I came out of a two-and-a-half hour exam earlier. Knowing I had another (4 hour!) exam on Monday, what did I do? Put my head down and revise? Drown my sorrows in alcohol? No, I turned to baking.
I’ll be completely honest with you, I have no choice but to bake at the moment. For one thing, both the making, the eating and the giving away to friends is a great stress reliever. But the main reason is that it’s coming to the end of the year and I have a LOT of food to get through.
I currently have just under a kilogram of flour, lots of various different sugars, and a selection of flavourings. Last week I made brownies (not as successful, so they don’t get a blog post – my halls oven is failing rapidly). This week I wanted something fresher, to reflect what I thought was sunnier weather – again something that is also failing rapidly. I knew I had a bottle of lime juice and a bottle of lemon juice to use up. I recommend always having some lemon juice – I love it. Over pancakes, as a simple salad dressing, or over fish fingers (hey I’m a student!) it’s really useful at perking things up. Lime juice is less of a necessity. I only have it because of my addition to Mexican food, which I have street-food restaurant Wahaca to blame for. I make refried beans a lot of the exam period, and they always benefit from a splash of lime juice. But anyways, lots of lime juice to use up.
I decided to make citrus cupcakes. I have a cupcake ‘recipe’ I use, that I’ve used for years, that I don’t know where it came from, and that I usually flavour with vanilla. I decided to use that, but ditch the vanilla in favour of a citrus mix. I then swapped out my usual buttercream icing for a drizzle type concoction. It seemed to work. I definitely over cooked the cupcakes, but I had enough mixture left over for a ‘cake’ in my Le Cruset baking dish. This isn’t so dry, and is much better – so keep an eye on these little cakes, especially if you have a dodgy student oven.
Citrus Drizzle Cupcakes
Here’s the recipe. It made 12 cupcakes and a reasonable size cake – I’d guess you’d get at least 18 cupcakes out of it. Note that in the picture one is missing. Someone had to sample it didn’t they…
- Oil (vegetable) – 6 tablespoons
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup of sugar – I used standard granulated for this
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (or just use 1.5 cups of self raising flour)
- 1/2 cup milk
- Lemon and Lime juice – good splashes of both, preferably to taste though I take no responsibility for any illness from eating raw cake mixture (it’s not a good idea, but just about everyone I know does it)
- For the drizzle – more splashes of lemon/lime juice, and granulated sugar, just enough so it stops dissolving and feels grainy
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Beat together the oil, sugar, and the salt, until fully mixed.
- Add the eggs gradually, the mix should go light in colour, and reasonably fluffy.
- Sift together (I’ll admit I didn’t do this – due to lack of a sieve) the flour and baking powder. Add this to the mixture, alternating between a cup of flour and some milk. Mix until you have a smooth batter.
- Stir through the lemon/lime juice – again, use your own judgement as to how much.
- Add to muffin cases in a tin (fill about 2/3 full) and bake for 15-18 mins, probably towards the shorter end of the cooking time.
- While they’re cooking, prepare the drizzle mix as specified in the ingredients.
- As soon as they’re out, spoon the drizzle mixture oven. Let cool, and eat! Simple as that!