When I started playing around with the idea of doing recipes I was determined that it wasn’t just going to be full of cake photos. No offence to all those bloggers whose sites are populated by cake, but most of the time I’m pretty incapable of making my cakes look as good as they taste. However, it’s National Cupcake Week so I wanted to share a cake recipe…mainly because the photos turned out alright, but also because it’s simple and kinda classy – in that it’s inspired by a cocktail.
The French Martini sounds fancier than it is, in reality it’s a pretty simple drink; three ingredients, shaken with ice and strained into a martini glass. It was designed in the 1980s, during the revival of cocktail culture – I highly recommend watching the gloriously trashy movie Cocktail starring Tom Cruise for some historical background. Be warned there’s a hell of a lot of flaring bottles and other such nonsense, but don’t let that put you off.
Anyway French Martini cupcakes. A while ago, I went through a phase of baking a load of alcohol-inspired cakes…because everyone needs a hobby right? The French Martini’s three ingredients of vodka, raspberry liqueur and pineapple juice were pretty simple to recreate into a cake because you get rid of one of the ingredients straight away. Light spirits are tricky to bake with and tend to be overtaken by other flavours, so basic sponge cake takes its place. Pineapple jam filling is best; pineapple sponge would be too much and lets try and keep our cake balanced, okay team? Finally raspberry liqueur is added to the buttercream icing to give it a pinkish colour, like the drink. And sprinkles, because this drink was created during the glitzy 80s. And there you have it, French Martini cupcakes.
- 110g butter or margarine
- 110g caster sugar
- 2 eggs, free-range
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 110g self-raising flour
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Pineapple jam
- 140g butter, softened
- 280g icing sugar
- Raspberry liqueur
- Sprinkles to decorate
- Pre-heat the oven to to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a muffin tin with pink paper cases
- Cream together the butter/margarine and sugar in a large bowl.
- Lightly beat the eggs together in a smaller bowl and then mix into the butter and sugar mixture until it's all combined.
- Add in the vanilla extract and milk.
- Sieve the flour and fold into the batter.
- Divide into the cupcake cakes and bake in the oven until the tops are springy and you can insert a fork and it comes out clean.
- Leave to cool.
- Once the cakes are cool,cut a small hole about the size of a 5p piece in the centre of the top of the cake - be careful not to go through the entire cake, and keep the top layer of the hole so you can reseal the cake (so it works like a lid).
- Spoon in a small amount of pineapple jam into the hole and add the cake-lid back on.
- Make the icing by combining the butter and icing sugar and slowly adding a little raspberry liqueur. Be careful not to add too much as you don't want it getting sticky or not being able to stay in shape.
- Fill an icing bag and pipe the icing onto the cupcakes or spoon on.
- Add sprinkles.