As the newborn fog lifts, I’ve been wanting to dip my toe back into the kitchen. Over the past four weeks we have been blessed to have the generous people from our village deliver us food so I don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner. Now that Eleanor and I are establishing a bit of a routine I’m missing creating my own messes in the kitchen, and felt that Matt needed some lunchbox treats again (and snacks for ravenous breastfeeding me). Flipping through my recipes I found the old classic “Emma and Monty’s Perfected Best Ever Cupcakes” from my days as a nanny to a scruffy haired little blonde cowboy. Monty and I would spend our days hurtling his ride-on John Deere down the steep hills of our farm, running amok with the kelpies, crafting some seriously awesome cardboard box cars on rainy days and occasionally baking some delicious cupcakes to bring home to his mum. Rummaging around in my pantry (and herb garden) I found the basis for an English classic and got to jzushing up some simple vanilla cupcakes…
Eton Mess Cupcakes
125g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cream, whipped
Handful of meringues, bought or homemade
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease paper cases or muffin tray. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time until well combined. Sift the flour and baking powder and fold gently into the mixture, alternating with the milk, until it has a soft dropping consistancy.
Spoon into the cases, let stand for 3-5 minutes and then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden on top. Whilst cupcakes are cooking whip the cream and chop strawberries. Remove cupcakes from oven and cool for 10 minutes on wire rack. Top cupcakes with dollop of whipped cream, sprinkling of chopped strawberries, mint leaves and a whole of crumbled meringue.
I use these cupcakes as a base recipe all the time – adding choc chips or berries to them, or in this case doing a yummy topping. Nothing beats whipped cream, strawberries and fresh mint. I cheated and used bought meringues (because I had them left over in my pantry from my lemon meringue ice-cream) but they’re super easy to make too. These Eton mess inspired cupcakes are the smallest of efforts for an impressive result in my opinion! Happy baking.