The rain forced us inside last Sunday so we made some lovely little cup cakes. My eldest daughter is nearly 3 and she was in charge of all egg cracking, flour sifting, beating and stirring. The recipe came from her Aunt Elizabeth in Dublin and is very easy to remember – 8/8/4/8 – which equates to 8 ounces of butter, 8 ounces of sugar, 4 eggs and 8 ounces of self raising flour. I have added a few drops of vanilla and a squirt of golden syrup. The golden syrup does make the sponge a little heavier but what you lose in lightness you gain in flavour. Leave it out if you wish.
The first thing to do is to beat the softened butter with caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually incorporate the beaten eggs and then stir in the essence and syrup. Fold in the flour, but make sure you sift it first; it makes a big difference to the texture.
Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases and divide the mixture between them. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for about 15 minutes. The cupcakes should look golden and be springy to the touch.
Once the cup cakes are cooked remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. While the cakes are cooling you can make the frosting. Beat 75g (back to metric) of soft butter with a tablespoon of milk until smooth. Sift in 150g of icing sugar and stir together. Stir 100g of melted dark chocolate. Decorate with sprinkles and leave for 30 minutes to set.