Tuesday, 17 March 2015


Blueberry Cupcakes
Ingredients: 120g plain flour, 140g caster sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder, a pinch of salt, 100g butter, 120ml milk, 1 egg, a splash of vanilla extract, 300g icing sugar, 100g blueberry cream cheese, 150g blueberries.
Time taken: Probably an hour or so (without disaster management).

Hi readers,
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! To any Irish readers, I hope you’ve had a wonderful day and that you’ve been having a terrific time and wearing an array of oversized green shamrock hats. This is your day! One of the funnest national celebrations around. And here’s wishing that everybody today has had fun celebrating… safely. And that twenty one hours into the day all merrymakers are still able to hold a pint of Guinness with a sort-of steady hand!
Sadly, readers, St. Patrick’s falls this year amidst the big student migration home for Easter break. Bad timing! I’m staying here in Newcastle a little while longer but most folks by now are making the journey down south for a month-long study break. And so there hasn’t been anyone around today for me to raise a Baileys with! What a shame! Me and my Mother Bear will definitely have to correct this the next time I’m home. FO SHO.
But I’ve not had such a bad day, readers. I’ve been super productive sorting summer travel this’s and that’s. Plus, I write to you today HAVING SURVIVED a full weekend at work, which I’m still feeling good about. Mexican wave, everyone! I’m not usually one to complain… but Saturday and Sunday this week were utterly dreadful for me. Serving fast food is never a good job. In fact, it’s a very bad job. The work is tough and you face a constant battle against tiredness and intense boredom. You aren’t paid to be a human being, readers.
But also IN AN AIRPORT there are a disastrously high numbers of customers who don’t speak good English, can’t read the English written on menus and definitely can’t comprehend the mysterious British currency. A lot of customers are stressed and a good few drunk because they have to imminently board a plane. Which is a scary for them.
PLUS a staggering number of the customers are Irish men. And this weekend, slap bang just before St. Patrick’s… the Irish men were appalling. So drunk they didn’t know what to order, how to order, how to pay, what they’d ordered, what I was saying, or where we’d hid from them the FECKING STRAWS. It was a grim two days.
But I did it! More money in the Travel Fund and I live on! So, yesterday, I woke up knowing I didn’t have to get on the Metro to the airport and I was Mrs. SUNSHINE and RAINBOWS and BUTTERFLIES and HAPPINESS.  Literally, a good sleep and the prospect of freedom is the best thing. I woke up in top spirits, readers. Decided to go shopping for a little retail therapy then spent WAY MORE THAN I’D INTENDED TO. But this was ok. Treats are ok.
And Floss had me and our geography friend Alison over for tea and chatter in the evening. A liiiiiiiiiiiiiittle wine was consumed… THE VINO WAS FLOWING. And I spent a very lovely evening with friends. :)  Did I go empty handed over to Floss’s? No I did not! Readers, yesterday afternoon I GOT MY BAKE ON so I’d have something to take along with me later on to give to Floss.
The apron was on! Having formulated a fruity, Springy recipe to try out, I set about getting my bake on in the kitchen. The radio was on with me singing and dancing around the ChefBeHere kitchen… and everything went REALLY disastrously wrong.
Readers, I messed this one up! So, so bad. It was incredibly funny. Also TERRIBLE and I felt very bad for Floss and Alison because they had to eat my baking with smiles on their faces. But I did have a very funny time in the kitchen in the afternoon. Time spent trying to patch up my batch of SERIOUSLY tearaway cupcakes. You really cannot win every bake… no matter how hard you try! And in the end the cupcakes were still terrible but they were presentable. I took them over to the dinner party and inflicted them on my friends, who were very kind and reassuring. But… oh my word.
So, the following things went wrong with my baking:
1. I took a recipe for 12 cupcakes and decided to make 8 ‘big uns’ instead. This was a bad call. My mix rose in the oven and overflowed each muffin case. I had to use a knife to try and chop off the extra cake which had overflowed out of the cases. Never a good start.
2. I mixed blueberries into my cake mix before spooning this into muffin cases. Bad move again. The blueberries sank to the bottom of the cases in the oven, and gave my cupcakes very soggy bottoms.
3. I put too much cream cheese into my frosting and so I couldn’t get it to be firm. The frosting was really quite runny and it went EVERYWHERE. Especially, all over me.
The result was a batch of Blueberry Cupcakes which you could most definitely describe as ‘made with love’. We all have our off days, readers! Sometimes you have to make the most of a bad bake. I used cut-off bits of overflow cupcake as decorative sprinkling, in the end. Being creative. And these cupcakes did taste quite scrumptious. They just look as if a five year old made them.
SO ANYWAYS here I’ve taken the time to write out the recipe for Blueberry Cupcakes as it SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE. I imagine (and really hope) that if you follow these corrected steps you won’t hit disaster like I did. You’ll bake up a storm and will produce a wonderful batch of cupcakes – the ones which I’d imagined in my head, before disaster struck
Here’s how to PROPERLY bake your Blueberry Cupcakes, in just twelve easy steps…
1. Heat your oven to 170˚C.
2. Measure your flour, baking powder, salt and half of your butter into a large mixing bowl.
3. Beat together with a wooden spoon until the mix has a sandy consistency.
4. Then, add half of your milk to the mix. Stir this in so that your sand becomes pebbles.
5. Add your vanilla extract and your egg to the remaining half of your milk, and stir this up!
6. Pour your milky mix into the main bowl and stir your cupcake mix, until everything comes together and the mix is light and smooth.
7. Line a muffin tray with 12 cases (not 8, an entire 12 of them) and spoon your cupcake mix evenly between the cases.
8. Set 36 blueberries to one side. Pop the remaining blueberries into a bowl along with a teaspoon of plain flour. Gently stir your blueberries around in the bowl until they all become coated with flour.
9. Then, spoon a couple of blueberries into each muffin case until all of your floured blueberries are topping cupcake mix. Safely transport your tray of cupcakes into the oven to bake for 20-35 minutes.
10. Once the cupcakes are risen and golden brown (and a knife jabbed into the centre of one comes out with nothing but blueberry juice on it) then remove them from the oven.
11. Leave your cupcakes to cool a while inside the muffin tray.
12. Once your cupcakes are cool, you can make your frosting! This is simple – just add 300g icing sugar, 50g butter and 100g blueberry cream cheese to a bowl (Not 125g like I did. This was too much). And stir it up!
ChefBeHere Top Tip: You’re aiming to make a fairly firm frosting (NOT A RUNNY ONE) so if you need to add more icing sugar to the frosting then do this. Firm it up.
12. Use a knife to neatly top your cupcakes with blueberry frosting and then pop 3 blueberries on top of each cupcake to decorate them!
And that’s all there is to it! So simple that’s it’s more than A LITTLE embarrassing how badly my cupcakes turned out. Really, it was a fail. But oh well! Readers, I want to hear from you, can you make this recipe work?? Because I feel like this could work!! I didn’t make the magic it happen but I’m really sure that one of YOU CAN.
So go, go forth readers, and have a crack at this recipe. I dare you! Blueberry cupcakes (when baked correctly) should be the best thing ever and I had such bloody high hopes for them. I strongly believe that if you take a risk with this corrected recipe, you won’t regret it. Let me know how things go!!!

And risk safely,

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