Sunday, 17 March 2013

Hooray for Hummingbird Bakery!

Sorry I haven't posted in ages but I have been so busy making cakes that writing about them has taken a bit of a back seat. I started this post at the end of February and here we are over half way through March!

This year Valentines Day passed in a blur of baking for others and tending to the very poorly Mr V-C so there was little in the way of romance in the barn and I was the only one without a card or a gift. To cheer myself up I bought myself the new Hummingbird Bakery recipe book "Home, Sweet Home".  This is undoubtedly the best Hummingbird book so far (in my humble opinion) and one of the best gifts I have ever bought myself! This book has slightly more complicated and time consuming recipes and for any novice bakers I would suggest starting with the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook as it contains lots of easier/basic cupcake recipes before moving onto Home, Sweet Home.

I spent the next couple of days salivating over the book trying to decide which recipe to try out first. In the end the chocolate and coconut cupcakes won but closely followed by the jolly jammer cupcakes.
Both recipes turned out beautifully but it's worth noting that the jolly jammer cupcake biscuit toppers went soft when left on top of the butter cream after a day. Also I had enough biscuit dough left to make lots of extra biscuits as you can see from the picture. Both recipes say makes 12-16 cupcakes, but my batch made 14 of each with quite a bit of frosting left over.

Jolly Jammer Cupcakes 
Makes 12-16
For the cookies:
100g unsalted butter, softened
140g  caster sugar
1 egg
200g plain flour
1/4tsp cream of tartar

For the sponge:
70g unsalted butter, softened
210g plain flour
250g caster sugar
1tbsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
210ml whole milk (I used semi skimmed)
2 large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting:
660g icing sugar, sifted
210g unsalted butter, softened
60ml whole milk
1/2tsp vanilla extract
pre heat oven to 170c

Line a baking tray with baking parchment and 2 cupcake trays with 14  paper cupcake cases.

First make the jam and cream cookies. Place the butter and sugar in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or use an electric hand held mixer and cream together until light and fluffy and well mixed.  Add the egg and mix until fully incorporated.

Sift together the flour and cream of tartar then add to the butter mixture. Mix on a slow speed until a dough forms. Don't over mix.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to about 3-4mm thick. Using a 3.5cm fluted cookie cutter cut out 32 cookies and using a small circle cutter measuring roughly 1cm, cut out circles in the centre of half the cookies. Place all of the cookies onto the prepared baking tray and any excess dough can be used to make more cookies.

Bake the cookies for approximately 10-13 minutes or until they start to change colour around the edge. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to use later. While the cookies cool make the sponge.

In a mixer with a paddle beater or with an electric whisk mix flour, butter, sugar, baking powder and salt together until a breadcrumb consistency is obtained.

In a jug mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. With the mixer on a slow speed, gradually pour in half of the liquid and mix until thoroughly combined. Raise the mixer speed to medium and mix until the batter is smooth and thick with no lumps. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Once all lumps are gone turn mixer speed back down and gradually pour in the remaining liquid, continuing to mix until the batter is smooth and combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared cases, filling them two-thirds full.
Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden brown and the sponge bounces back when lightly touched. Remove from tin and leave to cool completely.

Now make the frosting; mix icing sugar and butter together in an electric mixer on a slow speed until combined and there are no lumps of butter. gradually pour in the milk and vanilla extract while the mixer is still on a slow speed. When all the mixture is incorporated, turn the mixer up to a high speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.

To assemble the cookies, place a small amount of the prepared frosting in a piping bag with a small round nozzle. Warm the jam until it is runny.  Pipe a small amount frosting on the base of one of the cookies then spoon a small amount of jam on top. Place one of the cookies with a hole in the middle on top and press down gently.

Once the cupcakes are cold, use a sharp knife to carve a hollow in the centre of each cupcake and retain the cut out piece of sponge. Spoon a teaspoon of frosting into the cake top with a teaspoon of jam. Replace the lid, trimming to fit and press down gently.
Spoon a generous amount of frosting onto each cupcake then smooth and swirl with a palate knife. Top with a jolly jammer cookie.


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