I am going to my local "World's biggest coffee morning" in aid of Macmillan cancer support tomorrow. Instead of taking a cake that would need cutting up, I decided to make some cupcakes. I normally bake dairy-free, as I like to at least let the children try what I bake, even if they don't like it. It just seems a bit mean to bake something that I know they can't eat. But, they won't be eating these cakes, as they are for grown-ups only, so I could do something I don't normally get the chance to do.
I made up a batch of my orange and poppyseed loaf cake mix, but used cows milk instead of soya. This was split into 16 cupcake cases, with each around 2/3 full and baked at 180c for about 18 minutes. Once cooled, I iced them with vanilla cream cheese frosting (3 tbsp cream cheese, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tsp vanilla and enough icing sugar to make a soft consistency) then sprinkled caramelised orange peel and poppy seeds on top.
To make the caramelised orange, I carefully peeled an orange so I only took the top layer of the skin and not the white pith underneath. I then sliced each piece into 1mm wide strips and heated them in a frying pan with a couple of tbsp of caster sugar. Once the sugar was melted and bubbling, and the orange peel softened, I turned off the heat. As the orange cooled and the sugar re-solidified, the peel turned crunchy, sweet and very intensely flavoured.