Cupcakes

Liverpool F.C. ~ Kop cakes

Introduction: Under no circumstances should a kickball supporter attempt this recipe. It’s just too fiddly. Kickball supporter, know your limits!

The Kop at Anfield dates back to 1905-06, the season that saw Liverpool lift the second of their league championships. It was christened as the Spion Kop by Ernest Jones in memory of the many scousers who died in the Battle of Spion Kop. The battle was fought about 24 miles from Ladysmith on the hilltop of Spioenkop (meaning hill with a view) along the Tugela River, it was between the South African Republic and the Orange Free State on the one hand and British forces during the Second Boer War during the campaign to relieve Ladysmith and resulted in a British defeat.

Preparation time: 45 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

Home kit: 2 12-cup muffin tins or silicone pans with cupcake liners, 2 small mixing bowls, 1 medium and 1 large one, a spatula, a shallow bowl, a mixer and a piping bag with a drop flower nozzle (I say again; kickballers, step away from the kitchen!)

Away kit: 31/24/12/6/4/2 or 1 tea plate(s)

Serves: 31/24/12/6/4/2 or 1 very greedy person

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 375g sifted cake/ supreme sponge flour (Sainsbury’s sell supreme sponge flour)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 bottle (38 ml) red food colouring
  • 112.5g unsalted butter, softened
  • 337.5g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 small teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 small teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting:

  • 150g unsalted butter (don’t use spreadable butter)
  • 250g cream cheese (mascarpone is best)
  • 225g – 450g cups royal icing sugar, sifted (to taste and consistency preferred)
  • 200g Nestle Milky Bar (1 large bar)

Method: Preheat oven to 180oC

First half – the cupcake batter

Line up the two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into the medium bowl and set aside. In the small bowl, mix food colouring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps and set aside.

In the large bowl, using a hand mixer or electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then beat in the vanilla and the red cocoa paste. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the whole milk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of the milk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with the jolly old spatula.

Second half – a bit more prep and cooking

In the other small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Be careful as it will fizz. Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well. Fill cupcake cups with cake batter until they are a little under 3/4 full. Place muffin tins in your preheated oven. Bake for approximately 20 mins, rotating pans halfway through. The cupcakes are done when you are able to pat the tops and the cake springs back up. If it sinks down they are not yet complete. Or you can insert a toothpick into the centre of a cupcake in the centre of the tin and if it comes out clean they are done.

Cool the cupcakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Extra time – frosting

Make sure all of your frosting ingredients are at room temperature.

Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over boiling water stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn. Once melted remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature

In another mixing bowl, mix butter on medium speed until light and creamy. Add cream cheese and mix until fluffy. Add the cooled melted white chocolate and mix until combined.

Slowly add the sugar, one cup at a time until you have the consistency and taste that you prefer.

Full time result

This required a steady hand and a clear mind. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes, I like to use a drop flower nozzle. The icing can get a little soft while using. If so, put the iced cup cakes in the fridge until the icing has set. Serve on the tea plates and scoff.

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Kop Cakes

I gave these a try for the first time yesterday and here’s how they turned out.

First of all I sifted flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl.  Then mixed some bright red food colouring into some strong cocoa powder.   This was more brown than I expected, the red food colouring was obliterated by the cocoa powder.

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The I beat some butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

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Then beat in the eggs, I beat them up a little before adding them to the butter and sugar, I am told they curdle if you stick them in all at once.

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Then in goes the vanilla essence and red cocoa mixture.

image And, I don’t know, I was beginning to think this is looking rather yummy!  Then a third of the flour mixture went in and half of the whole milk.  Now a third more flour, more whisking followed by the other half of the milk and lastly the remaining flour. More whisking until all was beautifully combined.

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There’s still a little more to do…  I mixed up some vinegar and baking soda now and a little chemical effervescence ensued and mixed that into the big bowl.  Attaining a drop consistency, which is when you pick up some of your mixture and it slowly drops off your spoon or in this case the whisk balloons;

image  Hmmm mmmm.

Time to put the mixture into about 30 small cup cake thingies.  I used a dessert spoon to dish out as it fills them to about 3/4 full.  Which is what you want.

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And yes Mum, I am going to lick the bowl even though there are raw eggs in it!  Ah, childhood memories are flooding back of being slapped on the back of the head for that.

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Into the oven for 20 mins, turning after 10.  Test if the Kop Cakes are ready with a koptail stick.

image If it comes out clean like this the Kop Cakes are kooked!

These bad boys are not quite the right shape but I’ll have to get that right next time.  Quite a lot of faffing about but they do taste really good!

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I’ll be making the frosting for them while the Lamb Shankly is in the oven ready for our Kickball Cuisine lunch later today.

Ahright! Ahright!

This weekend’s Kickball Cuisine endeavours have already not gone to plan.  I have planned Scoused Herring but, would you believe it, herring is out of season. I didn’t even know fish had seasons.

Anyhow, I have replaced the herring with sea bass which is a whole lot healthier by all accounts and therefore should not under any circumstances be used for Kickball Cuisine!image

The menu I am cooking for my good friend Jay is;

  • Starters – Scoused herring
  • Main course – Lamb Shankley
  • Kop cakes for pudding

Guess which team he supports?

I am pretty sure I have all the ingredients now.  Looking forward to a lovely Liverpool Sunday.  I haven’t decided on the vegetable accompaniments yet.  Any ideas?

I watched the Wigan vs. Man Citeh game last night and was cheering on the new heroes of the Premiership.  A shame they join Reading and QPR in the drop.  But Warren did come up with the name of a dish, Wigan Wheels.