In our family the cup cake versus fairy cake debate is a contentious issue – I love Fairy Cakes, they are light and fluffy and easy to make and decorate – no need for cream cheese icing or anything fancy, they are an everyday treat not something that comes home from a yuppie cafe in a fancy box! My lovely Roisin, 7 year old princess of this kingdom, prefers fairy cakes as does my 39 year old husband and 38 year old self so I horrified when visiting my brother’s house to hear that his children had never even heard of fairy cakes, firmly a cup cake family! Not that they bake anything that doesn’t come from a packet and contain so many additives and so much salt that I can hear their arteries hardening from here.
I gave a friend this recipe and she bemoaned the fact that hers didn’t turn out as nice as mine, even claimed I didn’t give her the correct recipe. I did. She didn’t want the hassle of using 2 bowls so ignored step 2 – beating the whites of the egg into a meringue separately – which is so important. To keep these little beauties light and fluffy this is essential, if you skip this you will have a much denser mixture and a much heavier bun.
The other thing to mention with these cakes is the quality chocolate covering is unimportant, unlike other times when the coca content is very important, just pick a brand you like and go for it. Why not let the kids stick their favourite sweets into the chocolate. Remember giving them one or two fairy cakes is not like giving them a full bar of chocolate or candy, there is just not the same amount of sweets on top.
100g unsalted butter at room temperature
100g caster sugar
2 medium eggs separated
¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
100g milk chocolate
Chocolate sprinkles or whatever you like!
- Pre heat oven to 180oC
- In a clean, dry bowl whisk the egg whites until they are stiff (if you think the bowl has some greasy residue on it simply pour some lemon juice onto a piece of kitchen paper and wipe the sides and bottom of the bowl with this, it will cut through the grease and ensure your egg whites beat properly)
- In another bowl cream together the butter and sugar
- Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract and milk, continuing to whisk at all times
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt
- Fold in the egg whites, I recommend first putting about 1 tablespoon of egg white into the batter and mixing this in then fold in the remainder trying to keep as much air in as possible.
- Divide into 12 muffin cases (using muffin cases makes it easier to decorate later)
- Bake for about 20 minutes, place a tooth pick into the centre of a cake and if it comes out clean they are done!
- Leave on a wire rack to cool
- Melt the chocolate over a ban mare and spoon onto the top of the fairy cakes and compete the decoration with whatever you like