These cupcakes were made from blackberries foraged from the hedgerows and apples grown in the garden. This got me thinking about what other interesting things I could potentially forage/grow to put in cakes. Raspberries and strawberries would be the obvious choices. However in terms of foraging for more interesting things like bilberries and cranberries.. after some research I came to the conclusion that I would most likely end up poisoning someone. So many berries look alike and anyone who knows me knows it would be just my luck to accidentally confuse the deadly ones with the safe ones!
Makes: 12 Cupcakes
For the cakes:
200g Caster Sugar
4 Medium eggs
200g of Self Raising Flour
1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 Apples peeled and grated (Bramley would probably be similar to the ones I picked in the garden)
250g of Blackberries
100g of Caster sugar
For the icing/decoration:
250g of Softened butter
500g of Icing sugar
60g Plain flour
30g Caster Sugar
30g Softened butter
1.Preheat the oven to 170°C/340 F/ Gas Mark 3
2. Firstly you want to make the blackberry coulis. To do this put 250g of blackberries and 100g of caster sugar in a pan with 2 tablespoons of water and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes (while the blackberries are simmering you should try and ‘mush’ them with a spoon to get all of the juice out of them)
3. Remove from the heat and then strain it through a sieve so you are left with a nice smooth coulis. Set it to one side to cool.
4. Before you start making the cakes you should peel and grate your apples. It is very important to put the grated apple in a colander in the sink and squeeze out as much liquid as possible (I used a potato masher to help me with this). If the apple is too wet the cakes won’t cook properly.
5. To make the cakes, start by creaming together the butter and caster sugar.
3. Add the eggs, flour, vanilla extract and grated apple.
4. Mix everything until combined.
5. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
6. Spoon the cupcake mix into the cases either with tablespoon or an ice cream scoop.
7. Dollop a teaspoon of blackberry coulis on top of each cake and then ‘swirl’ it in to the cake mix with a teaspoon so it makes a blackberry ripple effect.
8. Bake the cakes in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool thoroughly before decorating.
10. To make the crumble topping simply tip the flour and sugar into a small baking tray. Add the softened butter, then rub it in to the flour using your fingertips. You want it to become a breadcrumb texture, but with some clumpy bits.
11. Then bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until it is golden brown.
10. To make the buttercream beat 250 grams of softened butter until it is pale and smooth. Then gradually add the icing sugar a bit at a time and beat until the buttercream is light and fluffy (add a dash of milk if it looks too stiff).
11. Fill a piping bag with the buttercream and pipe blobs on to the top of the cakes (if you don’t have piping bags you can just spread it on)
13. Drizzle some of the raspberry coulis on top of the cakes and top with one blackberry.
14. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the cakes to finish.