Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes (Gluten + Lactose Free)

I cannot get enough of my weekends at the moment. At Uni I ‘d be in Monday to Friday without fail, then I’d also get up and work on my project most Saturdays and Sundays too (I am aware that this makes me a complete nerd). When I was looking for a job, I had absolutely no concept of what day of the week it was, or month of the year for that matter. Or quite often, time of the day. They were dark, confusing times… Anyway, now I have a solid Mon-Fri (ish) job I finally understand the concept of weekends, and how beautifully marvelous they are. Until around Sunday afternoon, of couse when the realisation that the next one is all too far away hits.

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So one of these brilliant weekends I thought it would be a smashing idea to do a little baking project, since I have been neglecting my oven rather. Better yet, I thought, I can bring my baking into work and instantly become the most popular person in the building! And I was pleased with the results of my endeavour (see the post here)

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What I didn’t contemplate was that I would then be expected to bring in some sort of edible gift every Monday. Foolish, foolish me.

Thus, the cherry bakewell cupcake. Post 2 in the ‘quest to bake my way to a promotion’ series. You’ll notice that I haven’t actually set up this as a series yet, but since the only other one I had the ingenious idea to start currently only has 1 post in I thought I better not get ahead of myself.

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These babies are gluten-free with a lactose-free icing option (see the middle cakes in the picture above). Not quite as striking perhaps but equally nomalishious I can assure you 🙂

Recipe

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 250g Stork (other baking margarines are available. Yes, I have been listening to a lot of radio recently)
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 250g Gluten-free self raising flour (as ever, Dove’s works a charm) + 2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 3 tbsp almond (or any lactose-free) milk
  • 200g cocktail marashino cherries, quartered + 2 tbsp of the juice from the jar (in the UK, Opie’s are quite readily available)
  • 250g marzipan, grated (try putting it in the fridge for a while to make grating it easier. Try also to resist holding the grater above your mouth instead of above a bowl … I like marzipan..)
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • 24 glacé cherries, to decorate.

For the dairy-laden almond buttercream:

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tsp almond essence (more-or-less, I love a good proper whack of almond in my food (see note above marzipan above) so you may want to hold back a little)
  • 100g white chocolate

Or for the belly-friendly alternative:

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp juice from the cocktail cherry jar

Note that the above measurements of icing gave me enough to do half the batch buttercream and half the batch belly-friendly, with leftovers. If you’re after just one kind I’d up the amounts slightly.

Method

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/170°C fan
  2. Line enough muffin tins for 24 cupcakes (I usually like to double case but it wasn’t actually neccessary for these)
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  4. Add in the eggs and flour alternately in 3 goes, beating on medium until fully incorporated after each addition
  5. Add the baking powder, orange zest, cherry juice and milk and beat until combined
  6. Toss the cherries in the 2 tbsp flour and fold into the mix with the grated marzipan
  7. Fill the cupcake cases about 2/3 full, this was about one very heaped tbsp of mix in each for me. Well, very very heaped. So really around 2 tbsp I suppose..
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until evenly risen and a skewer comes out clean
  9. Leave to cool on a wire rack (I took mine out of the muffin tins after about 10 minutes)

For the sinfully dairy-laden icing:

  1. Break the white chocolate into cubes and melt in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water
  2. Seive the icing sugar into a bowl with the butter
  3. Whisk carefully until combined (or fear the wrath of your mother/partner/anyone that doesn’t enjoy every surface in the kitchen constantly being covered in a fine dusting of icing sugar, which never seems to go away no matter how many times you wipe everything)
  4. Add the almond extract and melted white chocolate then mix on high until light and fluffy (I usually go for it with buttercreams, definitely the longer you mix for the lighter and fluffier they become)
  5. Pipe ontop however you see fit

For the just as tasty if less impressive looking dairy-free alternative:

  1. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and carefully add the cherry juice until the icing becomes just thin enough to coat the back of a spoon
  2. Pour enough onto the cupcake to go right to the edge of the case and leave to set

In both cases:

  1. Decorate with a single glacé cherry put right in the middle, so we can all have a good snigger about how rude they look.
  2. Leave out in the open for the icing to set, then store in an airtight container for about 5 days. Though if they last 5 days you’re hanging around with the wrong people, clearly.
  3. Snarfle.

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