This morning I found myself in a baking mood. Only having 2 eggs in the fridge, that old baking quandary, a batch of fairy cakes was in order. Note I call them fairy cakes and NOT cupcakes. Wikipedia refers to the Fairy Cake as the English version of Cupcakes, how very dare you sir! Fairy Cakes are as British as a cup of tea on a summers day or a rainy bank holiday.
Since the Cupcake invaded our shores the humble Fairy Cake has all but disappeared from our cake plates. Sure I like a Cupcake, who doesn’t? But sometimes they are overly sweet and indulgent and dammit, their just not a Fairy Cake! Fairy Cakes are what we had homemade at our childhood birthday parties, at summer fetes and most likely the first thing we ever learnt to bake. So lets bring back the humble fairy cake from behind the shadow of their big blowsy American cousins the cupcake. Fairy cakes are smaller fluffier and easily shoved in your gob in one go! No buttercream, just a modest blob of royal icing. Less sugar on top and well small enough for a fairy to eat.
The blackcurrants this year have been amazing, a real superstar of the soft fruit season. In fact we’ve actually found ourselves with a bit of glut on our hands. After the making of the obligatory jam, bottling and even a sorbet (which was fabulously zingy, will post the recipe later) we finally find ourselves picking the last of the currants, some small but still packing a bunch. To use up these last batches of blackcurrants I decided to use them in my fairy cake plans. Pairing up the blackcurrant with lemon here is my recipe for my blackcurrant and lemon fairy cakes:
Makes approx 18
200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
2 eggs lightly beaten
Zest of 1 lemon
200g self raising flour
A little milk to loosen mix, around 2 table spoons
200g icing sugar
1. Line a muffin tray with your fairy cake cases and preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4
2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Introduce the eggs whilst the mixer is running, a little at a time
4. Add the zest and mix through
5.Remove from processor and fold in the blackcurrants gently with a metal spoon
6.Using a spoon or as I like you use, an icecream scoop, spoon the mix into the cases
7. Bake in the middle of a preheated oven for 15-20 mins
8.When light brown and spring back to touch your fairy cakes are ready
9.Leave too cool completely. Whilst cooling mix your royals icing
10.Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice a little at a time mixing through until you reach your desired thickness. Here a allowed it too drip a little. Spoon on your icing and allow to set
Enjoy! So come on lets bring back the great British Fairy Cake!