Today is Pink's last day at Rainbows. She's not 7 till May but they have asked her if she'd like to move up to Brownies after the Easter break and she was there like a shot.
And then she was sad.
"I don't want to leave Rainbows" she wailed.
"I'll miss Bluebell*" she mourned
and then she turned her tear stained face to me, sobbed a bit more, and asked
"Can I take some cakes to my last one?"
Not that I am suggesting the waterworks and hystrionics were all aimed at getting me to make cakes, but she can be a minx sometimes. Not that she always gets her way - I'm as strict as they come when it's thing like how much TV or what they can watch. She could bleed out of her eyeballs and I still wouldn't let her watch whatever it was I'd decreed is unsuitable, but cake, of course, is an entirely different matter. Even so, I was up against it. I don't do anything particularly high powered with my time, but I work and I am busy. Rainbows is at 4.45 so there wasn't even time for a jolly mother/daughter cake making session after school. Making cupcakes just wasn't on my list of priorities for today but I'd just have felt really, really bad...
I'd like to say that once the cakes were cooled, I set about preparing 3 different bowls of coloured icing and lovingly iced each cake in Rainbow colours. But I didn't. I set the Kenwood to full speed, softened the butter and then on a slower speed (believe me, I have added icing sugar without thinking at top speed. You should do it some time - but only once!) beat in the sifted icing sugar and some fairly lurid peachy pink buttercream icing. And some Hello Kitty sugar coated chocolate eggs that caught my eye as I passed through the Co-Op at speed - it is nearly Easter after all.
Makes 12 rose flavoured cupcakes
115g soft Stork margerine (or softened butter - I didn't have time to wait for softening and I don't have a microwave)
115g caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Essence of Rose Water (mine is from the English Provender Company)
175g self raising flour
Line a 12 hole cake tray & pre-heat your oven to 200C.
Beat together the sugar and marge till fluffy, then add the egg in bit by bit, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk and flavourings, then fold in the flour. Divide the mixture between the cake cases - I start off with half a dessert spoon per case then top up with what's left.
Bake for 10-15 minutes till golden. If you do manage to turn them half way, so much the better but don't die in a ditch over it.
Leave the cakes to cool, then ice: beat 85g softened butter (I got mine out of the fridge when I made the cakes so it was soft by the time I got to this stage) till it's really soft then slowly add in 175g icing sugar (sifted if time permits). Add in a few drops of lurid pink icing, and a splash of milk if you think it needs softening up for spreading purposes - then spread over the cakes and top with whatever additional sugar products you might have to hand.
And time wise - well if you're interested, this is how it worked: got home from school and dog walking and made the cupcakes - literally ingredients to batter in case: 8 minutes. Into the oven while I hung the washing out (rock and roll) and logged on. Cakes out of the oven, and butter for the icing out of the fridge (good job I remembered). Finished work and spent 5 minutes making the icing before heading off the pick the kids up from school. 10 minutes back home to ice the cakes. There - see - it doesn't take much to be a Domestic Goddess...
* for the as yet uninitiated, the childfree or parents of boys, Bluebell is the official name for the Rainbow leader. Nice.