I recently bought Jane Cumberbatch's Pure Style: Recipes for Every Day because I have been a big fan of Jane Cumberbatch the designer for the past 15 years or so, so I thought maybe I would be a fan of Jane Cumberbatch the cook, too. And I am. :) Her philosophy of "keep it simple" carries over.
One problem I always have with British cookbooks (or, for that matter, cookbooks from any island country) is that I dislike seafood, and cookbooks from islands tend to be heavy on fish recipes. But there is plenty to enjoy even if you skip the fishies.
For Easter, I made several batches of her Butterfly Cakes. They are very easy to make (I did all the blending for both the cake and icing in my food processor) and DELICIOUS ... it's all that butter, so they come out slightly crispy on the outside, and then very soft on the inside. Yum.
I found that using all the orange zest in the icing made them too bitter. So I'd say about half an orange's worth of zest, and then, as she says, just enough orange juice (also maybe half an orange) to make the frosting spread. You don't want it to be runny. If you wanted it to taste orangier, you could add a little orange extract.
Also, these are teacakes, not cupcakes or muffins ... they are short. :) So you can use a cupcake wrapper rather than greasing the pan, but they will not come up to the top of the wrapper unless you only make nine or ten. You will only be putting a generous teaspoon (that you eat cereal with) of batter in each cup to make one dozen.
Nobody guessed these were butterflies without knowing they are officially called "Butterfly Cakes," but we did have one guess for "Bunny Ears" and another guess for "Chicky Bottoms Sticking Up in the Air".
But those are all spring things, so it's all good. :D
The cookbook is lovely, and full of lovely photography and some non-cooking tips and tricks, also. I recommend it.
The recipes include measurements and temperatures for American cooks, but the ingredients have not always been translated into American English. That's why Google was invented.
In this recipe, "caster sugar" is "superfine," "ultrafine," or "baker's sugar" here in the U.S., and "icing sugar" is "powdered sugar" or "confectioner's sugar".
Here is the recipe for Butterfly Cakes with Orange Butter Icing:
110g/4oz/1 stick unsalted butter, softened
110g/4oz/generous 1/2 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
110g/4oz/generous 1/2 cup self-raising flour, sifted
for the butter icing:
75g/3oz/3/4 (three quarter) stick unsalted butter
175g/6oz/1 1/2 (one and one half) cups icing sugar
grated rind and juice of 1 orange
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs, and then fold in the sifted flour with a metal spoon; or, if you have a food processor, process the whole lot. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into a greased 12-cup bun tin and place in the middle of a preheated oven, 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5, for 15-20 minutes, until well risen and golden. Leave to cool.
To make the butter icing: Soften the butter and beat in the sifted icing sugar, adding enough orange juice to give it the right consistency. Add the grated orange rind. It should be thick enough to hold its shape for spreading.
To make the butterfly wings: When the buns have cooled, cut a circle off the top of each, 1 cm (1/2 inch) from the edge. Fill the hole with a dollop of butter icing. Cut the circle in half and position the halves in the cream to look like wings.
Hmm. As I look at this official photo of the Butterfly Cakes just now, I see that they do look more distinctively like butterflies. I will need to practice. :)