So some pretty big news. I got my Uni results today and after four years of blood, sweat and tears (lots of tears) I am finally the proud owner of a BA in American & English Studies, classification 2:1. Absolutely over the moon about it.
When Jun came over last week we did a lot of baking, but our most nostalgic item were our Fairy Cakes. I remember Fairy Cakes from being little and going to children’s parties where they were served along with finger cucumber, ham & cheese and tuna salad sandwiches (always white bread, crusts cut off), cocktail sausages with ketchup (maybe this is why I don’t like the taste of ketchup – too much of it as a child), usually some sort of assorted biscuit selection (which always looked waaay better than it actually tasted), and orange squash that was either too dilute or too syrupy. Then the birthday cake was served, which was often in the shape of big pink ballet slippers (how I ALWAYS wanted to have my birthday cake in the shape of big pink ballet slippers) and I would almost always have some sort of crazy allergic reaction to the food colouring in said big pink ballet slippers, hence why my mother never got them for my birthday.
Anyway, despite that, these butterfly cupcakes are lovely. The originally recipe calls for a little double cream to be placed in the butterfly wing ‘cavity’ along with the jam, but we like to make them with buttercream instead (made with butter and icing sugar). This is the second time I’ve made them with Jun and for some reason they came out a little dry, so either cook for a little less time (we went for 30 mins) or increase the milk/butter amounts ever-so-slightly.
Also, you must use strawberry jam. That’s real jam, none of this jelly stuff. The difference between jam and jelly is that jam are fruit preserves, ie. real fruit, stewed with sugar for a very long time. Jelly is essence of real fruit, made into a gelatin-like substance and a disgrace to all breakfast foods. So now that we’ve cleared that one up… enjoy.
(Makes 12; originally found in a book called ‘Sweet Treats’)
120g unsalted butter, softened
180g (¾ cup) caster sugar
185g (1 ½ cups) self-raising flour
125ml (½ cup) milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3-4 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra to dust
1 ½ tbsps strawberry jam
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a flat-bottomed 12-hole cupcake tray with paper cupcake cases.
2. Beat the butter, sugar, flour, milk and eggs with electric beaters on low speed. Increase the speed and beat until smooth and pale. Divide evenly among the cases and bake for 25-30 mins, or until cooked and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
3. To make the buttercream, mix the unsalted butter and (sifted) icing sugar together with a fork until well combined. Check to taste and if it tastes too buttery, add more icing sugar.
4. Cut shallow rounds from the centre of each cake using the point of a sharp knife, then cut in half. Spoon 1 tsp buttercream into each cavity, top with 1/2 tsp jam and position two halves of the cake tops in the jam to resemble butterfly wings. Dust with icing sugar.
5. Serve with finger sandwiches, cocktail sausages, party hats, dilute orange squash and bright pink ballet slippers cake. Or, for the more grown-up of you, a lubberly cuppa tea.
Until next time, yo – peace and love.