Today my friend, Eilean, and I did some dog walking for the Cinnamon Trust. The Cinnamon Trust is a great charity which provides assistance for elderly and terminally ill pet owners and their companion animals. With the help of volunteers, pets are able to stay with their owners as long as possible and when the time comes to say goodbye, the Cinnamon Trust makes sure the bereaved pets are well cared for and loved.
We had a great time with our four-legged friend, Jimmy, but the weather was dreadful. It rained on us, it was cold and by the time I got home I was ready for some comfort food. When I say comfort food, I mean CAKE!
As you know, we are small family of three. Since one of us is a little, black, cat, that means only two of us eat cake. And only one of us, me, is obsessed with cake! So, as a means of portion control, I tend to make cupcakes. Most cake recipes make dozens of cupcakes, far too many for the two of us to eat, so I have been looking for 'small batch' recipes. It think six cupcakes are just about the perfect amount for us, and today I found a lovely Vanilla Cupcake recipe in The Lady magazine. I have reduced the recipe by half and and made an alteration or two. Now it makes six yummy cupcakes!
Here are the ingredients you will need:
110 grams butter or margarine - room temperature
110 grams caster sugar
1 egg - room temperature
110 grams self-rising flour
1 Tablespoon plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and place 6 paper cupcake liners into a muffin tin.
Beat together the butter and sugar until they are very light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. I added a spoonful of the flour just to keep the batter from looking curdled. Add the yogurt then gradually mix in the rest of the flour. Beat until thoroughly combined but do not over mix, it will make the cake tough.
Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
When the cakes have completely cooled make a frosting from the following:
40 grams butter - room temperature
125 grams icing sugar
1 or 2 teaspoons plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Beat the butter until fluffy then add the icing sugar, one teaspoon of the yogurt and the vanilla. Beat until well combined. If the icing is too stiff add a little more yogurt. Whip until the frosting is as fluffy as you like. I added a tiny bit of food colouring to the frosting just because I wanted to make the cakes coordinate with the strawberries and cream we also had for tea.
In the warm kitchen filled with the delicious smell of vanilla, I soon dried out. I have to say, despite the rain, I've had a really lovely day thanks to Jimmy and Eilean.