Don’t try this at home…..without an electric whisk!

My new team at work is made up of a group of really friendly, supportive people who have made me feel very welcome and last Monday at our charity bake sale I also learned that it is made up of some very talented bakers! We held a bake sale as part of a company wide charity week and raised £173 for Alzheimer’s charity. There was a lovely spread ranging from cookies, brownies, muffins and cakes – it’s an understatement to say I felt a bit sick at the end of the day after eating so much.
My contribution to the sale came in the form of Chocolate Orange cupcakes and Raspberry Trifle cupcakes – both from the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book. I think they went down well but I was a bit stingy with the portion size on the trifle cupcakes and so they were pretty teeny compared to the others (this may have been because our electric whisk broke half way through and so maybe I didn’t mix the cake batter enough to rise properly as I was very tired from a late night out in Hackney the night before and Elix’s hand got tired after a few minutes with the hand whisk- we will know for next time!)
The cake mixture for both was a basic chocolate sponge with orange zest and a vanilla sponge for the trifle cake. The new (and because im a geek it was also the exciting) part for me was making the custard frosting for the trifle cupcake topping as I haven’t made custard before so i thought I would share that part of the recipe (it received a few compliments at work too!)
Ingredients (12-16 cakes)
500ml whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
5 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
30g plain flour
30g corn flour
200ml double cream
To make the custard I poured the milk and vanilla essence into a saucepan and brought to the boil. As the mixture is warming up I mixed the egg yolks, sugar, flours (sift first to avoid lumps) to form a paste and add some hot milk mixture if necessary. I mixed 5 tbps of the milk mixture with the paste and then gradually added the rest and returned to a gentle heat whisking constantly until boiling again. We did this with a hand whisk (because of the prior whisking disaster we had encountered) so the mix had a few tiny lumps which I had to pass through a sieve to smooth it out and achieve a silky, goopy (and I use that word in the most loving, affectionate way!) custard. This process made me feel really sick but it was worth it! Once the mix had cooled it was ready to pipe onto the cakes and it tasted exactly like the thick custard you get in those yummy Krispy Kreme doughnuts 😜 or the custard in those delicious Portuguese custard tarts (my Holiday roomie Rach told me these are called Pasteis de nata – Rach if you read this please can you send me an authentic Portuguese recipe for these because when I tried Jamie Oliver’s version once they weren’t as nice – thanks love!)




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