Okay, confession time. I have a lot of cookery books, okay not a lot… a hell of a lot. It’s an obsession and I need help. Hello, I’m FoodNerd and I have a cookery book problem….
Another problem is, although they are well thumbed and the beautiful pictures have been poured over many times over the years, some have yet to have any of the recipes actually made from them. A travesty I know.
There are some that are well used and I will go back to time and time again for certain recipes, like my Nan’s Dairy Recipe book she bought from her milkman. Which is the best place for the random basic recipes you can’t remember from the top of your head like jams, batters etc.. It’s so well loved in my family, it has a beautiful build up of yellowing sticky tape to keep its well worn cover on.
BUT! Things are about to change! 2012 will be the year of the random trial of new recipes. So it began on a dull Saturday with no really exciting rock ‘n’ roll plans any food nerd would have. So I closed my eyes and pulled out a random book.
TA-DA! Lola’s Cupcake Book is the lucky book! I have sampled some of their delicious cupcakes in Selfridges in London. Me and my fellow foodnerd friend tried their Red Velvet and their Peanut Butter cupcakes. They were delicious and when I locked eyes on their new recipe book in my local book shop, I knew I had to have it.
|At the front- Peanut Butter and the back – Red Velvet Cupcakes|
After browsing through all the delicious recipe, including basic cupcakes and more fancier ones. Their recipes are also in metric and american cups, which is one of my major turn-offs of trying out new recipes – the time it takes to convert the recipes from cups as my cups have their own minds and are always hiding from me!
I decided to try out their Sticky Toffee cupcakes. Most their recipe had multiple components and this recipe had a rum toffee ganache which had three stages, that took longer to make than the actual cake base. It was fairly time consuming but well worth it!
- 180g chopped pitted dates
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 130ml boiling water
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 100g butter
- 160g muscovado sugar
- 2 free range eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g caster sugar
- 50g unsalted butter
- 150ml double cream
- 2 tsp dark rum
- 300g white chocolate
- 200g icing sugar
- Oven to 190C. Put the chopped dates, golden syrup and the boiling water into a bowl and leave to soak until the water has cooled to room temp or while you get on with the rest of the batter.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together into a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat in one at a time, then add the vanilla.
- Break the dates up with a fork, slowly add the sifted dry ingredients and the date mixture to the mixing bowl and beat on a low speed until smooth. Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cakes and bake for 15-20 minutes or until well risen. Cool on a wire rack.
- For the ganache, scatter the caster sugar over the bottom of a heavy base frying pan, set over medium heat. Do not stir ( I must admit I’m a fiddle and can’t leave pans without stirring - honestly DON’T do it!!! It will go lumpy and lump to your whisk!!)
- When the sugar has melted and starts turning an amber colour, remove the heat and stir in the butter. Add 3 tbsp of the double cream and the rum and whisk until smooth. Let it cool to room temp (I still had a few small lumps of toffee in the sauce, but that was nice in the finished frosting to find tasty nuggets of toffee.)
- Put the remaining cream in a saucepan over a medium heat and heat until it starts bubbling around the edges. Remove from the heat and stir in the white chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool to room temp.
- When both the caramel and white chocolate ganache has cooled, mix them together and then add the sifted icing, mix well and chill for 10 minutes.
- Spoon the frosting into a piping bag and pipe to decorate or spread on the top of the cakes. Lola’s recommends to to serve these with ice cream wafers and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, however I found the icing sweet enough, to not add to it.