what a glorious, beautiful day yesterday was. Such joy to see the sun shining so brightly first thing in the morning and continuing to smile on us all day long :) Like almost every other housewife faced with a gloriously sunny day teamed with a day off work first thing I did was yell "yaay!" and get started on laundry :)
OK, is it just me? I mean a very dear friend once told me quite some time ago that a great day was wasted on me! Apparently when blessed with a fabulously sunny day I'm supposed to grab a good book, something tall and chilled to drink, the biggest sunhat I can lay hands on and chill in the garden with my feet up. What I'm not supposed to do (I was told quite sternly) is to pull down curtains, strip beds & wander the house desperately searching for things to wash! This is fun for me though! This, to me, is like a weekend at Disneyland to other folk :) It also has to be said that I would love to be able to fly around the house pulling down curtains (!) and whatever else but those days are long gone. Nowadays I more shuffle around, I figure that's ok though, just so long as I keep moving :)
Of course there are other things I enjoy doing on a sunny day off work other than my laundry obsession :) Like baking, which naturally brings us on to giant cupcakes :)
This lovely giant cupcake can comfortably serve 4-6 people and was made using a wonderful silicone mould I found recently in the Asda (Walmart) sale at a cheery & very reasonable £2.49!
OK, so the mould is pretty cool. I love Silicone, it's great to cook with & so, so easy to use. Compared with traditional baking tins, releasing your cake after baking is a dream. I've become a huge fan of silicone cookware over the past couple of years I really have. All of my spatulas are now silicone too (as well as some other cooking utensils, like pastry brushes etc) they're amazing.
Back to the silicone mould. As I said I found this one in the sale at Asda but they're available all over the place, including Home Bargains and Wilkonsons among others. Just have a look about honeys and you'll be able to find one. The mould is in three pieces like this....
As you can see there is, in addition to the mould for the upper & lower parts of the cupcake, an additional silicone insert piece. There is a silicone "lip" which attaches firmly over the edge of the lower cupcake mould to hold it in place. This creates, while baking, an indent or hollow which you can use later to add filling to your cake. If you'd prefer your cake to be flat, as in a more traditional Victoria sandwich for instance, just place the insert piece to one side and bake your cake using the upper & lower mould only.
Yesterday I planned to use mixed berries as well as whipped cream as a filling and so I used the insert piece to create a hollow to hold them. The mould holds a 6 egg sponge mixture so we'll factor that into the recipe as follows:
For sponge cake:335g butter or margarine
335g self raising flour
335g caster sugar
6 medium size eggs (5 if eggs are large)
I small tub of double cream
Assorted mixed berries (I used a small bag of frozen forest fruits - defrosted)
For Cream Cheese Frosting:
50g butter or margarine
100g Philadelphia cream cheese
200g Icing sugar
Half a teaspoon of vanilla essence
1. Preheat the oven to 160 C/320 F and grease your cake moulds or alternately two round sandwich baking tins.
2. In a mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon (or electric hand mixer) to cream the butter & sugar together until light and fluffy.
3. Add around half of your flour to your mixing bowl containing the butter & sugar, sieving to remove lumps & add "air",
4. In a small bowl beat your eggs together. Add around half of your egg mixture to your bowl and mix until smooth.
5. Sieve remaining flour into your bowl as well as the rest of your eggs, mix again until you have a smooth mixture. An electric hand mixer does this really well.
6. Pour your sponge mixture into the giant cupcake moulds. NOTE:
- Place both parts of mould onto a baking tray (maybe a Swiss roll tin or other flat baking tray) BEFORE filling with your sponge mixture, far easier to move into the oven.
- If using the indent piece of the mould you'll need slightly less sponge mixture in your bottom mould and there is a handy fill level marked into the silicone on the inside of the bottom mould. If not using the indent a rough guide is to put approximately 2/3rds of the mixture into the bottom mould and the remaining 3rd into the top. If using two sandwich tins divide mixture equally into the two baking tins, and lightly spread out with a flat knife or a spoon.
7. Place both parts of mould (or sandwich baking tins) into the oven (middle shelf) and bake for 12 -15 minutes until a light golden brown. NOTE: The bottom setion of the mould will take possibly 10 minutes more than the upper because it has more sponge mixture.
8. To test that sponge is done, carefully insert a knife into the middle of each sponge (taking care not to burn yourself OR to pierce r otherwise damage the silicone.) If it is cooked the knife should come out clean. Leave cakes to cool on a cooling rack.
To make filling:
9. Pour your small tub of double (whipping) cream into a mixing bowl.
10. whisk until it thickens (again, I have painful hands & wrists so I use a little electric hand mixer for this)
11. Set aside until your sponge cakes are completely cooled. When sponges are cold, use a spatula to spread approximately half of your cream onto the bottom part of your cupcake sponge. Then carefully spoon on your mixed berries on top of the cream.
12. Gently lift the upper part of your cupcake sponge and using your spatula spread on the remaining whipped cream.
13. Very carefully place the upper part of your cupcake on top of your cream & berry filled lower cupcake.
14. Place to one side and gather the ingredients for your cream cheese frosting.
15. Into a mixing bowl, sieve 200g of icing sugar. Add your butter (or margarine) & cream cheese to the bowl. Gently, mix together being careful because that icing sugar likes to escape from the bowl :) beat together until you have a smooth, not runny, mixture. Add a few drops of vanilla essence to taste. Some people like a heavy vanilla flavour, others only a light hint so flavour to suit yourself honeys.
16. Mix well to make sure your vanilla essence is well mixed through. Allow to sit for a few minutes to let your icing "rest."
17. Using a spatula or a flat knife spread your cream cheese frosting over the top of your cake. This frosting is seriously sweet & seriously delicious so feel free to drizzle down the sides if you want to or just smooth over the top like this....
19. In the photograph, as you can see I've added some candied strawberry apple, yum :) I still had some left from making my Sponge Cake with Banana Whipped Cream recipe.
So that's it honeys, one giant cupcake :) This was the first time I'd used the giant cupcake moulds and I was really impressed by how easy they are to use, I'll definitely be using them again, maybe for a birthday cake for hubby :)
The cream cheese frosting is delicious but also very sweet. If you don't have a really sweet tooth, why not use a sieve and dust the top of your cake with caster sugar? Also why not decorate your cupcake according to who it's for just as you would a normal sized cupcake. Why not look on Pinterest for some decorating inspitration?
So, what do you think honeys? I think I'll try this next as a giant chocolate cupcake with choc frosting & sprinkles yum! Have you made a giant cupcake? Any hints or tips? Favourite fillings or frostings? I'd love to hear about them, I love to bake and am always looking for new recipes to try. Do leave a comment, or links, below or even just say hello :) Have a great day, I hope you have glorious sunshine wherever you are, sending heaps of hugs xx