Apparently New Zealand is really beautiful. My neighbours just spent ten days there and were telling me about some of the marvellous adventures they went on. I stood in their front yard wrestling my huge border collie pup on his lead, listening in amazement to tales of how both hubby and wife went paragliding right off a mountain top!! I couldn’t believe it! Mrs B, I was informed, has done this three times!! Clearly my head has been buried in my lovely pink mixer too long. In my time warped 1950’s housewife brain, I think being adventurous is making toffee shards. I forget that other women out there love to jump off mountains with a piece of plastic and string. Good on them. Rah Rah you go girls!!
Just leave me with my mixer.
I would love to go to New Zealand though. Not because of the potential adventures I could have there. (Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things that make you late for dinner). No, whilst I could hope that it would awaken something Tookish inside me, I highly doubt it. I just think it looks really pretty and would definitely appeal to the Narnian within. The rugged mountains, summer flowers, cool weather…and I bet they have cute little antique shops, cosy tea houses and libraries. Oh, and then there is Hobbiton. That’s the real reason I want to go of course. I’m the kind of (emotionally unstable) person who would seriously stand at the door of Bag End and weep out of pure sentimentality that this is where Bilbo lives. I may never leave it.
Until then, I am just as happy to sit by my imaginary hearth, read my books and drink tea.
Bilbo would be proud.
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, here is a lovely cupcake recipe that says farewell to our Aussie Summer (Yayy!!) May you stay away for a really long time and at least let me pretend I live in a cold place just for a minute.
Blackberries are a bit of a luxury here. Usually they are too expensive, but one time I found them cheaper than the blueberries so I snapped up a punnet and invented my Blackberry cupcake recipe. Frozen blackberries would work just as well. Just pop them into the individual cupcake mix at the last minute before baking. Put them in frozen so they don’t bleed through the mixture.
Enjoy the photos and and let me know if you try the recipe.
Love Anna xx
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 1/2 cups castor (granulated) sugar
- 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 punnet of blackberries, washed and dried
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Prepare two muffin trays with 18 cupcake liners
- Using a hand whisk, beat eggs
- Add vanilla extract, oil, sour cream and warm water
- In a separate bowl, sift flour, bicarb soda and baking powder
- Using your fingers, rub the lemon zest into castor sugar until fragrant. Mix sugar into flour mixture
- Carefully pour wet mixture into the dry mix and whisk until well combined
- Scoop mixture into cupcake liners until each is about 2/3 full
- Place 3 blackberries into each liner
- Bake in moderate oven for 18 minutes or until firm to touch
- Place on a wire rack to cool. Frost with Blackberry cream cheese frosting.
- 125g butter chopped
- 125g cream cheese
- Vanilla extract
- 3 -4 cups icing mixture
- Pure cream
- 1/4 cup fresh or thawed blackberries
- Purple food gel
- In an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, 3-4 min
- Add vanilla extract
- Continue to beat for another minute.
- Turn mixer onto low speed and gradually add icing mixture, a little at a time.
- Using a fork, mash blackberries and add to icing minxture
- Add cream as necessary to get desired consistency
- Add a small amount of purple food colouring or gel
- Frost cupcakes as desired