Friday, 22 February 2013

Baking with bunnies: Good Fairy Cakes

This is the first in a brand new series of Cottontails blog posts: Baking with Bunnies. (Why on earth didn't I think of this before? It combines two of the things I love most in the world and I get to eat cake in the name of work. Brilliant.)

Anyway. The first recipe is from a lovely book by Lucie Cash called Fairytale Food.

Full of quirky little instructions - "Ensure your cauldron is sparkling clean", "Check your kitchen thoroughly for signs of goblins (little footprints, sticky fingermarks)" - it is a charming, funny recipe book. It also has beautiful illustrations and is almost certainly the prettiest recipe book in my kitchen.

I plan to feature many recipes from this lovely book over the coming months, but I decided to kick off with a classic. So last Sunday, I gathered up some rabbits and we headed to the kitchen to have a bash at fairy cakes....

But these are not just any fairy cakes - oh no, these are Good Fairy Cakes. They have a spoon of lemon curd in the middle, a hint of almond in the cake and the icing, and some edible glitter sprinkled on the tops. Yum.

Good Fairy Cakes

For the cake batter: 
110g softened unsalted butter (I used Stork, it was fine)
110g caster sugar
2 large eggs
110g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp almond essence

good shop-bought lemon curd
60g softened unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
1/2 tsp almond essence
edible glitter (expensive but tiny pot will last for ever - & huge fun!)

1. Preheat oven to 190*c / gas 5 and fill 12 hole muffin tray with paper cases

2. Cream butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy, then add eggs one at a time, mixing well

3. Sift flour and baking powder and add to the mixture a third at a time, along with milk and almond essence. Mix well to ensure all ingredients are combined

4. Fill paper cases about two thirds full and bake for about 20 minutes, until cakes are pale golden and springy to touch. Leave to cool on wire rack.

5. While cakes are cooling, you can make the icing. Place butte in a large bowl and whip it up using an electric hand mixer. Add icing sugar a bit at a time and cream with the butter. (At this point mine seemed to go a bit wrong and wouldn't cream properly, but I added some more butter and all was well). Add the milk and the almond essence and mix well until you are left with a smooth creamy icing.

6. Once cakes are cooled, angle a small sharp knife and cut a round out of the middle of each cake, leaving a small hole in the center. Cut the rounds in half (to make fairy wings) and set aside. Fill center of each cake with a teaspoon of lemon curd, then spread or pipe the icing over the top.

7. Add fairy wings and a dusting of edible glitter to complete. Ta-da!

Here is the lovely recipe book (see, I told you it was pretty!) and you can follow Lucie on Twitter too @FairytaleFood.

Finally I should probably point out that this is not a cookery book aimed at children - for example there are quite a lot of boozy recipes - but I am sure it would be a lovely book to flick through and share with a child. Or if not, just grab yourself a fabric bunny. They love it.


Crafty Green Poet said...

oh this is lovely, but how do the bunnies manage to avoid getting messy while they're baking?

Charlotte said...

Ah very good question Juliet! Lots of grooming - you know what bunnies are like. Maybe I should run up some mini aprons on the sewing machine though? x