Berry Good CupcakesMonday mornings are usually my morning for baking. The children are at school, MOH (my other half) is out working and the house is peacefully quiet. I had bought a punnet of blueberries on Saturday and was planning to pop them into moist cupcakes. Gathering together the essential ingredients, I noticed the blueberries had disappeared, most likely on top of the pavlova offered on Sunday. Luckily there was a packet of frozen mixed berries in the freezer, for exactly these moments.
Today when I was creating these berry cupcakes, I was reminded of our neighbour when we were still in infants school. She was an amazing baker of sweet goodies, going on to train as a home economics and craft teacher for high school children. Back then though, she was simply 'Barbara' Mum's friend who would occasionally baby sit my brother and I after school at her home when my mother had to work.
What I particularly remember is that when she mixed delightfully yummy sweet treats in a bowl, she would never let us get a spoonful of uncooked mixture. Thereafter I always played in the back yard looking forward to when her sweet delights were cooked and we were invited in for afternoon tea.
Wash a home grown lemon, or at least an unwaxed one and grate the zest into a large bowl.
Mix the zest with 1 1/4 cups of caster sugar, rubbing the mixture with your fingers to agitate the zest and envelope the sugar with the amazing aroma of lemon zest.
Add plain flour, sifted baking powder and salt along with ground almonds.
Mix all together with spoon and place the frozen berries on top.
In another, smaller bowl, place the eggs, yoghurt, vanilla and almond essences. Lightly mix together.
In another small bowl, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and add rice bran oil.
Lightly stir the berries into the flour bowl to coat them with the dry powder.
Pour the egg mixture and butter mixtures into the combined flour with berry bowl.
Lightly fold until the mixtures are just combined.
Preheat oven to 175 degrees celcious.
Grease and line cup cake pans with paper wrappers.
Fill to the top of the paper with mixture as these do not rise very much.
Bake in middle of oven for about 20 minutes, rotating half way through to help evenly brown them.
When cupcakes are gently risen and light brown on top, remove and place them to rest for 2 minutes before turning them onto a wire rack to cool.
This quantity makes 16 berry delicious cupcakes.
Berry Good Cupcakes1 lemon, zest finely grated
1 1/2 cups fine caster sugar
1 slightly raised cup of plain flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups mixed berries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup natural yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup rice bran oil (or similar flavourless vegetable oil)
4 tablespoons melted butter
Bake at 175 degrees celcius for about 20 minutes.