Friday, June 11, 2010

13 Days til Fairy Day. . . Fairy Cakes by Nigella

So, in 13 days the fairies will entertain our gardens with their little flitty ways, their happy spirits, and their graceful flowing wands of stardust. I had to google what to feed a fairy, and the first dish I encountered was called "Fairy Cakes." It is an English term for a cupcake, and I assume the smaller ones are the more "fairy-like," much preferred by our guests that night. I found these delicious recipes, sites, and photos of cupcakes, but I know that many of the blogland's best have excellent cupcakes. I always love to see what has been baked, decorated, and shared. Check out Tracey's on her post today! HERE. = artist and photo credit = photo credit
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I checked out this blog and found the top recipe books on cupcakes, aka Fairy Cakes. They look amazing. I think I'll check out Food Networks Cupcake Wars, too.

And since Fairy Cakes are English, who else should provide the ultimate recipe? However, if you google it, you will find numerous delicious ones.
This recipe is from a delicious blog called "Once Upon a Cake." I didn't ask permission to copy it because I copied only Nigella's recipe, which is also on her website. But the blog above is definitely worth a visit. So yummy!

Nigella Lawson's Fairy Cakes

Recipe yields 12 regular size cupcakes

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
7 Tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup self-rising cake flour *
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
(May use 1/2 teaspoon almond extract instead of the suggested 1 tsp.vanilla extract.)
2-3 Tablespoons milk

Directions :

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (I bake them at 375* F)

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with baking paper cups.

Put all the ingredients except for the milk into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel to make for a soft consistency. (I use the full 3 Tablespoons)

It doesn't seem like enough batter, but it will all work out, scrape every bit from the bowl and try to fill each cup equally.

Bake for 15-20 or until they are golden on top. (These are perfectly baked in 14 to 15 minutes @ 375* in my oven) It's best to start checking them at 12 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack, but remove from the tin as soon as possible.

Before you decorate, if desired, slice off any mounded tops so you have a flat surface to decorate. Some don't cut the mounds off, but with Fairy Cakes, I always do... and the trimmings become cook's treat!

For the Icing ~

Note: Some don't like this icing because it hardens in less than a day. I don't mind because the cakes usually don't last an entire day around my house. They are delicious with a soft buttercream, chocolate ganache, or simply softly whipped cream, too.

Enough for 12 fairy cakes

1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white
3-4 drops lemon juice
food coloring, if desired

Mix the sugar, egg white and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth and creamy, it should have the consistency of heavy cream. Nigella suggest dividing the batch of icing into smaller portions so you can add different colors to each, if you like.

In the cookbook the "Fairy Cakes" are topped with rosebuds and little sugared daisies and fresh berries, so cute! But allow your imagination to take over, these are so much fun to decorate in a number of ways.

So, if you are planning a Fairy reception, you'd better dust off those cupcake pans and liners and find your recipes. Don't disappoint our wee friends!!!!!! They will be waiting at midnight in your gardens!

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