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Strawberry Meringue Cupcakes

For 24 cupcakes
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
4 eggs
250g self-raising flour
4 tbsp milk (whole or semi-skimmed, not skimmed)
6-8 tsp strawberry jam

For the Swiss meringue buttercream
8 egg whites
500g caster sugar
500g unsalted butter
4 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp seedless strawberry jam

Preheat the oven to 190C/fan oven 170C/gas mark 5.

Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour and milk and beat until well combined and smooth. Spoon the mixture evenly into the 24 paper cases.

Spoon a little jam on to each cake and, using a cocktail stick, swirl the jam into the batter.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

To make Swiss meringue buttercream

Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir pretty much constantly to prevent the egg from cooking. After five-ten minutes, when the sugar has dissolved, remove the bowl from the pan of simmering water and whisk until the meringue has puffed up and the mix is cool.

Add the butter and vanilla to the meringue and whisk until the butter has been completely incorporated into it. At first it will look a disaster – it will collapse and look curdled but don’t worry! Stop when the mixture is smooth, light and fluffy.

Beat the jam into the buttercream. If you want it pinker, add a little food colouring. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag and swirl on to each cupcake. Finish off with some sugar sprinkles or decorations.

Quarter the cakes and put the pieces into tiny cases with cocktail sticks poking out. Attempt to get passers-by to try them and be knocked out by your genius so they then come and spend lots of money at your shop and save you from bankruptcy.

9780751544497Recipe taken from Meet Me at the Cupcake Café