Cupcakes are an extremely popular baking item for many reasons. They are easy to make, can be decorated in so many ways and the flavour options are limitless. However, the main reason I love making cupcake (apart from my love of eating them) is because they take such little time to cook. This means it saves power, (I am the queen of cheap), and the bonus is that it takes less time for yummy cakey goodness to be in my belly. It's win, win.
With yummy cupcakes, like these lemon ones, I don't often bother decorating them; not frosting them also saves me money. Plus I'm a bit of a piggy and just can't resist eating them still warm from the oven. But for extra decadence you can't beat a yummy topping that compliments, not overpowers, these little cakey treats. I like buttercream as a topping, but sometimes it can overwhelm a delicate cupcake. So for something different I like to use this chocolate cardamom cream recipe from Peter Gordon. It's not so sweet and has a delicious undertone of cardamom, it goes really well with citrus or berry cupcakes. It also makes a great cake filling.
125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar ( I use vanilla sugar)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
125g self raising flour (or use plain flour and add a teaspoon of baking powder)
2 tablespoons milk
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, flour and milk and beat until smooth.
Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases and bake at 190 Celsius for 12-15 minutes, or until they have risen and are just firm to the touch in the centre.
Remove them from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
Chocolate Cardamom Cream:
70g dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa)
1/4 teaspoon powdered cardamom
200ml cream, chilled
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Melt the chocolate with the cardamom.
Take off the heat and add the sugar and 1/4 of the cream. Stir well.
Once the chocolate has cooled a little (but before it sets) add the remaining cream and whisk the mixture until it forms soft peaks.