Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Election Cakes (i) - Blueberry Cupcakes

The 6th of May is fast approaching and, if you're worth your weight in cake, you will make sure you find a window in your day to pop down to your local church hall, school or library to do your civic duty and VOTE. It'll be a late night for much of the UK, glued, as we will be, to our telly boxes following this year's election results. So what better way to keep your spirits up and your eyelids prised open than with a hearty injection of sugar? In an effort not to be partisan, I will post up recipes for the big 3 parties in alphabetical order over the next couple of days, plus one extra for good measure: Green. I won't go as far as making cakes for UKIP or the BNP because, well, I'm not sure I'd ever be able to think of flavours quite rancid enough.

Election cakes in alphabetical order:

The Conservative Party

Blueberry Cupcakes

I've used dry blueberries for this recipe, but you can use fresh if you'd rather. I tend to prefer reserving fresh blueberries for blueberry muffins, served warm for breakfast - not quite such an ideal late night snack. These cupcakes will last in an airtight container for about a week. If you really must insist on showing the Tories your support, you can top your cakes with swirls of vanilla buttercream dyed blue.

Preheat the oven to 180 C (160 C Fan) and line a 12 hole muffin tray with deep cupcake papers.


for the cake

8 oz/ 200 g caster sugar
8 oz/ 200 g soft, unsalted butter
5 oz/125 g self raising flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 oz/ 75 g ground almonds
4 eggs
A generous splash of vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
A pinch of salt
3 oz/ 75 g dried blueberries
The juice of half an orange

for the vanilla buttercream

4 oz/ 100 g soft, unsalted butter
8 oz/ 200 g icing sugar, sifted
A generous splash of vanilla extract
A splash of milk if needed


for the cakes

Soak the blueberries in a bowl with the fresh orange juice in a small bowl to plump up while preparing the rest of the cake batter.

Place all the ingredients apart from the soaking blueberries in a mixing bowl and whisk everything together until fully combined and fluffy, if the mixture is very stiff, add a little of the orange juice from the blueberries and whisk again.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the blueberries from the juice and fold them into the cupcake mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cupcake cases and place on the middle shelf of you oven and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Once baked, place the tin on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing the cakes from the tin. Leave the cupcakes on the wire rack to cool completely before icing.

for the buttercream

Beat the butter until really soft.

Sift over half of the icing sugar and whisk again.

Sift over the remaining icing sugar, add the vanilla extract and whisk again for a good couple of minutes.

If the buttercream is still too stiff, add a drop of milk to slacken the mixture and whisk again.

I am having difficulty posting a picture up at the moment for some reason, so picture to follow...

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