Friday, 11 November 2011


“We would love to be boring. Plain vanilla is fine.” - Peggy Fowler

It’s been a very full week and I am glad it’s Friday. I came home today and had to do some repairs to the little studio we have in the back garden, as the storm the other day caused some damage. One of the good things about daylight saving is that one can come back home and be able to work in the garden well into the evening. Fortunately, the damage was nothing that few nails and a hammer could not fix, so the repair was all done within half an hour. It was lucky that we did not get any serious damage and no leaks of water into the building. However, I did keep thinking of the poor people that had to cope with storm damage to their house or even whole roofs coming off…

The weekend promises to be busy also, Saturday full of chores and perhaps a night out, while Sunday will be devoted to work as we have an Open Day and also I have to work on a submission that is due on Monday. It seems that I’ll blink and the weekend will be over, so any leisure that can be had should be enjoyed to the full.

For Food Friday today, a recipe for cupcakes, which seem to be very popular at the moment, with even whole shops devoted to their retail sale!

Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients - for the cupcakes

•    100g unsalted butter
•    250g caster sugar
•    50ml vegetable oil
•    25g arrowroot
•    2 tsp vanilla extract
•    4 eggs
•    80ml milk
•    100ml double cream
•    300g plain flour
•    3 tsp baking powder

For the buttercream
•    300g icing sugar
•    25g liquid glucose
•    50g condensed milk
•    2 tsp vanilla extract
•    200g unsalted butter, softened
•    100g baking margarine, softened
•    200g icing sugar
•    100ml double cream

1.    For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to180˚C. Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.
2.    Melt the butter over a low heat in a small pan, pour it into a bowl with the sugar, oil, arrowroot and vanilla. Beat well until smooth, then whisk in the eggs followed by the milk and cream.
3.    Sift and beat the flour and baking powder into the butter mixture in batches until smooth.
4.    Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until about two-thirds full, then bake for 20-25 minute or until the top is springy to the touch. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and set aside to cool.
5.    Meanwhile, for the buttercream, mix the icing sugar, glucose, condensed milk, flavouring and butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth and light, then beat in the baking margarine until smooth.
6.    In a jug, stir the icing sugar into the cream until dissolved. Beat this gradually into the butter mixture until light and fluffy. (This buttercream keeps very well covered at room temperature for 2-3 days and can be warmed slightly and re-beaten if the texture is too firm.)
7.    To decorate the cupcakes, fill a disposable piping bag with the icing and snip off the end or fill a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
8.    To pipe on the icing, start at the outside edge piping round the edge of the cupcake in a spiral towards the centre. When you reach the top, pull up quickly to finish the swirl.


  1. *sigh happily*

    Your cup cakes remind me of the 1950s when everyone's mum had those little patty pan things to pop into the oven after school.

  2. Definitely one to try!!!!! I love vanilla :)
    Glad your house didn't get nay major damage Nic!!!!!