Image courtesy of CBBC.
If there is anything I really do not care about it’s the Royal Wedding, which as Isabelle pointed out to me the other day probably means that they’re going to kick me out of the country for not being a good little Brit. But I’m sorry, I just can’t muster up a shred of a damn about it.
I’m too young to remember the Diana hype so I don’t see the relevance, though I do understand why some people are going gaga over Kate. I remember the day she died, and I did cross paths with William, Harry & Diana on occasion (my brother was at a school in the same area when he was very little and Diana used to drop the boys off every day, surrounded by paparazzi of course) – it just really didn’t affect me in any way. But I know it affected others – I had a girl friend at high school who always said she was going to marry William (her name was not Kate Middleton, so clearly that one didn’t come true), knew kids who ran in the same circles as them, met other girls who fawned over the names ‘William’ and ‘Harry’. But not me. No, I was far too busy having my own life, falling in love and having my heart broken several times, throwing myself into film, theatre and food, living all around the world, embracing my adulthood and freedom, and deciding that I really don’t want to get married at all (sorry).
So why should I care that William is marrying Kate? I don’t. Why should I watch the ridiculous made-for-tv movie about their romance? I shouldn’t (seriously – even the trailer made me feel a bit ill). And why should I watch a man marry a girl, as really that’s what they are, and get excited about it? I won’t.
Instead, this Friday at 11.15am I’m going to the hairdresser’s to cut my 17″ hair off and sell it to Banbury Postiche, a company who makes wigs for cancer patients and people who have lost their hair due to alopecia, then donating the money to the Little Princess Trust who supply wigs to children with cancer in the UK. I can’t help but feel that this is a much better use of my time. I’ve had a few people say they’re interested in donating to this worthy cause as well, so if you would like to either match the amount Banbury will pay for my hair (£5 per ounce) or donate a small sum for the Little Princess Trust, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.
But hey, you don’t all have to go and cut your hair off to avoid the Royal Wedding. Why not spend that time in the kitchen instead, making these tasty cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook? And if you really must watch it on TV, you could always add these to your (dare I say it) “Royal Wedding Party”.
HUMMINGBIRD BAKERY BLACK-BOTTOM CUPCAKES
Adapated slightly from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.
When I made these the first time they simply didn’t work, and after reading through the recipe again I realised it was because this is sadly a case of yet another cookbook not properly tested in a domestic kitchen before release. As such I’ve made a couple of tweaks which I hope will give you better results!
For the chocolate sponge base:
190g plain flour
120g caster sugar
40g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
40ml sunflower oil
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the cheesecake filling:
140g cream cheese
60g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
100g milk chocolate chips/chopped into small pieces
For the cream cheese frosting:
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
Cocoa powder for dusting
x2 12-hole cupcake trays, lined wit paper cases
x1 1/4 cup ice-cream scoop (I find it really useful to bake with an ice-cream scoop as you get lovely even portions, but you can, of course, also use a tablespoon)
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
2. Put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and whisk to aerate and combine. Set aside.
3. In a jug, combine the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and water, and whisk to combine.
4. Using a wooden spoon, make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and pour in the oil and water mixture, stirring together until all the ingredients are incorporated.
5. Using the ice-cream scoop,scoop a portion of the mixture into each paper cup and set aside.
6. In a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and cream cheese, then beat in the egg, vanilla extract and salt with a wooden spoon, until smooth and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. The consistency will be quite loose.
7. Scoop about a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture on top of the cupcake mixture in the cases, and bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-27 minutes – keep an eye on it.
8. To make the cream cheese frosting: cream together the butter and icing sugar with a wooden spoon, then beat in the cream cheese until completely incorporated and light and fluffy. Do not overbeat or it’ll become runny.
9. Using a palette knife, plop a portion of frosting on top of the cupcake, pat it down to make it round, then, holding your palette knife at a slight angle to the cake and frosting, swirl it in a circle around the frosting, about half an inch in from the edge. When you complete the circle, swirl in the opposite direction slightly further in until you reach the centre of the cupcake and lift up to create a peak. I found this YouTube video very helpful! When you have frosted all of your cupcakes, using a small sieve, dust with a little cocoa powder to decorate.
10. Enjoy, with or without William & Kate.
So there we have it guys. Regardless of what you’re doing this bank holiday weekend I hope you have a wonderful time. Until next time, peace and love.
PS: Don’t forget there are only 3 days left to enter my give-away to win a copy of Five Minute Bread or an Amazon voucher! See here for more details!