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Rainbow Party Cakes

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I have been experimenting with flavour essences for cupcakes as well as food colours, creating some pretty heady colours as well as flavours! I have created these for various young tasters but older tasters seem to like them too!

Raspberry, passionfruit and lime are flavourful and vibrant. The raspberry cakes are the most successful, I think. The lime cakes taste a little artificial.

The recipe is Nigella’s standard cupcake recipe, which I use a lot, as it’s an “everything in the food processor” recipe. The frosting is buttercream. Adding flavoured fondant creme is not strictly necessary, but adds more depth.

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Ingredients

Cupcakes

125g self-raising flour

125g caster sugar

125g butter

2 large free-range eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tblsp milk

A couple of drops of red, yellow or green food colouring

Buttercream Icing

125g butter, softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

A couple of drops of raspberry, passionfruit or lime essence

A couple of drops of red, yellow or green food colouring

 

Method

Cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.

Put all the ingredients except the milk and food colouring in a food processor and blitz till smooth. Add the milk while pulsing to make a soft, dropping consistency.

Divide the mixture into 3 bowls and beat in food colouring to each bowl.

Spoon mixture into the cases, filling the cases equally.

Place the tin in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top.

Take the cup cakes in their cases out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Ice with the buttercream icing.

Buttercream Icing

In the food processor, cream together the butter and icing sugar until light an fluffy, then add flavour essence, food colour and fondant if using, whizzing continuously.

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Chocolate and Raspberry Vacherin 

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I  love meringue  – making it and eating it of course. I cook all versions of egg white and sugar creations from pavlovas to vacherins, dacquoises and plain old meringues.

A vacherin is two discs of meringue sandwiched together with cream and a yummy filling. Chocolate flavoured meringue and cream and raspberries go so well together.

INGREDIENTS

4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
a few drops of vanilla essence
1/4 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 heaped tbs cocoa or to taste
100gms dark chocolate
250mls cream, whipped
300gms frozen raspberries
1 tbs icing sugar

METHOD

Defrost raspberries with icing sugar.
Drain off excess liquid.
Blitz chocolate in food processor until the consistency of breadcrumbs.

Preheat oven to 150degrees C (non fan forced).
Place a sheet of baking paper on each of 2 baking trays.
Roughly mark out a circle on each  – about the diameter of a dinner plate.
Spray lightly with non-stick spray.

Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff.
Gradually beat in sugar, continue beating until very stiff.
Stir in vanilla and vinegar, then stir in cocoa and chopped chocolate.
Spoon onto paper circles.
Place baking trays in centre of oven.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Turn oven off, leave in oven with door ajar for further hour.

When meringues are completely cool, carefully remove from baking paper.
Place 1 meringue with flat side facing up on a plate.
Spoon cream onto meringue, then raspberries.
Place second meringue on top, flat side down.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Decorate with chocolate shavings or fresh berries as desired.

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