This week had several highlights. I was in Mumbai on work and stayed bang opposite the beach on Marine Drive. I managed to meet a close friend and her 9 months old son and have a fabulous Bengali meal at her place. At the work meeting, we were served a simple yet yummy lunch – masala bhaat and sabudana wada. Lunch, tea and coffee for 22 people amounted to Rs 645 only. The sabudana wada was delicious and even had the Mumbaikars oohing and aahing at its crispness and non-greasy texture. Interestingly, the wada was stuffed with a coconut , chilli, and coriander chutney. This is something I would definitely like to replicate at home.
I returned to Delhi for my birthday and was thrilled to be wished by friends, colleagues, and family who remembered the day without any reminders from Facebook! I received many many books as gifts and am looking forward to reading them all. I’ve already identified a recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess, which I plan to make for Christmas.
I was toying with the idea of baking a cake for myself. I finally settled with Lemon Diva Cupcakes, a recipe by Julie Goodwin (the first winner of Masterchef Australia Season 1) which had the judges of Masterchef Australia praising it so highly that she shared the recipe in a Masterclass. I also wanted to put to use a set of silicone flower shaped cups that my cousin got for me and a steel icing syringe set that I had bought a while ago. Also, I wanted to make something other than chocolate.
Here is the recipe:
Julie Goodwin’s Lemon Diva cupcakes – makes 12 [I made 16 tiny ones]
100 g unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup (165 g) caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 3 lemons [I used the zest of about 4-5 lemons as the ones we get here are a lot smaller than the ones she seemed to have used]
1. cups (200 g) self-raising flour [I added 1 1/4 tsp of baking powder to 1 cup flour]
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
125 g unsalted butter, softened [This seemed a lot. I used a little less than 100 gms]
2 cups (300 g) icing sugar mixture [This is also seemed a lot. I used about 1.5 cups]
11/2 tbs lemon juice
yellow food colouring (optional) [Did not use this]
yellow liquorice allsorts, to decorate [Did not have this]
1 Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan-forced). Line a 12-hole medium muffi n pan (1/3 cup capacity) with paper cases. Using electric beaters, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Mix through the lemon zest.
2 Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Gently fold through the fl our and milk in two alternate batches. Divide the mixture evenly among the paper cases.
3 Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and springy when touched. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
4 To make the icing, use electric beaters to beat the butter until light and creamy. Add the icing sugar a little at a time, beating constantly. Add half the lemon juice and beat until well combined. Add the remaining lemon juice a little at a time, and tint with food colouring if you like. Using a 1 cm fluted nozzle, pipe the icing onto the cooled cupcakes.
I was using the icing syringe for the first time. Can’t say I did a great job. It did not look that pretty, but tasted okay.