Cupcakes with violets and cream
Makes 12 12 candied viola flowers (see separate recipe) For the cupcakes 150g margarine, softened 150g self-raising flour, sifted 150g caster sugar 3 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 pinch salt For the cream 400ml whipping cream 80g icing sugar, sifted 1 tsp vanilla extract For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cupcake cases. Beat together all the cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Divide the batter evenly between the paper cases. Bake for 20 mins until golden and risen. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool.
For the cream: In a mixing bowl, whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla extract until semi-stiff peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle. Pipe swirls of cream on top of the cupcakes. Garnish each with a candied flower before serving.