On Tuesday afternoon I got the most exciting news ever…well “exciting” in my books anyway! Mummy said that I could bake anything I wanted, to serve for afternoon tea, for our annual Grand National lunch on Saturday. Every year we invite a bunch of friends and family to watch the much anticipated Grand National race. For those of you who may not know what the Grand National is, it is an annual horserace held at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool where 40 horses battle it out to win a 32 jump steeplechase. It gets pretty competitive!
So, later on, on Tuesday evening, I found myself franticly flicking through piles of recipe books from Mary Berry to John Whaite and writing lists of possible cakes. (I’m going to be honest. I went with cakes, not biscuits or anything else, because that was what I felt like eating the most! But, of course, I would have been perfectly fine with anything else…as long as it had a high sugar content!) After going through my lists and making decisions that were like a mother trying to choose her favourite child (impossible) I went with this recipe from Sorted Food’s website. I thought this would be nice and light but still super tasty as I knew that everyone would be feeling stuffed after lunch. Everyone in my house knows that “Grand National lunch = A LOT of food!”
When thinking about when to bake the cakes, I decided that baking on Friday night, after a full day of revision, would be the perfect reward for sitting through several hours of learning about things ranging from the menstrual cycle to how rocks move along a coastline. I know. Feel bad for me.
These cakes looked very impressive when I was watching the video of the Sorted guys making them. thought I was giving myself a challenge when I decided to make them, as they sounded quite tricky for an amateur baker like me. But like most of Sorted’s recipes they were fun and easy to make, you just have to take it step by step!
First, the body of the sweet treat, the cake. It was just a case of following the recipe, adding things to other things and mixing it all together. I didn’t find this very hard as I was in my own little world of heaven, with the warm scent of cinnamon wafting around the house. And for all my fellow spoon/bowl lickers, it’s the best tasting cake batter ever and your fingers will constantly find themselves inside that mixing bowl and in your mouth as you tell yourself you’re “tasting it for a functional purpose.”
After your cakes have gone in the oven, you need to peel and chop your cooking apples up into chunks (I know its automatic, when cooking, to pop some of the ingredients into your mouth as you chop them, but don’t with these apples! Without sugar, they’re very sour! I know this from experience.) You then need to stew them in a sauce pan with some brown sugar and a splash of water. When I heard the word “stew” in the video, I instantly had a little panic…”I don’t know how to “stew!”” But you literally just chuck sugar, water and apples into a pan, put the lid on and let your ingredients do all the work. About 15 minutes later, give yourself a round of applause, you now have stewed apples! This essentially looks like apple sauce. You can just use shop-bought apple sauce, but I think everything tastes yummier and feels more satisfying to eat, homemade!
As you wait for your cakes and apples to cool, you can now make your buttercream (also very finger-dippable). This is just a simple buttercream. The recipe just says to make a vanilla buttercream but I added a tablespoon of cinnamon to mine to make it even more cinnamony. Yes that’s a word. Now you can do the fun bit. Hollow out the middle of the cupcake, fill that hole with your homemade apple sauce, cover it up with the buttercream and top it with a pecan…Done!
I served my cupcakes on my great-grandma’s cake stand and watched people’s reactions as they took their first bite and discovered the apple surprise in the middle of the cupcake! One of the best things about baking: watching people enjoy your creations with that smile of utter happiness on their faces. One of the other things: eating it!!!