Today is a bit of a different blog, and I hope no one minds me going off book a bit.
The first thing that’s different is that this week, I won’t be adding a recipe. I will talk through what I have made, but they haven’t quite turned out right, so I don’t feel ready to share a recipe at this time. I will hopefully revisit these in the future and get them right. But as I’m not really a recipe creator, I want to share everything I bake, not just the successes. These aren’t exactly a failure (they are at least edible!) but they’re also not the greatest thing I’ve ever made.
The other difference is that I am want to share a message. You may have seen in the media and online a story about a lovely little boy called Seth Lane, who is very ill with a disorder called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or SCID. I have been reading stories about Seth for over two years, as his Mom Leanne and I were both part of a Facebook group for brides of 2013 (in fact, we still are). The bravery that Seth and his parents have shown has touched the group for years. This Friday, the 27th, Seth is due to have his second bone marrow transplant, and Leanne and Nik started the hashtag #wearyellowforseth on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for people to show their support for Seth by wearing yellow on Friday and posting a picture. It has gone viral and people all over the world are sending in their pictures. Leanne is keeping a very moving blog here where you can read about Seth, his SCID, and just why wearing yellow is the way to go this Friday. I really recommend giving it a read – I don’t want to sound preachy, it’s just that their story is so inspirational, I can’t help but be totally moved by it every single day.
I myself will be wearing a yellow hair bobble, as I will be at work and unable to wear anything else yellow. However, I have made these cupcakes with a rather delicious, bright yellow, lemon icing, to show my support. The lemon buttercream is the best part of these cupcakes. I mixed two tablespoons of lemon curd into a half-batch of my regular buttercream and omitted the vanilla extract, and it is amazing. So light and smooth, sweet with a distinctive lemon tang, it really is like lemonade. I’m tempted to just lick it all off every cake.
The cakes are a raspberry and lemon sponge, and I think my downfall was that there was too much sugar in the mixture. I added 100g of fresh raspberries and 2 tablespoons of lemon curd to a standard plain cake mix, and the cakes turned out insanely soft and rather sticky. The top in particular was very sticky, almost like a toffee, and the inside was so soft that they are literally collapsing under the weight of the icing. I think in the future I will cut down the sugar, and also possibly add more flour to balance the extra liquid ingredients and give more stability to the structure.
Like I said before though, once you prise them out of their cases, they are edible, and a very definite raspberry lemonade flavour. It’s dead on, and I hope when I attempt them again (I think these would absolutely *rock* for a summer barbecue!) I can nail the flavour again.
So, this was an experiment that didn’t quite go as planned. But the main feature of these strange squishy cupcakes – the big bold yellow swirl of icing – will hopefully do the job I planned them for, and raise just a bit more awareness for SCID and other immune deficiencies like it. And hopefully it will help bring a smile to a little boy’s face this Friday.