mark 4. Prepare a couple of 12 hole muffing tins by lining them with cupcake cases – mine were signature JAM pink!
2. Beat the cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl, chuck in the butter, icing sugar and lemon zest and cream together until pale and fluffy. Add the cream cheese to it a little at a time and mix at a medium-high speed until the frosting is combined. Stick the frosting in the fridge covered, and chill until set.
3. For the cupcakes, place the butter, sugar, salt and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly, then pour it into the butter mixture a little at a time while whisking quickly. If the mixture starts to set or curdle, beat in 2-3 tablespoons of the flour. Once you’ve added all the egg to the butter mixture, sift in the flour and stir until just combined. This means the cakes will stay light and fluffy!
4. Use a piping bag or tablespoon (I used a spoon to save on washing) to fill all the cupcake cases until they’re around two-thirds full. Drop 2 or 3 raspberries into each cucpcake.
5. Bake for 12 – 13 minutes depending on your oven. The cakes are cooked when the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched. Inserting a clean skewer will also tell you whether it’s baked, if it comes out clean with no bits stuck to it.
6. For the sugar syrup, while the cakes are baking place the lemon juice and caster sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until all the sugar crystals dissolve, then set aside to cool.
7. Leave the baked cupcakes to rest for 10 minutes in the trays, then brush the top of each cake with the sugar syrup using a pastry brush. You’ll need to do this while the cupcakes are warm so that they absorb the syrup faster. Take the cakes out of the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
8. Once they’ve cooled, fill a piping bag (fitted with a round nozzle) with the chilled cream cheese frosting and pipe a swirl of frosting on top of each cake. To finish, place a raspberry on top of each cake.
9. Get eating! Or if you don’t mind sharing you can even let friends, family and colleagues have a taste…