Welcome 2016, it’s very nice to meet you. Minus the lingering hangover, I like you already.
I’m very excited to see what you have in store for me, and for Andrew.
We have kick-started our year hanging out at home, watching Star Wars and packing up the Christmas decorations. For the first time, I’m actually not too sad about Christmas being over, because I’ve got a good feeling about what’s coming next.
Before, we get into any of that though, let’s reminisce a little.
Christmas morning was spent at Andrew’s parents place with coffee in hand and nibbling on potato cakes topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese. Lunch at Mum’s house was perfection. The food was spot on and absolutely delicious, with just enough for leftover packs. We spent the afternoon sipping tea and watching the Grinch until we were ready to do it all over again.
Dinner with Andrew’s loud, crazy, lovely family means a huge secret santa game of stealing and swapping, more food than you could ever imagine and so much laughter.
I hope you all had just as amazing day!
A few friend-related events, many busy days and exercise attempts later, brought us to New Years Eve. This year, Andrew organised for us and 22 of our closest friends to take part in a small ‘tour de fridge’, with just 5 stops very close to one another.
Each house had a loose theme, and we picked two drinks accordingly. Our house became the British house with Pimms and Gin & Tonic on offer. Never one to shy away from a theme, I wanted to go one step further and try out a new cupcake recipe I stumbled across.
Enter The English Breakfast Cupcake.
Thanks to Cupcake Jemma (friend of Jamie Oliver) I whipped these up yesterday, and despite having a lot of elements, it was a fantastic recipe to follow.
- Lemon curd: Combine 2 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks and 3/4 cup caster sugar in a saucepan. Then, place over the heat and add the zest and juice from 2 lemons along with 1/3 cup chilled butter. Keep stirring until thick and strain into a bowl to use for later.
- Tea Milk Mixture: Pop 6 english breakfast tea bags into 150ml of milk and heat on low for 3-4 minutes. Pop to the side, with the lid on until cool.
- Biscuit base: Ground 150g of your choice of biscuit (usually one you’d have with a nice cuppa – I went with Maries), add in 50g melted butter and 1 1/2 tbsp golden syrup. Pop a spoonful of the mix into your cupcake cases and press down to firm it up.
- Cupcake batter: Combine 125g self-raising flour, 125g caster sugar, 1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda and the zest of one lemon. Then pop in 125g butter and give it good zap in a mixer or hand-mixer. Add in 2 large eggs, mix for another minute before popping in 1 1/2 tbsp of that lovely tea milk. Whaz it all for another 30 seconds, and you’re good to go! Pop a dollop on top of the biscuit base and these babies go into a 175degree oven for 20-22 minutes.
- Tea Drizzle: 5 tea bags go into 100ml of boiling water, to which 80g caster sugar is added and heated over a stove for 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Icing: Mix 200g soft unsalted butter on it’s own until it’s beautifully smooth and light. Add in 450g icing sugar in four batches, mixing in between and finally 3 tbsp of the tea milk.
- Cupcakes! Assemble! This is the fun part…
Once your cupcakes are cool make a little hole in the top (Jemma uses an apple corer, I just used a small cheese knife) and pop in a little dollop of lemon curd. I used a star nozzle, but it’s baker’s choice of course, to pipe that lovely icing on top. The last step is to drizzle the cooled tea syrup over the top.
They were time consuming, but so much fun to make, and very well received. Not many can refuse a little sugar on New Years!
And now, I need to get back to exercise. Ha! Soon enough…
Happy New Year everyone, wishing you lots of love and big smiles for this fresh year.