The first time I saw Nigella Lawson on TV it was on a programme on literature, Booked if I am not mistaken, presented by David Aaranovich. I used to be mesmerized by her – the way she spoke, the way she commented on different works.and the way she took part in discussions. There she was, this really gorgeous woman, terribly well spoken and very educated. When I first saw her doing her cooking ‘thing’ I did not took much notice. For no special reason. I am, however, forever indebted to Sue for making me take notice of this other side of Nigella.
This cupcake recipe is fabulous. Awfully easy to prepare as we just chuck al the cupcake ingredients in the food processor. The more laborious bit is the icing. I felt like a naughty girl indulging in all the sugar, all the white chocolate. And loads of fun. First solid cappuccino I had. The coffee sponge is beautiful, a bite was enough to win my heart and stomach. I had one before adding the icing.
Just one thing before I share the recipe with the ones of you who might not have it, the icing is a tad too sweet in my opinion. I sort of blame it on the white chocolate. I do not plan on making up your mind about it before hand but thought it best to give you this warning. Even though the sour cream gives a good balance to the sweetness it still prevails.
For the cupcake:
125g self-raising flour
125g soft unsalted butter, softened
125g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 heaped tablespoon instant espresso
2-3 tbsp milk
For the icing:
160g white chocolate
120g sour cream
260g icing sugar, sieved
Scant teaspoon cocoa powder
12-bun muffin tin with pepper cases
Pre-heat the oven to 200oC/fan oven 180oC/gas mark 6.
Put all the cupcake ingredients except for the milk into the food processor and blitz to combine. Pulse again, adding milk down the funnel to form a batter with a soft, dropping consistency. Spoon into the papers in their tin and put in the oven to cook for about 20 minutes. When ready, remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
When they’re completely cold, get on with the icing. Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or in a double boiler, and after it’s cooled a little, stir in the sour cream. Gradually beat in the sieved icing sugar. And if the consistency isn’t right for icing, add either hot water to thin or more sieved icing sugar to thicken. Spread roughly and generously over the top of each cupcake, and then dust sparingly with cocoa, by pressing a little through a tea strainer, so that they look like little cups of chocolate-dusted cappuccino.