Sunday, 18 September 2011

Fairy Cakes with Parma Violet Icing (Rainbow Recipes, Violet)

Well, this is it, we’ve reached the end of the rainbow, and in celebration I’ve ditched the health quest and gone for a yummy treat, and I’m pretty confident it will meet with Oscar’s approval.

These are the cutest little cakes ever and give me amazing flashbacks of my childhood because my Mum always used to make masses of them for our birthday parties.  We absolutely loved them; I remember the ‘Ooooooh’ chorus when they appeared on the table and how quickly they would all vanish.  The fun began before the party though with the greatest of all childhood gastronomic experiences....licking the cake mixture bowl! 
Let’s face it, these are not healthy but I don’t feel bad because they are only tiny and, as I well know, will never fail to put a big smile on a little face.

To make them appropriately violet, and for a little more nostalgia, I have crushed parma violet sweets into the icing, you can make them any flavour you like though, try a few drops of vanilla or add some cocoa powder for little chocolate lovers. 

This will make at least 20 fairy cakes

For the cakes -
110g self-raising flour
110g butter (at room temperature)
110g caster sugar
2 eggs

You will also need tiny cupcake cases

Heat the oven to 180°C

1. Mix together all the cake ingredients in a bowl until they soft and creamy then put a small amount into each cake case, filling it just over half way. 

2. Put the cakes on a baking tray and into the oven for about 10 minutes.  They should be golden brown, and springy when you touch them.

3. Let the cakes cool, ideally on a wire rack, before icing them.

For the icing –
1 pack (250g) butter (at room temperature)
300g (approximately) icing sugar
4 packs parma violets

This will make quite a lot of icing, probably too much (if that’s possible when it comes to icing) but I wanted to make the cakes look really special.  The quantity of icing sugar is just a guideline because I never measure it when I make it, just keep tasting it until it’s nice and sweet.

1. Crush up the parma violets in a pestle and mortar if you have one but if not just use a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin. 

2. Put the butter in a bowl, add the crushed parma violets and mix well as you sift in the icing sugar.  Keep adding icing sugar until your arm can’t take any more!

3. Ice your cakes and decorate.

Did Oscar eat his cake? Of course he did, although not as quickly as I would have imagined.  He stared at it for a while, then spent some time prodding the icing before finally deciding that it probably was edible and taking a bite.  The rest then went in one mouthful!  Oscar’s score – 5/5.

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