Christmas Cupcakes

When they're cool, I ice and decorate—all white, but some scattered with sprinkles, some with holly and berries made from bought rolled fondant icing, some with sugar poinsettia (expensive but enchanting) and other seasonal delights—and a more beautiful sight is hard to imagine. The thing about sponge is that it is best the day it's made, although if covered thickly and completely with the roayl icing, you might buy yourself and extra day.
From NIGELLA CHRISTMAS by Nigella Lawson. Copyright © 2008, 2009. Published by Hyperion. Photographs by Lis Parsons. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

From NIGELLA CHRISTMAS by Nigella Lawson. Copyright 2008, 2009. Published by Hyperion. Photographs by Lis Parsons. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Christmas Cupcakes

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    Ingredients

    1 stick plus 1 tablespoon soft butter 2-3 tablespoons whole milk
    1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 x 1lb box confectioners' sugar
    2 eggs 1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour Christmassy sprinkles
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda red and green rolled fondant (optional)
    2 teaspoons baking powder seasonal sugar decorations (optional)
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    directions

    Prep: 10 min Total: 30 min (Quick)
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    • 1

      Take everything you need out of the refrigerator in time to come to room temperature—this makes a huge difference to the lightness of the cupcakes later—and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Fill a 12-hole muffin pan with paper liners

    • 2

      Put all the ingredients for the cupcakes except the milk into a food processor and blitz until smooth.

    • 3

      Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel—try one tablespoonful at a time—to make a smooth dropping consistency.

    • 4

      Divide the mixture in your prepared muffin pan, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. They should have risen and be golden on top.

    • 5

      Let them cool a little in their pan on a rack, and then carefully take them out of the pan to cool in their papers, still on the wire rack.

    • 6

      To ice, mix together the confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and 1/4 cup warm water and using a tablepsoon, dollop over the cupcakes so that each one is thickly covered.

    • 7

      Adorn with sprinkles (don't let the icing dry before scattering) or sugar decorations, or roll out the fondant icing and cut out christmassy shapes of your choice to go on top.

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