Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Fairy Cakes

Mary left a comment on the last post asking for a recipe for fairy cakes, and as they’re one of the few things I can cook with any kind of expertise I’m only too happy to oblige! (Just for the record, the other things I’m good at are profiteroles, cheese on toast and vodka jelly.)

When I had little ones at home I used to make at least 3 batches of these a week, just because it was the ideal way to pass a rainy afternoon (or a sunny one to be honest, as I’m hardly the outdoors type) I suspect, Mary, that you know these as cupcakes, but I’ll pass on the recipe anyway because it’ll help me feel domesticated and capable and distract me from the fact that I haven’t cleared away the breakfast things yet.






I think they’re probably called fairy cakes over here because they’re miniature and fairy sized, but to make them extra specially girly and fairy-like, I sprinkle them with this stuff (Edible glitter-- find it on the side menu!)

Anyway, here’s the recipe...

Put 125g butter, 125g of caster sugar, 125g self raising flour, 2 large eggs (laid in leafy glades by extremely happy hens fed on organic museli, of course) and half a teaspoon of almond essence (as long as no-one eating these has a nut allergy... if so use vanilla) in a big bowl and whisk it all up with an electric hand whisk. Add in 2ish tablespoons of milk to make the mixture a bit softer, then put a small amount of the mixture into 24 (ish) little cupcake cases. Bake for about 12-15 minutes at about 180 C (gas mark 6)
When they’re cool ice them (with icing sugar mixed into a paste with a few teaspoons of water) and sprinkle on the fairy dust glitter while the icing is still tacky. Top with dolly mixtures or, for my favourite old-fashioned, storybook look, half a glace cherry.

(Oh, now I feel like Ma Larkin, and am feeling the urge to go and bake bread and sew curtains. Better go and look at some more hot men until the urge passes...!)

14 comments:

Kate Hardy said...

Trust you to find edible glitter :o)

(And thanks for the link. I was trying to find this stuff last year... admittedly just before Christmas and I'd left it a tad late.)

Michelle Styles said...

Fairy cakes = cup cakes in the US. I think fairy cakes is a far nicer name...

India said...

I know Kate-- I'm such a sucker for glitter. It's a good thing my children are all girls...

I don't know why we call them fairy cakes Michelle-- do you? Is it just the size or is there a more magical explanation?!

Eva said...

I'm curious too as to the difference between cupcakes and fairy cakes.

I came across this link: Fairy Cake Debate.

Mary said...

India,

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! The photo is delightful! I can't wait to make some--with edible glitter, of course!

Thanks again.

Mary

India said...

Eva, what a brilliant link-- it answers all my questions!

Mary, if one of the commenters on the link is correct my recipe might be slightly different from a US cupcakes one. Anyway, hope your daughter enjoys the cakes (despite the absence of fairies!)

Anonymous said...

Ok and now the recipes for profiteroles, vodka jelly and cheese on toast please.
x Abby Green

Amanda Ashby said...

We use to call them fairy cakes when you cut the top off, split it in two and stick them back on top like two little wings (in a large glump of whipped cream of course!!)

Amanda Ashby said...

and yes, glump is so a word!!

India said...

Abby Green, you know perfectly well that you survive entirely on a diet of takeaway curry and wine, so there's no point in pretending you're going to cook anything as sophisticated as cheese on toast.

Amanda-- those are BUTTERFLY cakes. (shakes head in exasperation) Completely different...





(but the idea of a glump of cream is now haunting me. I feel another baking session coming on...)

Sue said...

LOL @ Ma Larkin & the need to go and look at hot men!

Okay, I have an awful confession to make and I'm hoping that you can help. *Deep breath* Despite baking these fairy cakes on/off for the past ## years I still *hangs head in shame & whispers* cannot for the life of me ice them so they look scrumptious and edible!

My lifetime goal/ambition (in addition to getting The Call, of course)is to master the icing of fairy cakes preferably before my not-so-little darlings fly the nest. Now, there's no pressure or anything, but I only have *gulp* seven months left so please can you share your Nigella skills with me?

Love,
Desperate Sue xx

Oh, and if you could also add a dose of your writing skills to the instructions so that I can achieve The Other Goal too, it would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Amanda Ashby said...

And so the truth is out there now. I know nothing about baking. I can make a mean piklet but that's where it ends. Still, on the plus side, I have a very good friend and his name is Mr Kiplings!!

India said...

Amanda, that's not true as I happen to know you are also something of an expert in the art of Lamingtons. (I am liking this new focus on baking. It makes me forget that I should be bashing out a synopsis for my current book!)

India said...

Dear Desperate Sue

You need one packet of icing sugar and a few tablespoons of warm water from the kettle. Sieve some icing sugar (I don't know how much-- maybe 150g or something) into a bowl and put in a tablespoon of the water and mix it up. It'll look like it's not nearly enough water and you'll want to put in lots more, but just hang fire and keep mixing until it turns into a thick gloop. If you're really desperate and there just isn't enough water to use up all the icing sugar add a tiny bit more, but not too much or your icing will look all thin and grey and slide off the cakes. (Gosh, this is all fascinating stuff isn't it? I'm almost starting to believe in my own domestic myth here...!)When it's thick like polyfilla take a warm teaspoon and sort of drop/spread it on the top of the cakes and for instant scrumptiousness add shedloads of glitter or a half cherry.

As for the writing, the secret is to make plenty of fairy cakes and sprinkle them with lots and lots of glitter (=fairy dust) and make a wish every time you eat one (I need about 12 a day.)Then wait for the call!

xxx