Sunday, September 14, 2008


Until today I didn't really understand the allure of cupcakes. I think I was comparing then to fairy cakes from my childhood birthday parties. But cupcakes really are in a different league, moist in the centre and topped with a creamy icing (or 'frosting' as its American originators would call it). I got both of these recipes from Lorraine's site. The chocolate ones were my personal favourites, the hint of coffee means they really are 'grown-up' cupcakes, I topped mine with a cocoa covered coffee bean. I was less successful in my icing of the lemon ones, I suggest you add the lemon juice slowly in case you have a very juicy lemon like me!!

Last of the Summer Strawberries

There are still some Irish strawberries available, on my drive back from Wexford on Saturday I passed numerous stalls selling their wares that would normally be well finished by this time of the year. If you get some good quality ones a simple recipe that showcases their beauty is best. I found this one in the Chocolate and Zucchini book by Clotilde Dusoulier, author of the blog of the same name. It's a really quirky little book and has earned a place on my shelves simply because everything in it is original and just that little bit different. The only change I made was to replace one large egg with one medium one plus another yolk which makes the filling just a little bit richer.

The pastry for this recipe is the same as she uses for her plum tart here, prepare and bake blind as she describes.

500g strawberries
1 medium egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
120 ml milk
  • whisk eggs, vanilla, sugar and cornstarch together
  • bring the milk to the boil, pour it over the egg mix and whisk
  • return to the saucepan and whisk over a low heat until thickened
  • cool slightly and then spoon into tart shells
  • leave to cool and then topped with washed, sliced strawberries

On the other hand if your strawberries have seen better days then I recommend
this recipe from Smitten Kitten, the strawberries add that little bit of sweetness to the rhubarb (no pics as my camera was broken for the last few weeks).