Every body copes with stress in different ways. Some become introvert, extrovert, some drink, some shop, and some attempt to take on odious tasks to mask the problems. But I clean and bake. Truth be told I clean and bake regardless, but my best work is done when I am stressed or upset. (I know, I know, I’m going to make someone a very happy wife one day.)
Over a week ago, on Mother’s Day in the UK, a friend of mine passed away suddenly and even today I’m not sure if I’ve grieved properly. (Is it possible to go through the 7 stages of grief in a week? Probably not, I admit I most likely need therapy.) It may sound strange, but cleaning and baking are two stress relief methods that keep me distracted.
After scrubbing the bacholerette pad from top to bottom all week I spent the weekend baking up a storm. I attempted to make crêpes for the first time- they tasted okay but I should have fried them a little thinner, I think I had the-pancake-mentality in my head! Practice-makes-perfect so I’ll be sure to keep making them. I also baked a classic Victoria Sponge cake and Chocolate cupcakes with a candy-cream frosting.
175g/6oz Unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
175g/6oz Caster Sugar
115g Self-Raising flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
6 teaspoons Cocoa Powder
80ml Double cream
Icing Sugar/Confectioners Sugar
Milk & White Chocolate sprinkles/candies- for decorating
Makes 15-20 cupcakes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees/Gas Mark 3 or 4.
- Whisk the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth. (I usually use approx. 140g of sugar instead and the cakes taste just as sweet, but you can measure to your liking and taste.)
- Crack the eggs into the mixture one at a time and whisk for a few seconds, avoiding over heating the mixture.
- Measure the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into a bowl and sift it over the cake mixture. Sift half of the flour mixture and use a spatula to fold and mix the batter together. Repeat this process until all the flour and cocoa is mixed in and of a smooth consistency.
- Line a cupcake baking tray with cupcake cases, and using two teaspoons spoon the mixture into the cases half way full.
- Bake for 15-18mins and use a skewer/cocktail stick to check that the cake is fully baked. Leave to cool for 10-20mins.
- While the cakes cool, whisk the double cream until the consistency becomes thicker and sieve some icing sugar into the mixture for a sweet kick. Leave to cool in the fridge while the remainder of the cupcakes bake.
- Once the cupcakes are baked and cooled, spread the cream mixture over the tops of the cakes and sprinkle with the chocolate candies, or any topping of your choice.
Serve with a fresh pot of tea :)
R.I.P Christina. The world has lost a friend, but Heaven has gained a soul.
Love & Cupcakes,
How do you cope with stress? Drop me a comment. (Please note, I’m not a psychiatrist I’m just intrigued!)