(Gluten-Free) Passion Fruit Curd filled Cupcakes with a Meringue Topping

I’m a fan of baking cupcakes. I actually prefer baking them to eating them, which is a bit weird. Oh well.

It feels like weeks ago now, but last weekend a whipped up some vanilla cupcakes, filled them with some yummy passion fruit curd that we bought from a National Trust site over the summer and topped them with some meringue.

It is a dead simple recipe, nothing too fancy, so give them a go. You can use any curd you fancy, lemon would be so nice, mmmm.

Makes 12
Ingredients:
(For zee coopcakes)
110g/4oz caster sugar
110g/4oz butter
110g/4oz (gluten free) self raising flour
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
1tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
(About a quarter of a teaspoon of xanthan gum if you are using gluten free flour. Not integral but it does help.)

1. Oven on. Get it all warm so the cupcakes are nice and cosy later. Gas Mark 4.

2. Sugar. Butter. Mix mix mix. Get it nice and pale, and well combined.

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3. Eggs. Plop. Beat them into the mix like a crazy person. You could even put that vanilla extract in as well. I’m not forcing you to, but it would be a bit weird if you didn’t considering you’re following this recipe. Just saying.

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4. Sieve your flour and xanthan gum into your mix. Then fold them into the mix nicely. Don’t be nasty. Caress the flour with your big metal spoon. Wow. Nope, too far, sorry.

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5. Whack in some milk. Just makes it a nicer consistency for putting it into your cases.

6. Put them in some nice cases. Or ugly ones, they’ll still taste the same.

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Kay, cool. Let them bake then. Go on. Stop fussing, they’re fine.

They only take about 10-15 minutes WHICH IS AMAZING because in the space of like 30 minutes you can have cupcakes and that is fab. You could start making some meringue is you wanted. And you could do some tidying. But I don’t know, you might have a cleaner or a dishwasher. I don’t have either of those things. Life is so hard.

Meringue recipe. I don’t remember what I did to be honest. I think I just did:
2 egg whites
200g caster sugar

Let’s go with that.

7. All you do is whisk the eggs until they form stiff peaks. Which is baking terms for it goes proper thick and stuff.

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8. Then add your sugar bit by bit. Don’t add it all at once, just take your time. Keep whisking for about 2-3 minutes. Don’t eat it all before you even put it on the cakes, I know it is tempting.

Leave your meringue, and go and take pictures of your dog.

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9. Once you’ve done that (it is integral to the recipe I swear) check those cakes. Are they baked? Stick a skewer and see.  Is it dry when you take it out? Woooo. They are done. Let them cool on a wire rack, and make sure they are completely cool before doing anything else.

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10. Once they have cooled, make a little cone in the centre of the cake and take it out to make a hole. That makes no sense. Just have a look at the pictures.

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11. Fill them with your curd! You can stick the tops back on keep them off, up to you.

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12. Time to use that meringue. If you have one, get a piping bag and fill your piping bag up with meringue. Make sure to fold your piping bag so that your only filling half the bag and not getting into a sticky mess.

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13. Pipe your meringue onto your cakes (if you aren’t piping, just spoon it on). I also used a round nozzle because I’m a fancy pants.

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14. I didn’t have a torchy thing so I just stuck my cakes under the grill for a bit to brown them. I kept leaving it too long so some are a little… Darker… They tasted finnneeee.

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And that’s it!!

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If you read my recipes expecting a cohesive structure… I’m sorry.

All you need to know.

Sooooooo…

I have plenty of excuses as to why I haven’t blogged in almost two weeks.

One is that fact I wrote this blog post about some passionfruit curd filled, meringue topped cupcakes I made, and then something went wrong and I lost the whole post and it went up blank, and I was very annoyed. So I didn’t blog.

Another is that I had a weekend of being down in the dumps last weekend and I really didn’t want to do another ‘woe is me’, especially as I don’t feel that is a very accurate representation of myself, considering I’m generally quite happy and positive at the moment. So I didn’t blog.

The third is the fact is I’ve been very busy, and with that comes being fairly shattered and also a little overwhelmed as I didn’t know where to start on the blogging front. So I didn’t blog.

The last; I’m a bit lazy and I didn’t want to force out blog post when I really didn’t feel like writing one, and so I didn’t. Perhaps that means I’ve been a little unmotivated, but whilst I’ve been unmotivated on the writing front, I’ve been extremely motivated in other aspects of my life.

I still don’t know where to begin particularly. I’ve done lots recently. I went food tasting in Liverpool at a Jamie Oliver Restaurant, I got paid for the first time, I bought lots of train tickets, I bought lots of books, I bought lots clothes and shoes, I bought lots of body shop stuff… (I’ve never had this amount of money to spend before, don’t know if you can tell?)…

Book wise I’ve only actually bought two, and got another 7 for free at a free bookshop we have. You just put a donation if you can, it is really fab. I also got this gorgeous book that wasn’t really a book out of pure luck. I was looking in the foreign language books for something French but saw this Russian book sticking out so had a look what it was. It was in fact a load of post card style pictures of Moscow, it is wonderful. I might do a post on it more in depth one day once I have translated some of the Russian and had a proper look at the all.

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Isn't this cover gorgeous? I have read Eleanor and Park, and it was a nice easy read, so I thought I would buy another Rainbow Rowell.

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Reading this at the moment, it is great. Wordy, of course, but I like it so far.

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One of my favourite authors.

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For obvious reasons.

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Well, I couldn't resist.

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Woohoo, free copy!

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Why not?

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Thought it looked charming 🙂

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Is it a book?

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Wait, what?

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LOOK!

So yeah, books. Can’t help myself. I’m also reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover right now. Make of that what you will. (Like I say, I love D.H. It’s purely innocent even if he isn’t…).

Other than spending all my money I have been keeping fairly busy. Work has got crazily busy all of a sudden which is exactly how I like it, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have time for a bit of fun. Last Thursday I got roped into a very hilarious bowling might with my workmates. I was a bit nervous as I’m a fair bit younger than my colleagues, but they were all lovely and we had a great laugh, even if it was mainly at my awful bowling skills. Exaggeration? Sadly not. I scored 28. The second lowest score was 49, and the highest was over 100. So that gives you a bit of a picture of quite how poor I am. But I wasn’t wearing my glasses so it was definitely just that. Definitely.

I’ve also seen some lovely friends, and had a pizza night with two of my best friends who were my best friends all the way through high school. We had a good old reminisce and laughed at some hilarious photos of our younger selves. Definitely hold onto those friends who you have tonnes of memories with, nothing beats when you meet up and get a bit nostalgic.

My best friend was also back for the weekend from uni and we went for coffee and had a good old natter and a hug. To be fair though, she has only been gone a month and we both agreed it didn’t feel like she’d been gone that long at all in some ways. We’ve gone longer without seeing each other, such as last summer (I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned I got Scarlett fever over the summer…) so it was just like normal. Which was weird. Paradox.

So that’ll do. I will be posting much more I think this week, and apologise for slightly disappearing. Have a selfie of me being confused about my recent goth phase (it happens every Autumn).

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I wear so much black that you can't even see it in the photo.

Gluten (Flour) Free Orange and Almond Cake

I love a bit of cake. I love baking them too. Saturday afternoon I decided I would make a completely flourless cake, using ground almonds as a substitute. I had two oranges, so orange and almond cake it was!

Orange and Almond Cake
What you’ll need:
2 Oranges
5 Eggs, separated
200g Caster Sugar
225g Ground Almonds
Flaked Almonds to top
Icing Sugar to dust

1. Get your two lovely oranges, give them a wash and cut them up roughly with the skins still on. Remove all the pips.

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2. Plonk them in a small pan, and put some water in. Some recipes say add a little water, but I’d say fill it up quite a bit so the oranges don’t burn. Let that simmer for around 30 minutes, or until the excess liquid has evaporated.

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3. You separated your eggs? What do mean not yet? Get on with it! Whilst you’re at stick your oven onto gas mark 4.

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5. If you’re oranges are nice and soft, and they look ready then take them off the heat, let them cool, then chop them finely. If you can put them in a food chopper or food processor and blitz them almost into a purée, even better.

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6. Leave your oranges to fully cool, we don’t want scrambled eggs. Next up is whisking that egg white until it forms stiff peaks. I did this by hand because I’m crazy and my arm felt like it would fall off slightly, but feel free to use an electric mixer or whisk.

7. Then add half of your sugar (100g) into you egg white, and whisk that in. Keep whisking for 3-4 minutes.

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8. Get those egg yolks and the rest of your sugar, and whisk them into a think, pale mixture.

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9. If your orange is cool put it into the mix, then add the ground almonds and mix them in too.

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10. Then add 3 tablespoons of your egg white, and mix it in to loosen the mixture. Then add the rest in and fold gently.

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11. Put it in a tin. I don’t know how big. Whatever you think. Make sure you grease it or use baking parchment. Scatter on some flaked almonds and stick it in the oven for 50-55 minutes.

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12. After 20 minutes check your lovely cake. Ask it how it is doing. If it says “ooh I’m tanning quite quickly actually” and it seems to be getting that lovely brown glow all cakes long for fairly quickly, place some tin foil over it. Don’t want to over tan, it’s not a good look.

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13. 30 minutes later, see how it is doing. Stick a skewer in the middle and if it comes out dry, your cake is done. Woohoo! Turn off your oven because I forget to do that sometimes and get told off, and keep it in the tin for a good 10-15 minutes. Then turn out your cake.

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14. Once it has cooled down fully, dust with icing sugar… And that’s it! Eat that cake!

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Adapted from this recipe: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/2758/spanish-orange-and-almond-cake.aspx 🙂

Happy baking!!