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Mincemeat cupcakes for New Forest Christmas

Mincemeat Cupcakes for Christmas

Gill's clever cross between mince pie and melt in the mouth sponge cake

Gill's mincemeat cupcakes, packaged as presentsEd note: This is yet another variation on Gill’s Victoria Sponge recipe for a seasonal taste of mincemeat without the richness and heaviness of a full blown mince pie. For those with a little time for a little more Christmas cooking - here you go!

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Recipe for Mincemeat Cupcakes, based on Victoria Sponge recipe

Gill's mincemeat cupcakes, mixFor a quick and versatile little cake, these mincemeat cupcakes are really lovely and easy to make! 

They can be used as a dessert (best heated for a short time) and serve with clotted cream or pouring cream, or something to eat with coffee and friends, or give to neighbours/ friends, or simply just because you enjoy them!

For these cupcakes we use my basic Victoria Sponge - see below or click here. For this recipe it's 2 eggs weighed, and then the same weights of sugar, fat and flour.

And instead of using white caster sugar you can use soft brown sugar, or a mix of the two. 

Gill's mincemeat cupcakes, in cases ready to bakeGet to the stage that you’ve just added and mixed in the flour and folded it in….

Now get your mincemeat. It can be shop bought or homemade. I use Delia’s mincemeat recipe but I don’t include the suet and personally I prefer to leave the almonds out.  

I also don’t cook it for as long as she says - mine went in at 140’c for 1.5 hours. My reason is it gets cooked again when I use it!

Just add mincemeat!

Then add 3 tablespoons of mincemeat -  just mix it into the cake mixture with a spoon.

Then get your cupcake cases out - whether paper or those handy little silicone ones.

Start spooning out with 2 teaspoons enough to fill the case, remembering not too overfill otherwise it will rise over the case. See my photo for the ideal amount! 

Now pop them in the oven for 150’c for 10 minutes.

Gill's mincemeat cupcakes, baked to perfectionDo they look like mine in the photo?

If so, they’re ready. If not, let them cook a little while longer.

When ready and cooled a little, sift over some icing sugar - as snow! 

As I said simple but delicious! Enjoy!  

Gill's mincemeat cupcakes, packaged as a presentThere's nothing better than receiving cake!

These easy to make cupcakes also make a lovely home made gift.

Rather than buy special bags, you could use clear ones, fold up a Christmas serviette and pop 4 cupcakes in for a friend or neighbour!

There’s nothing better than giving and receiving cake!

And don’t forget that Santa Claus might like one or two instead of a mince pie!

If you want to make as gluten free, just remember (as my recipe says), add a little more flour.

A Happy baking Christmas time to you.

 

 

How to bake a perfect Victoria Sandwich cake!

By Gill Hepburn, our Baking Blogger

I'm not a professional cook or anything like that! However, I am passionate about baking and making cakes, and I'd like to share with you some recipes of my favourite bakes as well as some tips.

Do you ever stand in your kitchen and not know what to make? This happens to me a lot! I may be baking a cake to visit friends with, or making a cake for a forthcoming cake club gathering - which I run regularly.

It's not until I start weighing my eggs (I'll come to the recipe later) that I really decide what I’m going to make!

Do you ever think... What would happen if I try this instead of this? Shall I do this? I do that a lot too!

I very much like diverting from the original recipe. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't!

Yes, I've had my disasters, like a light coffee & walnut cake which I recently made (twice!) for cake club, before reverting back to my foolproof method using the recipe below and tweaking it!

The recipe I'm going to share with you is my mum's Victoria sandwich cake, which she taught me when I was growing up. I still use this recipe now, however I now make cakes using slightly different ingredients. Hopefully, over the next few months I’ll be able to show you some of these variations.

When I was little we used to mix the ingredients by hand, however these days I use an electric hand-whisk, which does the work for me - you can buy these quite cheaply. Alternatively, if you prefer (but by no means essential), you could use the ever popular high-tech equipment (food processor or kitchen-aid).

Preparation

Victoria Sandwich Tins PreparedNow before I divulge the recipe, there are a few things you need to know! The preparation is important!

~ Use two 8 inch (20cm) round sponge tins (they don’t have to be loose-bottomed, if they are that’s ok).
~ Cut out circles of greaseproof paper to fit in the bottom of the tins.
~ grease around the sides of the tin. 
Now turn on electric oven to 170ºc / fan 150ºc.

 

Ingredients

For Mums Basic Vanilla Sandwich Cake recipe, you will need:
Self raising flour
Unsalted softened butter
Caster sugar
3 Medium sized Eggs
Vanilla essence/ paste
Milk

Method

victoria sandwich mix in tinWeigh the eggs (in their shells) - this is very important as the following ingredients are used at the same weight:
Butter
Caster sugar
Flour

I.E., the eggs weigh at 6.1 oz (174g) - now put these to the side.

Now weigh out 6.1 oz (174g) of softened butter and mix until smooth. Now add 6.1 oz (174g) of caster sugar and whisk together until the mixture is light and fluffy!

Break the eggs adding to the creamed mixture at the same time as 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence/ paste and 1 tablespoon of flour (this will stop any curdling) and mix until just combined.

Now add in 6.1 oz (174g) self raising flour as well as 2 tablespoons of milk. Be careful when mixing in the flour - I always lightly fold it in first and then finish off using the mixer. Tip: Do ensure the mixture at the bottom of the bowl has been mixed in well.

Now you’ll be pleased you have prepared your tins! You need to spoon the mixture equally into the 2 tins, making sure the middle of the mixture is slightly lower than around the outside. Tip: this is how to get a level cake! See photo.

 

coffee cakeNow pop in the oven and look after 20 minutes - can you gently press the top of the cake and it springs back? If not, give it another 5 or 10 minutes. It should also have a nice light colour on the top! 

Once out of the oven, lightly run a knife around the outside of the cake – this will help loosen for when you take out of the tins later. Once cooled, gently remove from the tins allowing to cool on a wire rack. Now its time to make the butter icing! You will need:

Icing Ingredients

Softened Unsalted Butter
Icing Sugar
Vanilla Essence/ Paste
Milk
Strawberry/ Raspberry jam (Blackberry/ Blackcurrant Jam can also be used)
Tip: seedless is best

Tip: As an alternative, you may decide to ice your cake with whipped double/ whipped whipping cream and fruit (i.e. strawberries or raspberries are best!). This makes a lovely light dessert or summer 'afternoon tea' cake!
Tip: Add a little icing sugar to the cream when whipping, especially if a hot day, as it will hold the cream better.

How to make butter icing

Add 1½ oz of butter to a mixing bowl and mix until its slightly lighter in colour. Now add 3 oz of icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk. Be careful when mixing, as the sugar will cover your work surface! (I mix in with a spoon to begin with). Then whisk it up – it will be a little lumpy to begin with, however persevere and it will become good. Taste to test – what’s the consistency like? Does it need a little more icing sugar and milk?

I would continue as it is possibly not quite right yet! Add 2 oz of icing sugar and ½ tablespoon of milk (more if you need it), and again be careful when mixing up. Now test and you should be ready to ice your cake.

Decide upon which cake will be at the bottom. Turn the cake so the top (when you brought out of the oven) is on the plate – this will give you a flat ‘ish surface to add your jam to which you need to spread over the cake (I find this is best done with a fork). See Figure 4 which shows the jam mustn’t come all the way to the edge – leave a little gap all the way round! (This will stop the jam and cream oozing out).

Spread the icing on exactly like the jam, using a small palette knife and not too close to the edge.

Tip: if you have butter icing left over, pop in an airtight plastic container and into the fridge for up to a month. Tip: Bring out well before wishing to use, otherwise its not soft enough. It can be mixed with a fresh batch of butter icing.

Now sandwich together the jam and cream tiers. For ease, sprinkle the top tier with sieved icing sugar. 

Right, I’m off to eat the slice of cake with a nice cup of earl grey tea!

Happy Baking!
Gill Hepburn

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