Now that Little R is 4 it is so much easier for me to get a run at making things and with all this rainy weather, cooking and baking in the warm kitchen with Radio 4 in the background is becoming quite addictive. This is the second time I have made these fairy cakes and I plan to make them again tomorrow to take along to my sister's house as she is hosting a joint Pampered Chef/Jamie Oliver cookware party (she is an inveterate multi-tasker) and is expecting a crowd.
The recipe is from this month's Country Homes and Interiors, which I bought by mistake thinking it was Country Living. That will teach me to pay attention as at £3 plus each I can't now justify buying Country Living this month. Oh it's hard being a country mouse.
The recipe is very easy if you have an electric beater. You put 150g of softened lightly salted butter (I used unsalted), 150g caster sugar, 175g self raising flour, 3 medium eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract and the zest of an unwaxed lemon into a bowl and beat it all up until smooth. Then spoon into paper cases and bake at 180deg (fan) for 20 mins. I found less than 15 minutes was enough. I misread the recipe and added 3 tbsps of lemon juice to the batter when it was meant to go into the icing sugar for the icing at the end but the cakes were really nice with it so I will keep it that way for the future. The lemon icing is 150g icing sugar plus enough lemon juice to make the right consistency. I found that was too much icing as the recipe only made 12 cakes but perhaps I should have spun out the mixture to make 16 cakes as they rose high in the oven and now look like mini iced volcanoes.
I see the photos are in the wrong order again. Next time I will upload in reverse order and hope that works.
The first photo (which obviously should be the last one in the sequence) shows the best bit of the afternoon's activities and my current obsession - hot soapy water with fairy liquid and lots of cloths, sponges and dishwashing brushes. I have stacks of folded knitted cloths. The next exciting instalment of a country mouse writes may even reveal them to the public gaze....