05 June 2014 by

How To Make Cool Cupcakes by Jamie Oliver's Protégé, Jemma Wilson

So what does Jemma Wilson, aka Cupcake Jemma, think about being chosen as one of Jamie Oliver’s up-and-coming stars of his Food Tube?

‘I feel so privileged!’ she says. ‘I met Jamie years ago at a market I was selling my cupcakes in and I was blown away he remembered me.’ And now there’s another reason to pinch herself as her first cookbook, Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube: The Cake Book (Penguin, £7.99), is out today. “I can’t believe it, and my family is so excited, in particular my sister is on a ‘one woman mission to tell the world about it!”

And we can see why, because this is no ordinary (or over-complicated) baking book. Jemma’s style is all about fun, simple cakes with a difference.

‘It all started after I left my job not knowing what I really wanted to do. All I knew was that I wanted to bake stuff!’ Seven years on, with a successful baking business Crumbs and Doilies now under her belt, that ‘stuff’ includes delicious Earl Grey Breakfast Cupcakes, Mojito Cupcakes and Cinnamon Toast Cupcakes. And not forgetting the mother-of-all chocolate cakes, aptly named the Ridiculous Chocolate Cake, a five-layered cocoa extravaganza with salted caramel and pretzels.

“I really like to push people’s flavour expectations, reinvent cupcakes – and recreate some of my early food memories. My Cinnamon Toast cupcakes have real toast in them and were inspired by my best friend Amy at primary school. She had American cousins and was always coming back with cool American food like cinnamon toast cereal.’

So what does Jemma advise baking disaster zones (aka Grazia Daily)? ‘Follow the recipe instructions to the letter. And do a Delia! Weigh all your ingredients out before you start and put them into little bowls. Baking is a chemical process. If the recipe says ‘mix for one minute’, but then you stop for ten minutes to go find some flour, that’s where things start to go wrong.’

JEMMA’S TWO CUPCAKE RECIPES

Earl Grey breakfast cupcakes

This cupcake reminds me of my grandma Mabel’s quintessentially English breakfasts in Wallasey (minus the Cheshire cheese, which I always thought was a little odd).

Makes 24

For the cupcakes

3 slices of brown bread

250g unsalted butter, plus extra for spreading, softened

250g self-raising flour

250g caster sugar

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

4 large free-range eggs

½ x 450g jar of fine-cut marmalade

For the Earl Grey infused milk

200ml whole milk

2 heaped tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves

 

For the buttercream icing

300g unsalted butter, softened

675g icing sugar

 

You need

2 x 12-hole muffin trays, with snug-fitting paper cases

1 x piping bag (with 5mm nozzle)

 

Preheat the oven to 170°C fan/375°F/gas 5. Start by making the Earl Grey infused milk: place the milk and tea leaves in a small pan over a medium heat. Bring the milk almost to the boil – keep a close eye on it – then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for around 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to cool completely, then strain through a sieve.

Toast the bread until slightly burnt, then butter both sides and bake in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until crisp enough to snap. Remove and leave to cool, then whiz in a food processor or grate with a box grater and set aside. Sift the remaining dry cupcake ingredients into a large bowl, add the butter and eggs, then beat for 60 seconds with an electric mixer (I prefer the free-standing type). Add 3 tablespoons of Earl Grey infused milk and whisk for 20 seconds, or until well combined.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then give the mix a final blast for 30 seconds to make sure it’s all incorporated. Fill the paper cases two-thirds full with mixture, but don’t bother to smooth it out. Bake for 20 minutes, or until they spring back when touched. Leave to cool, transferring to a wire cooling rack after 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat the butter with an electric mixer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until pale and smooth. Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl, then add to the butter in two stages, beating well between each. Gradually add 6 tablespoons of Earl Grey infused milk and beat for a further 3 to 5 minutes, or until well combined. Once the cupcakes are cool, poke a hole into the middle of each with a chopstick, twist to widen the hole, then use a piping bag to fill each one with a little marmalade. Decorate with the icing, sprinkle over the buttered toast crumbs and serve.

 

Mojito Cupcakes

 

 

Makes 24

For the cupcakes

250g self-raising flour

250g caster sugar

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

zest from 3 unwaxed limes and 1½ tablespoons lime juice

275g unsalted butter, softened

4 large free-range eggs

24 crystallized mint leaves (see tip below)

 

For the mint infused milk

200ml whole milk

2 heaped tablespoons fresh mint leaves

 

For the buttercream icing

300g unsalted butter, softened

675g icing sugar

3 tablespoons dark rum

 

You need

2 x 12-hole muffin trays, with snug-fitting paper cases

Preheat the oven to 170°C fan/375°F/gas 5. Start by making the mint infused milk: place the milk and mint leaves in a small pan over a medium heat. Bring the milk almost to the boil – keep a close eye on it – then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for around 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to cool completely, then strain through a sieve.

Sift the dry cupcake ingredients into a large bowl (apart from the mint leaves), add the lime zest and juice, butter and eggs, then beat for 60 seconds with an electric mixer (I prefer the free-standing type). Add 1½ tablespoons of mint infused milk and beat for 20 seconds, or until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then give the mix a final blast for 30 seconds to make sure it’s all incorporated. Fill the paper cases two-thirds full with mixture, but don’t bother to smooth it out. Bake for 20 minutes, or until they spring back when touched. Leave to cool, transferring to a wire cooling rack after 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat the butter with an electric mixer for 4 to 5 minutes, or until pale and smooth. Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl, then add to the butter in two stages, beating well between each. Gradually add the rum and 2 tablespoons of mint infused milk and beat for a further 3 to 5 minutes, or until well combined. Once the cupcakes are cool, decorate them with the icing and top each with a crystallized mint leaf – these taste like summer holidays!

TIP: If you can’t find crystallized mint leaves, make them yourself. Brush some fresh mint leaves with whisked, frothy egg white, then coat in caster sugar and leave to dry overnight.

 

Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube: The Cake Book by Cupcake Jemma (Penguin, £7.99)


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