I've been pretty busy of late, as demonstrated by the fact I didn't manage to post anything at the weekend. Somehow, from the start of November I have managed to fill every weekend up until Christmas. So, what have I been doing?
On the first weekend in November, I took a trip to London to meet a friend for a bit of a foodie day. He took me to a bakery near Waterloo station before we dove into Borough Market. I have to say I was very impressed with it all; the food was very cheap for London, and also very tasty. I walked away with an Argentinian pastry filled with dulce de leche (a 'vigilante'), a slice of caramel apple pie and some vegetable pad thai. Yum yum.
Next weekend consisted of a double whammy of nights out (something I didn't even do in my university days). I tried a night out in Luton with an old friend, but wasn't really impressed. The bar we went to was a pub with a dance floor at the back, was full of middle aged people (apologies, middle aged people) and the DJ refused to play anything but lyricless house music. The next night was much more successful: a night out with some girls from work in Peterborough, where we went to a club that consisted of many clubs. Each room had a different theme, so there was something for everyone.
For three days I had a lovely visit from my dad. We explored the local area and found out a bit more about our family's history. Our ancestors were apparently Scots, captured in the battle of Dunbar and marched down through England to Ely. They were forced to dig out the Fens, which are kept from returning to their former swampy glory through irrigation. Unfortunately my ancestors' efforts were for nothing, though, as the Fens flooded twice more before the flood waters were banished for good by steam pumps in the 20th century.
The end of November brought Tequila Night. I had previously bonded with some of the girls at work over a love of tequila, so we celebrated this love with an evening of tequila sunrises, fajitas and shots. We ended the night with the best club my little town has to offer, though I have to say it was better than my night out in Luton.
Last weekend, two school friends (one of which is the one who lives in Luton) came up for the day and we had a gander round Cambridge, stocking up on Christmas gifts, before going back to my house, mulling wine and watching a couple of girly films. The next day I valiantly did some overtime at work, but in all honesty I wasn't terribly fussed because I knew I only had to work the first two days of this week before having the rest of the week off so that I could go and visit my gran near Liverpool.
This brings us up to date! You now may have some idea why things have been a little hectic round here. However, despite all this business, I found time to bake Mulled Wine Cupcakes before work on Monday, and decorated them last night.
I am really happy with these cupcakes. They're quite fudgy because there's more sugar in there than normal, and the colour from the mulled wine gives a nice christmas feel. I topped the cupcakes with Cinnamon White Chocolate Cloud Icing, adapted from Sweetapolita, and threw some white sprinkles on top. In truth I wanted red, but didn't really want to spend hours fishing through my multicoloured sprinkles.
You can use home made or pre-bottled mulled wine for this cake. I'd recommend letting the mulled wine cool before adding it to the batter, though.
For the cupcakes
- 200g Butter
- 200g Dark Muscovado Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 150g Plain Flour
- 2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 100 mL Mulled Wine
For the Cinnamon White Chocolate Icing
- 125g White Chocolate
- 230g Butter
- 190g Icing Sugar
- 2 Tsp Cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C and line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the batter, then fold in until well combined.
- Fold in the mulled wine, ensuring that the batter has a soft dropping consistency (if not, you can add a bit more).
- Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 22 minutes. The cake will slightly stick to the skewer, but the batter should no longer be liquid-like.
- To make the icing, whisk the butter and icing sugar together until soft and well combined, then whisk for a further minute.
- Melt the chocolate, then whisk it into the buttercream until combined, then whisk for another two minutes.
- Finally, whisk in the cinnamon.
- When the cupcakes are cool, pipe the icing onto the cupcakes and decorate as desired.