Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Street party cupcakes: carrot and chocolate with coconut

on May 1, 2011

As I’m sure you know unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks – William and Kate got married and the entire country came to a standstill.  We got an extra bank holiday out of it, which was probably the best thing about it.  Apart from that – as far as the north of the country was concerned (and in Scotland, NI and Wales I’m not sure there was any concern whatsoever!) it was just another two people getting married.  In what turned out to be, a very boring wedding.

However, we live in a very lovely neighbourhood that’s very multicultural, and the kids all play outside (an even mix of dance moves, cricket and football) and you know the postman, lollipop man, publican, corner shop man and the local vicars/priests to talk to, and your neighbours look after your parcels, cats or whatever when you’re on holiday.  It’s all very lovely and the best of living in England really.  And who would have thought such a place existed 15 minutes from Manchester city centre!  Anyway, enough of bigging the place up or you’ll all be coming to live here! In such community spirit, our street decided to have a street party about 10 days before the wedding.  And we all pitched in, bought bunting, found our wallpaper tables (not so hard for us given our recent wallpapering spat!) and made food.  And boy did we make food – the wallpaper tables were caving underneath it all!  I’m not sure anyone is royalist but we do love our street and the sun was shining – a perfect excuse for a party.

Post wedding on tv, we came out of our houses, set up the tables, brought the food, and sat outside, ate, drank, and were merry!   I also found out that we have not one, but three DJs living on the street, and one of the did and excellent job of djing for the party.  There was even dancing after everyone had had a few pimms!  It was quite possibly the most quintessentially English I’ve ever been!  There was Pimms, cupcakes, strawberries, pakoras, chicken curry, jerk chicken, rice and peas, a total mix of music from the dj from party tunes to reggae to hip hop to bhangra!  We brought the Pimms and cupcakes.  I would not like to compete with the Indian ladies on the street in their curry and pakora making!

It was wonderful actually.  We didn’t want it to end, but the sun went down and children needed to go to bed so we came in and watched re-runs of the wedding whilst bitching about everyone’s outfits!

And now to food – here are the cupcake recipes I made for the party.  One came from Leith’s Simple Cookery – it’s their chocolate and coconut cupcakes.  You can get the book here.  This is one of those, reproduce as in recipe book moments, so I have to reference it properly.  This is one of my favourite, go-to recipe books for just about anything.

The carrot cupcakes came from the BBC Good Food’s website – another trusty source of recipes.  When you’re under pressure and all your neighbours are tasting your food, you want recipes you can rely upon.  And these did not let me down.  I loved the carrot cake ones, I could not stop eating the icing when I was making it!  Here’s the link to the carrot cupcakes http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/470640/carrot-and-cream-cheese-cupcakes

The carrot cupcakes themselves couldn’t be simpler to make – it’s basically just mix everything in a bowl and bung in the oven.  The coconut and chocolate cupcakes take a bit more effort as you need to cream your butter and sugar and then you need to watch you don’t curdle your mix when adding the eggs.  But the icing is simpler for these and the cream cheese icing on the carrot cupcakes requires a bit more effort.  But not mega effort by any account.  But an electric whisk is handy.

Chocolate and coconut cupcakes

Makes about 8 large ones or about 16 small ones

  • 110g unsalted butter, softened
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten together
  • 85g self raising flour, sifted
  • 50g dessicated coconut
  • 60g chocolate drops (I used milk but you could also use dark)

For the icing:

  • 70g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
  • knob of butter

  • dessicated coconut or white chocolate sprinkles
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius, and put cupcake cases in the holes of a cupcake or muffin tin
  2. Cream the butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add the sugar and cream again until lighter and fluffier.
  3. Add your egg a spoonful at a time and beat well.  If it starts to curdle add a tablespoon of the flour.
  4. When your egg is combined add in the rest of the flour, coconut and chocolate drops.
  5. Mix well, and add water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches dropping consistency.
  6. Spoon into the cake cases, filling to about 3/4 of the way full.
  7. Place in the middle of the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean from them.
  8. Cool on a wire rack.
  9. To make the icing.  Melt the chocolate and butter together in a baine marie (a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water).  Leave to cool slightly and then spread over the top of the cupcakes and sprinkle on some of the coconut or other sprinkles.  Leave to cool and harden.
  10. Serve with a dose of cleverness at making cupcakes all by yourself and not buying them from M&S!

Carrot cupcakes

Makes about 12 large ones or about 18 smaller ones

  • 175g light brown sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 orange zested
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml groundnut, peanut or sunflower oil
  • 200g carrots, grated

For the icing

  • 100g unslated butter, softened
  • 300g cream cheese
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • sprinkles (I used chocolate) or other decorations
  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a muffin or cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the sugar, flour, bicarb of soda, mixed spice and orange zest.
  3. In another bowl whisk together the oil and eggs.
  4. Add these to the dried mixed ingredients along with the carrot.  Mix well to ensure it’s all combined.
  5. Divide out into the cupcake cases, filling to about half full (with the bicarb these do rise a lot and I had them flowing over the cases!) and put in the oven on a middle shelf for about 15-20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean from them.
  6. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  7. To make the icing, cream the butter in a bowl until light at fluffy.   Then add the cream cheese and cream some more until well combined and very light.  Then add in the sugar (this will make clouds as its icing sugar so use a spoon or the lowest setting on the electric whisk) and vanilla extract and combine well.
  8. You can either using a piping back (or a resealable bag) or a knife to pipe or spread onto the cupcakes, then sprinkle with sprinkles and put in the fridge to set.
  9. Eat and enjoy all that yumminess- besides they have carrots in them, so its one of your 5 a day!
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