It’s not just food, it’s M&S food…….
Anyone who has lived for more than 10 minutes in the UK will know that strap line. And let’s be honest, as far as ‘supermarket’ food goes, Marks and Spencer is THE best!
Let me set the scene: We have a weekend ritual in our house. No matter how busy we are we always have a 15 minutes sit down. We make sure it’s warm in the conservatory, and we sit down, with the dogs at our feet (or on the sofa next to us), with a good mug of British tea and an ickle sweet treat. In our house, it’s the best and only way to chill.
Sometimes the sweet treats are shop bought, other times they’re home made, and they are ALWAYS just a little bit decadent – because let’s face it, if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be a treat!
Last week, I spotted Lemon Bakes in the food department of Marks and Spencer. ‘Aha’ I thought, ‘something new and a bit different. I’ll have me some of them!’. And I have to say they were yummy, but in my mind they could have been even yummier.
AND so here they are…..it’s not just M&S food, it’s my even better home baked version!!!!
Raspberry and Chocolate Cupcake Bakes
You can do this the hard way, or the easy way. I made them the hard way, but I’ve given you both options:
First we make some pastry cupcake cases
Hard way: make one batch of shortcrust pastry
Easy way: buy a packet of shortcrust pastry
Pre-heat your oven to 200c, 180c fan , gas mark 6
Grease each hole of a cupcake tray
Roll out your shortcrust pastry to about 5mm thick.
With an 88mm (or about that) round cutter, cut the pastry and line each hole of the cupcake tray.
Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes. For those who don’t know what blind baking is: prick the base of the pastry with a fork several times, line with greaseproof paper, or as I did, cupcake cases, and cover the base with baking beads, or again as I did dried lentils or kidney beans.
Photo: blind baked cases fresh from the oven
Whilst your cases are baking, make your vanilla cupcake mix
Hard way: Mix up a 2 egg Victoria Sponge cake batter
Easy way: Mix up a box of packet cake mix
When your cases have baked for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 160c, 140c fan or gas mark 3
Remove the baking beans (or lentils or beans), and greaseproof paper (or cupcake cases), and place 3 fresh raspberries in each case.
Spoon a dollop of cake batter on the top of the raspberries (a good heaped dessert spoon on each will be plenty).
Bake in the oven for 13 – 16 minutes, or until a cocktail stick stuck in the middle comes out clean
Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool
Once completely cool frost with buttercream and pop a raspberry on the top
Hard way: whip up a batch of buttercream
Easy way: use ready mixed buttercream available at supermarkets or my fave baking shop, Lakeland.
Full recipe will make 15 to 20 Cupcake Bakes