These heavenly to-go cupcakes come from one of my heavenly go-to recipe books, Cupcake Heaven by Susannah Blake. It’s a lovely tropical blend that’ll have you singing “You put the lime in the coconut…”
If you haven’t noticed, I was quite taken with British food fare as seen in my latest British Invasion series. This time, instead of taking the traditional afternoon tea scone and developing a cupcake recipe based on it, I decided to find a recipe for a straight-up scone. It’s super-easy and the only addition I made was that I added a tsp. of lemon zest into the dough. Added bonus: done without the use of my standing mixer. Sometimes a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon is all you need.
Surprise! This decadent dessert may have originated in England, not France… maybe, most likely, probably, I dunno. On my last day in London, the last meal of the journey took place at Dean Street Townhouse in Soho, where I capped it off with a Crème Brûlée (which appeared on the menu as “Trinity Vanilla Cream”). A symphony of rich creamy vanilla custard and crunchy toffee is just as sweet, no matter where it’s from. But for the sake of my “British Invasion” series, let’s say England.
Continuing my exploitation of traditional British desserts, here’s one that does not date back as far as Victorian times, but rather the 70s by two gents who seem to have been conducting their own Epic Meal Time experiments. Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of bananas unless they are mashed up and blended into a fluffy batter and baked… so that’s exactly how I incorporated the rich banana flavour into this cupcake. Adding a layer of dulce de leche on top allowing it to seep into the cake was just the icing under the icing on the cake.
The best way to learn about a culture is by eating it, I always say. It’s so easy to be inspired when you learn more about a culture’s food and its history. Paired with my love for culinary challenges and my fascination with the cupcake’s versatility, finding and creating a cupcake recipe inspired by another dessert was something that excited me for the duration of my recent trip to London.
While I enjoyed the sights of London with its history, architecture, parks, and people, I felt most at home at the Borough Market where I picked up a small jar of pure Madagascan vanilla powder, a pinch of which would transform a simple buttercream into an aromatic addition to any cake. I was, however, unsuccessful in finding the right jam for me at the Market (I went on one of its lesser volume days). Then I was introduced to Fortnum & Mason where a modest jar of strawberry preserves waited for me.
I used to be so intimidated by these bars. It was as though they were that unattainable crush in high school that you admired from afar but knew deep down that you would never have a shot at them. Well, it’s actually quite embarrassing how easy they are. And also… NO-BAKE!
This came about when I was searching for alternative cheesecake crusts. The cheesecake is light and fluffy and NO-BAKE, while the crust is basically made of macaroon. As an aside: Can you think of a lovelier smell to invade your home than toasted coconut? There’s probably a lot but that’s definitely one of them!
Allow me to breakdown the world’s most glorious chocolate bar(s). Take a buttery cookie, drench it in caramel, and then wrap that sucker in chocolate. Now permit me to translate that into a homemade bar recipe starting form the bottom and making our way to the top: we have shortbread, followed by a layer of caramel, and then topped with chocolate.
Tomorrow morning at a ghastly hour in our time zone, Team Canada will be going for gold in the Men’s Hockey final in Sochi. What better way to pump ourselves up than with a batch of Canadiana in the form of some delicious cupcakes? I present you with maple cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting topped with bacon and toffee bits.