My phone's been ringing off the hook this week. Every meeting I have, it rattles away, practically screaming to my colleagues "Meeting's over! Emma's got shit to do!" Emails, text messages and calls non-stop. It's a pity 90% of them weren't for me.
Some dude called Moses has been handing out my number to his pals at Uni. "Hey Moses, do you have notes from class today?" Or "Moses, it's Gary from bible studies. Do you want to get lunch sometime?" Fighting my every urge to mess with these innocent souls, I politely asked them to let Moses know he had the wrong number. Thou shalt not annoy Emma with your boring messages, bitches.
So on the surface, it would appear that this week, I've been quite the popular lady. While most of my messages weren't strictly intended for me, I did do something that would increase my popularity in the office. I've baked on more than one occasion and each time, the treat has been well received. Funny that: people go nutso over baked goods.
We had the chocolate and salted caramel cupcakes Monday, and to add insult the buttery injury, I whipped up these babies on the same day. I figure if I'm going to get the team to indulge, we may as well go the full banana/mandarine.
You'll notice these two recipes go a little further than your average cupcake. Anyone can whip up a batter and flavour some icing. We all know how to ram a tiny teddy or a jaffa on top. But sometimes it's nice to have a new trick up your floury sleeve to impress your pals. Like a citrus curd. Oh yeah.
You've had lemon curd right? Smothered on a scone or some plain old white bread. Pretty sweet and tart and we all know how I love a sweet tart, amiright fellas? Mix it up with mandarine instead of lemon and you're onto a winner.
Mandarine is not quite as tart as lemon, so a single raspberry on top upped those stakes to an appropriate level. Topped off with a rich, buttery icing and this cupcake was a refreshing (albeit indulgent) treat for all to enjoy. Well, the 12 lucky sods who got in first.
1 1/3 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a baking tray with cupcake wrappers.
In an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. With the mixer going, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time until it is all incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between additions.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add half to the butter and mix on low until just incorporated. Add some milk and vanilla, then the remaining flour and finally the last of the milk, mixing between each addition.
Spoon the batter into the cake wrappers until around 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a skewer leaves the cake clean. Leave to cool on the tray until ready for assembly.
3 1/2 cups pure icing sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
In an electric mixer, cream butter for around 5 minutes until light and creamy. Add half of the sifted icing sugar and the milk and beat for a further 3 minutes or until all the lumps have disappeared. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat for 2 minutes, whisking in the vanilla in the last stages.
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp mandarine peel, finely grated
50ml mandarine juice
Whisk together the yolks and sugar until combined. Pour into a saucepan along with the butter, peel and juice. Over low heat, stir continuously until the curd has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Chill until ready to use.
Using a melon baller, scoop a hole out of the top of the cupcake. Fill the cupcake hole with the mandarine curd. Fill a piping bag with the vanilla buttercream and pipe on top of the cupcake. Top with a raspberry and serve.