I always said to my colleagues that I would bring in cupcakes, but I never had the time. Another reason for not taking cupcakes to work is that I couldn’t easily transport them. For Christmas, both Lucy and my brother got me cupcake carriers. I’ve yet to try the one from my brother, but the rectangular one from Lucy sort of worked (get it here and see the one from my brother here). It’s tricky to carry a tray of cupcakes, regardless of its design, on two buses plus walking. Most of them had tipped over but I manged to rescue them and they were still delicious.
It seems fitting that I managed to bring in treats during my last month at work — to show my colleagues how much I appreciated them and their craziness. Wednesday was my last day which was a bit sad, but mainly joyous. I gained a lot of skills and experience in publishing, but I am very much looking forward to a new start.
Thursday I started my new job and it was the most positive first day one could ask for! The only downside was the weather… It snowed all day and made for a slippery and chilly College tour. Unfortunately, I was snowed in on my second day. I would have rather gone in to get into the swing of things, but I did enjoy the bed day! I watched The Birdcage (old film with Robin Williams) and if you haven’t seen it, you should- it’s so funny. For the first time in a long time I feel happy, I feel positive, and I feel valued. It is a good mental place to be in.
Since most people in the UK are snowed in (and maybe elsewhere in the world?), perhaps you’d like to try making some chocolate cherry cupcakes? We’ve had this cherry jam sitting in the fridge for ages. It’s too sweet to have on toast, but it compliments the buttercream and balances out the bitter cocoa flavour of the sponge. Here’s the recipe! It’s my go-to chocolate sponge that I’ve used in my Christmas lights cupcakes.
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup boiling water
Line muffin tin and preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add egg, milk, oil, and vanilla and beat for 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the boiling water. This will make the batter thin.
Fill liners 2/3 full and bake 15-20 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.
Using a cupcake corer, or a large wide nozzle, remove the centre of each cupcake. I removed them and immediately popped them into my mouth… Then, using a piping bag with smaller nozzle, squirt a bit of jam into each cake.
Basic Buttercream: (for 12 cupcakes)
1/2 cup butter softened
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. milk
Beat the butter and add in the vanilla. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat; then add the milk. Add additional icing sugar as needed to make a creamy consistency.
I mixed some of the buttercream with jam to make it pink and then layered the piping bag to get a swirled effect. Also, pro tip: I used the same piping bag that I used for the jam so it already had a jam “residue”, which added to the swirled effect, plus saves plastic.
Pipe using a star-tip nozzle.
Sprinkle with edible glitter.