happy birthday to me!
18 May 2007
(or, it wouldn’t be a craft blog without patty* cakes)
It’s my birthday and by golly, I deserve CAKE! Little fresh patty cakes, sweet vanilla sponge with sharp lemon icing or passionfruit curd and cream.
Here they are fresh out of the oven. That’s the passionfruit curd in the bowl.
I couldn’t decide between icing or butterfly cakes, so I made both. Because it’s my birthday and it’s all about me today.
These ones have lemon icing and silver cachous.
These ones are butterfly cakes with cream and passionfruit curd.
I’d forgotten till today how much I loved patty cakes when I was a kid. At my first primary school, there was a fundraising event called Patty Cake Day; when everyone’s mothers made patty cakes, and the kids bought them for 20c each at morning recess. I liked it so much, that when I had bad dreams, my mum tricked me back to sleep by telling me to chant ‘patty-cake-day-patty-cake-day-patty-cake-day’ to myself.
*that’s a tiny salvo in the culture wars. In this country, they’re called patty cakes, NOT cupcakes.
Patty Cakes (based on my grandmother’s recipe). Makes 12.
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 150C
Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
Sift in the flour and baking powder, and mix well.
Spoon into patty pans and bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are nicely pale brown and a skewer comes out clean.
Icing (for 12)
Put half a cup of icing sugar in a small bowl. Mix in 1 tsp of lemon juice with a knife, and mix until completely combined. Add another 1 tsp of lemon juice, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition, and stopping when you have a stiff paste. I know this sounds fiddly, but you don’t want drizzly icing for cupcakes, and it can turn very liquid very quickly. You can add more sugar to stiffen it up, but this can be a catch-22 that leaves you with three cups of unusable icing.
Passionfruit curd (also from my grandmother)
Pulp from about 4 passionfruit (this will vary seasonally, but you want about 1/4 cup of pulp. You can sieve it to get the seeds out but I don’t usually bother).
2 tbsp of lemon juice
Put everything in a heatproof bowl. Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (I sit it on the steamer rack), and stir with a hand whisk until thickened (about 15 minutes) – it should coat the back of a spoon. Resist the temptation to turn the heat up and make the water boil – the curd will split and you will get egg lumps in passionfruit juice.