As part of my reward for judging the Tesco Real Food cupcake decorating competition I attended a cake decoration masterclass with Mich Turner MBE at the rather lovely Make Lounge in Islington. I was both looking forward to, and slightly dreading the class as I was under the impression that my cake decorating skills are limited, happily I was proved very wrong and I now have the cake decoration “bug” and spent £25 last weekend on edible glitter, cutters and fondant icing. The skills I learnt in the class are a topic for another post, but I put them to good use today to make some Christmas cupcakes.
Several months ago I attended the launch of Fever-Tree’s Mediterranean Tonic Water, which is designed specifically for the vodka drinker, and very delicious it was too. I feel rather guilty as I have not written about it yet, I am blaming the blog backlog; which I am slowly catching up with. I was also given some samples of Fever-Tree’s Ginger Beer which I used in my cupcakes. This ginger beer is brimming with three types of ginger, the drink is light and refreshing, but at the same time warming. Well worth a taste.
The cakes are based on my ever popular (and most read post on the blog) Easy Peasy Ginger Cake recipe. I reduced the amount of ginger, and used Fever-Tree Ginger Beer in place of the water. I think that it is even better than the original recipe due to the excellent quality of the Fever-Tree ginger beer. Like the original recipe this version still is as easy peasy as “bung it all in the food processor and whizz”, all ingredients are from the store cupboard and the cakes are vegan (and thus cholesterol free), although I used buttercream for icing.
Easy Peasy Ginger Beer Cupcakes (makes 30)
350g plain flour
225g sugar (I use soft dark brown for colour and flavour but any would work)
100g cooking oil (sunflower or rape/canola)
1 tsp ground ginger (adjust according to taste and fierceness of the ginger beer)
1tsp baking powder
½ – 1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ – 1 tsp ground allspice
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
About 60g treacle *
200ml ginger beer
Place all the ingredients into the food processor bowl and whizz until you have a smooth golden brown batter. Fill cake cases about 2/3 full and bake at GM4/180C for about 14 mins until risen and a cocktail stick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Buttercream (for 30 cakes)
250g butter (or non diary spread – I use Pure)
600g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbs milk
Cut the butter into small cubes and allow to soften. Beat with an electric mixer for 5 minutes until pale and fluffy, slowly add half the icing sugar beating all the time. Add the vanilla essence and milk, beat. Slowly add the rest of the icing sugar and beat for a good 5 minutes until fluffy. If you are using a non diary “butter” you may need to adjust the amount of icing sugar.
I iced half my cakes then coloured the remainder of the buttercream. If you use liquid food colouring you may need to add a little more icing sugar.
Decorate to your heart’s content and enjoy!