Tag Archives: coulis

Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes

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Having already made lots of delicious things with all the blackberries I had foraged a few weeks before, I wanted to make something completely different and outside of my ‘comfort zone’, so I started searching for food blogs using blackberries in other ways.

I then stumbled across Donal Skehans excellent blog The Good Mood Food Blog and some of the delicious things he was making with blackerries over in Ireland.

I first noticed his Blackberry Coulis recipe which is very similar to my own Blackberry Compote one and then saw the superb cupcakes he had made using his coulis. Having never made any cakes in my adult life, this was the challenge I wanted and so I set about getting the few ingredients I didnt have in my cupboard or fridge, before having a go at making them and doing his recipe proud! As Donal quotes, ‘This recipe makes delicious, light and moist cupcakes with a fruity taste’.

What I discovered, like so many other recipes I try, it wasnt overly complicated to do, you just needed to follow the instructions step by step.

So I started by making his Blackberry Coulis, so that it was then ready for me to use in the cupcake mixture later on. Once I had sieved it and let it cool, I started on my baking adventure, thinking I was going to get flour and eggs everywhere and dreading the washing up after. Suprisingly, for the time I spent in the kitchen, I only used 3 bowls and a saucepan and hardly made a mess at all!

Again, not having any ink in my printer (I must remember to buy some) I brought my laptop into the kitchen so I could follow Donal’s recipe. It was a total clash of technology and cuisine going on in my small kitchen, epecially when I got my LED beeping electronic scales out too!

I got everything ready to bake, with my girlfriend on hand in the living room watching ‘Come Dine With Me’ (being the normal master home baker), just incase I messed anything up.

All I can say is that they were great fun to make! Everything was so easy, and after spending all that time in the kitchen making them, all I wanted to do was eat one.

I made sure the cakes properly cooled before spooning on the frosting, and then put them aside to set. Once I was happy that they were ready to eat, I had my first one and it was totally delicious! My girlfriend was very impressed at my baking, so I continued into the evening, using the rest of the cake mixture to make a dozen more, so that I could freeze some and have them on other occasions, especially as I have some of the coulis left too.

If anyone wants to have a go and making some fruity cupcakes, then I suggest you have a go at these as the are fantastic!
 
 

Blackberry Coulis

Makes about 150ml/¼ pint

250g Blackberries
50g Golden caster sugar
½ tsp Vanilla extract

1 Put the blackberries and sugar into a small pan with 100ml/31⁄2fl oz water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 mins until the fruit is soft. Stir in the vanilla, remove and cool a little.

2 Tip the contents of the pan into a blender or food processor, and whizz to a purée, then strain through a sieve, rubbing it through with the back of a ladle or spoon.

Serve warm or chilled.

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The coulis will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
 
 

For the main recipe:

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Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes

(Recipe adapted from Donal Skehan)

Makes 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 cup Flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
6 tbsp Unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Blackberry coulis (made earlier)

For the frosting:
8 oz Cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups Powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp Blackberry coulis
Blackberries for decoration

Preheat the oven to 180C.

1 Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

2 In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3 In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions.

4 In another bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk and blackberry coulis. Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer and mix on low speed until just combined. Mix in the blackberry coulis/milk mixture. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Do not over-mix.

5 Divide the batter evenly between the prepared paper liners.

6 Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and blackberry coulis in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and well blended. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired and garnish with fresh blackberries.

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Blackberry Compote

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Having made plenty of savoury goodies with the foraged fruits (aside from the crumble) I thought it was about time to make something sweet with some of my fresh blackberries.

So I decided to make something that would go great as an accompaniment with lots of puddings. So after reading a Brian Turner recipe, I decided to have a go at making a Blackberry Compote. It was very simple to create and it tastes so good, especially with Vanilla Ice Cream and natural yoghurt. I’m sure it would be perfect for hot puddings too!

If you have any left over blackberries and some sugar in the cupboard, you have to give this a go.

340g Blackberries
55g Sugar
1 tbsp Water

1 Put the sugar, water and half of the blackberries into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.

2 Blend with a hand-held mixer or put into a food processor and process until smooth. Strain through a sieve to remove the seeds.

3 Return mixture to a clean saucepan and bring it back to the boil, adding a little water if it is too thick or a squeeze of lemon juice, if necessary.

4 Add the rest of the blackberries and take off the heat immediately.

Serve either warm or cold with a pudding of your choice!

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Urban Foraging

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When I was younger, the idea of being dragged out for the afternoon fruit picking with the family was as much fun as going to the dentist. But recently, with the advent of TV shows like River Cottage, ‘foraging/fruit picking’ has become a growing trend, which I got suprisingly hooked by when going for a walk this afternoon (saturday) in the woods behind our home.

We started to notice bush upon bush of untouched blackberries within a few minutes of our walk, so abrubtly turned round, picked up a container and went back to start filling it. Within only a few minutes, we had collected just under a pound of blackberries and were already deciding what to do with them.

When we got back home we decided that we would try to make three things from them all:

Blackberry and Apple Crumble (Gluten Free)
Blackberry Compote
Blackberry Vinegar

the last two being more of mum’s suggestions and recipes. Over the next few days I will add the recipes on here, once I have tried them out.

Now I realise why we were dragged around picking fruit as children, as you cannot find fruit this fresh in your local supermarket!

On the walk home, we also noticed bushes of sloes and elderberries, so if tomorrow is fine weather, I think another walk is in order. Already have some ideas as to what to do with them!

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