Friday, 3 October 2014

Neapolitan Core Cupcakes

Last week I hurt my shoulder in a minor DIY mishap involving a bag of sand which turned out to be a lot heavier than expected. As I slumped on the sofa, merrily medicated on co-codamol, a wondrous idea came to me ~ I would make cupcakes the like of which the world has never seen before.
Well, the world may have seen something like this before, but I've certainly never made them. I tweaked and twisted an old tried-and-true recipe and came up with these . . .
Neapolitan Core Cupcakes

Wanna know how to make these lush babies? Here's how:

185g self raising flour
225g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
40g cocoa
100g margarine
2 eggs
150ml milk
few drops vanilla essence

125g cream cheese
25g butter
325g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp strawberry flavouring
few drops red food colouring

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4

Sieve flour, sugar, salt and cocoa into a bowl then rub in the margarine. Beat the eggs and milk together in a jug with a few drops of vanilla essence. Pour liquids into dry mixture and beat well. Fill each cupcake case two-thirds full and bake for approx. 25 mins until risen and springy to the touch.
Allow cakes to cool completely then remove a core using an apple-corer or small knife, don't cut all the way to the bottom but make a nice deep well.

Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Sieve the icing sugar and beat in a bit at a time ~ this quantity makes a fairly loose icing so if you'd prefer it a bit firmer add a little more icing sugar until you get the consistency you like.
Put approx. one third of the icing into a separate bowl, add the strawberry flavouring and the food colouring. Mix well and pipe into the cores of the cupcakes, leaving a small blob peeping out.
Add the vanilla essence to the remaining two thirds of the icing and mix well. Pipe swirls around the top of each cake, surrounding the pink strawberry core. I then piped an extra strawberry rosette on top of the core blob to top it off nicely.

Sadly, red food colouring these days is pretty lame (I don't know what they've done to it, but it ain't very red) but it still provides a nice contrast to the white vanilla. If you can't find strawberry flavouring (another thing that seems to have disappeared lately) you can always make a batch of icing from my strawberry clouds recipe.