There’s a curious thing about freelancing. There’s no set ebb and flow to it. Sometimes you have a quiet week. They are the weeks when you ponder what on earth you’re doing, eat too many white chocolate cupcakes, and discuss with anyone who’ll listen if you nerves can really handle this kind of existence. Then you have a week where you are booked up and busy and developing 8 recipes in one day for three different clients. They are the days where you dare to dream that it might always be like this. (And you also eat too many white chocolate cupcakes).
So here I am writing up this lovely recipe for the fluffiest white chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever made (seriously; would you look at the texture of the sponge?) and I am distracted by something else entirely. I have decided to sell my brownies online. Some of you may know this already as I announced it in my monthly newsletter. That was my version of shouting about it. Anyway, whilst I am not in any way going to neglect my weekly commitment to sharing recipes like these white chocolate cupcakes, I am going to share with you the process of starting up a business. Think of it as small business start-up therapy for me. If you prefer to scroll to the recipe I’ll understand.
So here is what I have done so far; I have bought the domain names (.com and .co.uk), I have bought the hosting, I have had a melt down that I do not know what any of the acronyms mean in order to actually build the website. I have emailed loads of packaging suppliers (10) and heard back from just 4. (Maybe my quantities are too low to elicit interest?) I have had 3 anxiety dreams that have woken me at 4am in a cold sweat.
Still with me? I have costed up my time and ingredients and fuel and packaging and worked out my RRP. My sons and husband have designed some logos for me. (More on these next time). I have had a meeting with the local council who were beyond helpful. I have tested two different types of Belgian chocolate and held blind taste tests with my family. (Who I know are brutal in their feedback, which I fear my friends might not be). I am scared of failure. I am scared of it doing well. Is this all normal? I have friends with their own businesses and they tell me this is A Okay. I hope so.
That’s the brownie update for now. I am going to tag every recipe with a brownie update like this so that one day I can look back at them and perhaps think ‘hey, it all worked out okay’ (or ‘Holly, you fool, what were you thinking?’)
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available through Amazon).
One year ago: Strawberry & vanilla cupcakes and Lamb koftas, crunchy coleslaw and hummus and Chicken, potato and aubergine curry and Crunchy pork meatballs and Cinnamon and apricot granola and Refined sugar free apple flapjack.
Five years ago: Banana and custard melts.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 120g white chocolate
- 130mls milk
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 110mls double cream
- 230g soft salted butter
- 260g castor sugar
- 4 large eggs at room temperature, separated
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 320g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 400g white chocolate spread
Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4 and line two baking trays with 20 cupcake cases. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in short bursts (or use the bain marie method if you prefer) until melted and leave to cool a little. Stir together the milk and lemon juice and leave to thicken and curdle a little. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and creamy looking (about 4 minutes). Add the egg yolks, chocolate and vanilla extract and beat again until well combined. Next beat in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk (milk and lemon mixture) and double cream, adding half of each ingredient at a time and beating after each addition. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks using a whisk. Stir 1 heaped tablespoon through the mixture to loosen it a little. Fold the rest of the egg whites in using a metal spoon in a cutting motion. Fill the cases, leaving 1.5cm of the top of the cases free of cake. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until well risen, golden and a toothpick comes out of the centre of the cupcakes clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack, removing from the tray after 2 minutes. I decorated mine very simply using a white chocolate spread but you could really add whatever you like.
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