Monday, August 9, 2010

Adventures in cupcakes

Saturday started off at the Pick Your Own (PYO) at Harewood Bridge, which I've not been to for a year or two. They have tayberries, like ancestral raspberries, darker, tarter, more aromatic and when sweetened correctly much more flavoursome than regular raspberries. But they're a bugger to pick, as ripe they're large and have weak stems, and very soft berries. You can eat them straight from the bush but it's not advised - they really are sharp. Anyway, I was rained on once or twice but that was ok, and despite initial pickings being a bit light I managed to come away with about a kilo of tays. When I got home I cooked them down and strained some off to make a syrup.



The rest I cooked a bit further to make a nice thick pulp, not quite to jam stage but thick enough to support a mousse without turning the cream. Then I made cupcakes; standard cake mix, stir in some of the pulp and some whole raspberries and bake until biscuitty and golden. Then, while still hot, poke holes in with a cocktail stick and paint the reserved syrup over the top to make them nice and purpley and get more of the tay flavour in.

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Next, mousse; whip cream, melt some white chocolate, fold that into the cream and then fold some more pulp into the ganache. No kidding, this was heaven in a bowl, rich, creamy, thick but at the same time light and fluffy and packed with flavour. There was just enough chocolate to make it set, not enough to make it go claggy. Stuff into a piping bag, swirl on top. Plonk a raspberry on, drizzle some melted dark chocolate on for contrast and to make the razzie stay on.


They had to stay in the fridge, though - they were my entry into Iron Cupcake Leeds, being held on Sunday. I didn't make them on Sunday because I was spending the day in Halifax, in a comic shop, dressed in a labcoat and moleskin trousers as part of the First First Tea Company Enlistment Fair.

Once back from there I picked up my cakes from the fridge and ran to the 'Delph, where I had a great chat with some people I'd met at similar events (including Lay The Table and Richard Bettakultcha), and failed to win anything. But the standard of competition was absurdly high and the winners were delicious; a raspberry fizz and one a bit like a berry tart were very tasty (I didn't get a chance to try the second-placed one). Really there were too many brilliant cooks all in a seriously competetive environment. I had fun, and got some lovely comments from people tasting the cakes, and will have a serious think about next month's competition!


  1. I still think they were very good! I think the key to winning this competition is to put slightly weird taste combos together. I did try the winners and tbh, I didn't think stood out from the crowd, so I don't know.

  2. @Becs I don't know if there is a key to winning this comp; the ones I did try were very good but there were ones equally as good from people not placed - the judges did seem to go for toppings rather than cake quality...