Cake Days

Lovely as it is to do baking with the kids and to spend several hours cleaning up the mess and washing the flour out of your hair afterwards, sometimes it’s nice to sneak in to the kitchen and do a bit of baking by yourself. Something a little bit indulgent that doesn’t involve gasp chocolate. Or jelly beans, dolly mixtures, or mini marshmallows. Radical I know, but there you are.

So I’ve had in mind for some time that I would like to make caramel cupcakes. The recipe comes from the truly inspiring Hummingbird Bakery “Cake Days” book (Collins, 2011. Isbn: 9780007374793)(hey, once a librarian, always a librarian)

20130806-064503.jpg. The recipe asks for dulce de leche which I couldn’t find for love nor money here in the backwaters of Warwickshire, and was too mean (and impatient) to pay for the gourmet stuff online, so I used some NestlĂ© tinned caramel instead. It worked brilliantly. The only thing I will say about Hummingbird recipes is that they always seem to be overly generous with the topping mixes. I’ve done their chocolate (of course) cupcakes before and ended up with half a bowl of chocolate frosting left over. I halved the quantity of frosting this time and that seemed just right to me – but then I prefer the cake to the frosting. The cupcakes are moist and light, sweet but not toe curlingly so. Unfortunately, this has converted the children to the joys of caramel so I’m not sure I’ll have flour free hair for much longer…

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