Everyone loves cakes, right? It is almost certain that if I’m coming to your party, I’ll probably be bringing cakes along with me. My buddy Louise & Peter were throwing a ‘do’ to celebrate their recent engagement and I thought something ‘love’ themed would be apt. I threw the debate out to Twitter- should I go with naff Love Heart sweets, or make ’em classy with some berries. Well, the consensus definitely swung in Swizzles Matlow’s favour, but when it came to the bit, I couldn’t resist doing some raspberry ones too.
This is an adaptation of a velvet cakes recipe (from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Jamie’s America’ book) and is the base recipe for all of my cake-lets these days. I kept away from the chocolate and made the cake mix light and summery with some orange water. I wanted to keep things quite dainty, and have had (more than) my fair share of cupcakes with tonnes of frosting on them. In old-school terms, a batch of fancy fairy cakes. Here’s to true love!
Ingredients – will make 12-18 cakes depending on case size
150g caster sugar
50g butter at room temp
1 large (or 1.5 medium) free range egg
150g plain flour
2-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange flower water
half teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1.5 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
Pre-heat the oven to 170c (fan-assisted) & line tin with cupcake cases.
Cream the butter and sugar together. Then add the egg, vanilla essence and orange flower water and mix until smooth.
Sift in half of the flour and gently fold in.
Add in half of the buttermilk and mix through.
Repeat the process with the rest of the flour and buttermilk.
Combine everything ’til it’s looking silky. It’s quite a wet-looking cake mix, but don’t worry about it!
Lastly, in a small cup mix together the bicarbonate of soda with the white wine vinegar, and stir this mixture into the cake mix.
Divide up between the cake cases, try to fill just over half-way, and give the tin a good flat ‘thud’ against the counter to even out the mix in the cases.
Bake for approx 18-20 mins (check after 16mins). Allow to cool before icing.
For the icing
50g medium fat cream cheese
vanilla extract and a few drops of orange flower water
Bits and bobs to decorate – fresh berries and pistachios always a favourite!
Cream the wet ingredients together and slowly add in the sifted icing sugar. Taste the ‘seasoning’ with the vanilla etc. And decorate those cakes. Yum.