I wanted to get started on my latest Cooking The Books Challenge so what better excuse was to bake for my school’s Summer Fair? This month’s book is the third Primrose Bakery Book- “Primrose Bakery Celebrations” and I have had it for several months now and not tried any of the recipes out of it. After all that’s the reason why I set myself this monthly challenge, to get myself baking from the books I buy and then put on the shelf to look pretty, then forget about them!
I had four different cupcake recipes to try out from Celebrations and I chose flavours which were going to be the easiest to create with ingredients I could easily get in my local supermarket. I didn’t have time to go to my local American candy stockist or even to order online.
First up were the White Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing from the Young Girl’s Party Chapter of the book. I found these simple to make even though the weather was very hot and sticky on the day I made them. The chocolate melted really easily and I found that there was not enough white icing to cover the cupcakes using the piping method that I like using when baking cupcakes.
Second to be baked were the Cola Cupcakes in the Boy’s Party chapter. I’d already wanted to bake Cola Cupcakes but never got around to it. I’m surprised as I love fizzy cola bottles but when I went to our local Morrisons all I could find was a pack of large ones. I didn’t want to buy a multipack because I’d be nibbling the remaining sweets I didn’t need for the cakes! When I opened the large cola bottle pack I found there were only 8 in there so the remaining 4 cupcakes were sprinkled with popping candy! In the recipe introduction it says “we found that using a cola concentrate rather than real cola is much more effective” but unfortunately I couldn’t find a bottle of SodaStream cola concentrate so a real can of “full-fat” coke had to do! The matching cola icing turned out very runny and just would not thicken up. Instead of swirling it on it was spread on just as it seemed to get warmer and warmer in my kitchen!
When the cola cupcakes were finished I got on to bake number three. This time I had a go at Salted Caramel Cupcakes which sounded incredibly rich. The cupcakes were vanilla flavour but were topped with the rich caramel icing. They did have a hidden surprise in them though- half a chunk of Galaxy Bar!
I cheated and instead of making my own caramel I used a jar of salted caramel sauce bought from a local deli. The icing for these cupcakes came up a bit thicker and spread on the cakes much easier. My daughter came into the kitchen as I was making these and asked if she could help. So she had the fun job of bashing a packet of Werther’s Original caramel sweets with the end of a rolling pin so they could be sprinkled on the top of the cupcakes.
The final bake for the summer fair was some Eton Mess cupcakes. I love Eton Mess pudding so I wanted to see if I could recreate it in a cupcake. I baked them slightly differently to the way they were in the recipe. The recipe called for making a hole in the baked cupcake and poking in a fresh raspberry and some mascarpone cheese. I didn’t bother with the mascarpone but put the raspberry into the mixture before it baked. When the cakes cooled I got ready to make the creamy frosting. I needed to add pureed raspberries to cream to make it pink but I couldn’t believe it, I hadn’t got enough raspberries. In the end I had to use artificial pink food colouring in the cream.
To finish off the Eton Mess cupcakes I had bought some ready made mini meringues. I could have made them myself but I just ran out of time. My daughter enjoyed crushing them for me and then sprinkling them on the cupcakes.
But… disaster struck when I got the cupcakes to the school fair the day after. I had boxed the cakes and put them in my garage which was the coolest place in the house being as I didn’t have a fridge which worked! The other cupcakes were fine but the Eton Mess cupcakes were a mess! The meringue melted into the topping and looked horrible. So they went in the bin. I was gutted but I will try and bake another batch on a cooler day in the future so that I can see what they should taste like!
Love Sam xx