Friday, 3 January 2014

Baking for the undomestic goddess: Rilakumma Cupcakes

Me and the kitchen are not the best of friends. I'm more likely to be at work / at the gym / shopping / grabbing the last Special Salmon Salad from under the nose of a greedy banker during Itsu's happy hour than be in the kitchen. It might be a tiny bit embarrassing now that my friends invite me to dinner parties and I have to admit to not owning an oven but cooking is just something I have never really fallen in love with.

While home at Christmas I decided that I wanted to "bake something". My mother rounded up our meager baking supplies, dug out our WW2 era cookbook and we set to work making some cupcakes (which I decided needed to look like Rilakumma, obviously).

Here's how for my fellow undomestic goddesses:

1. Pre-heat oven. Ask adult to help if "180 degrees centigrade" means absolutely nothing to you.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream 4oz (old money measurements oo-er) of butter and 4oz caster sugar. Measure 4oz of flour and leave to one side. Remove 2 eggs from fridge. That's all you need. Mix  butter and sugar vigorously. Undomestic goddesses don't have Kitchen Aids.

3. Beat in two eggs, adding a spoonful of flour with each. I used self-raising flour because that's all we had.

4. Fold in the remainder of the flour. Ask adult to help with this complex technique. The idea is to keep in all the air so that the cakes are light and fluffy. At this stage you could add currants (party like its 1939!) or chocolate chips.

5. Transfer mixture into cake cakes. Make sure each one has the same amount of mix. Put in oven for 20-25 minutes. Lick bowl and spoons clean. Monitor cakes as they cook but do not open oven door as this will prevent them rising. Cakes are done when a skewer inserted into one of them comes out clean (ask adult).

6. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool. This avoids the dreaded "soggy bottom".

7. Break chocolate into small pieces (I used a bittersweet 85% cocoa because it looked classy and grown up) and melt in microwave. Undomestic goddesses don't have time for all that bain-marie nonsense. Use cocktail stick to create Rilakumma's face on the cakes.

8. Leave to cool again.

9. Impress adults with baking skill. Feel warm glow of achievement for making something cute and edible. Cakes will keep for around two days in tupperwear if you don't eat them all in one go.

We have had this cookbook for as long as I can remember. Cupcakes used to be called fairy cakes before we got all American. Sigh.
Breaking up chocolate: one for the bowl, one for me, one for the bowl...and so on.
Out the oven. Maybe sample one to check that it is not poisonous.

Leave to cool until chocolate has set.
Store in tuppawear container. Bring out at tea time.
Do you have any cupcake baking tips for me if I attempt these again?


  1. We have a cookbook like like in our house! Looks delicious!

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