Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Let Us Eat Raspberry Trifle Cupcakes, and the Story of a Beautiful Wedding

I love the summer. I love lovely summer weddings, even more lovely when they are for your brother-in-law and his gorgeous fiancée-now-wife. They are even more lovely (if it were possible) when they are held in France in the beautiful countryside of Brittany, Dinard to be precise. And that's where I've been and explains my lack of blogging and tweeting. I'm sorry, but then I did have a good reason.  I was eating cake and drinking champagne.

And so with a lovely summer wedding comes a blog post. 

Dave & Barbara
What was't so lovely was the weather, which was just as temperamental as it is here in Blighty (I was quite pleased that it's not just us afterall!). My word did it rain. It rained when we got off the plane, as we were driving through Brittany, as we were climbing the steps into tree houses (yes, you read that right - although hubs and I were in a hotel room - relief! Running Water! I'm not a girl that takes kindly to camping in a tree).  It rained as we ate a wonderful dinner in a creperie with our friends and family.... but as the owner of the hotel said that night, 'for every rain drop that falls today, it will not fall tomorrow'. Was he going to be right?

It seemed so; we woke the following day to clear blue skies and glorious sunshine. Would it hold so Dave and Babs would get the French countryside wedding they dreamed of?

The wedding in the Town Hall of Dinard was followed by a marriage ceremony in the local church, only a five minute walk away.   Yes, you are guessing right dear reader.  It rained as we were leaving the town hall. Actually, It THREW it down. I had no cover, no brollie, no cardi - but I was soon warmed by the sight of Barbara walking down the aisle; what a sight! A Babs was beautiful bride, looking stunning and chic.  The rain slowed and held off throughout the most beautiful wedding ceremony I've been to, and we were warmed by the thought of these two people celebrating their love, committing themselves and growing old together. The rain that threatened the rest of the day ceased to matter.

The rain came back as we drove to the reception venue but it became clear that someone was looking over this pair. The sky cleared as they got out of the car and the sun shone for their photographs. And the guests? Well, we were soon warmed through with the wonderful fare laid on for us.

Sushi, Prawns, Squid, Oh My!
Champagne, Cocktails, Oysters, Oh My!

Champagne at the reception
And that was just to start whilst mingling with other guests looking at the frankly stunning table settings, resplendent with pink and white flowers intertwined through the spokes of vintage bird cages, with little pots of strawberry jam made by the brides mother for favours (needless to say, I cleared the tables of leftover jam the next morning!)

Champagne soaked, we took our seats for the Wedding Breakfast of Veal, and we munched our way through mountains of fresh French bread. Yes, yes, it was delicious, but I was impatient for the cheese that was to follow. Oh how I love cheese. Brie, goats and emmental cheese were served with yet more fresh bread. For the first time that day, I was quiet as I munched and savoured. So. Good. Finally, Wedding cake and fruit rounded off a delicious meal. The slice of cake I ate was almost embarrassingly large. But not quite embarrassingly enough as I polished the lot off, complete with an icing rose..... I was sure my dress would split.

So there you have it, the tale of a Wedding in France where the rain didn't dampen our spirits and the beautiful couple had the time of their lives.

And I ate cake.

Speaking of cake (seamless link), I was chuffed to see that Random Recipes this month from Dom at Bealleau Kitchen was to randomly choose a recipe from the cookery book most recently given to you as a gift. What wonderful luck it was that it was my birthday in May and my gorgeous friend, Ellen, gave me the new offering from The Hummingbird Bakery 'Cake Days' as a part of my gift (thanks Love, it's gorgeous!).

My way of choosing randomly is to flick the book and get my hubs to shout 'STOP'.  It was at this point that I happened across these delicately beautiful looking Raspberry Trifle cupcakes, leaving hubs grinning - trifle is his favourite. I then managed to drop the book and it fell open on the Chocolate Hazelnut cupcakes. Oh what a shame! Clearly, in the spirit of the challenge, I had to make both! Any excuse eh?

So we'll start with the trifle cupcakes, not only because they were first I randomly chose, but because they go beautifully with the pink and vintage colour scheme at Dave and Barbara's wedding.

Congratulations Darlings x

Raspberry Trifle Cupcakes

Raspberry Trifle Cupcakes

This recipe is adapted from 'The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days'.  I made a couple of changes from the original recipe. I can't help myself.  In addition, the recipe below makes 6.  The original recipe makes 12.  

For the Cake
  • 40g soft unsalted butter
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 large egg

For the Filling and Topping
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 15g plain flour
  • 15g cornflour
  • 100ml double cream
  • 12 fresh raspberries
  • 50g raspberry jam

Note: the first 6 ingredients of the 'Filling and topping ingredients make a custard.  You could cheat and buy ready made fresh custard... which when I make these again I will do. 

1. Preheat the oven to 180 and line a cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers.

2. With the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt on a slow speed until the ingredients are mixed and look like breadcrumbs.

3. In a jug, whisk together the milk, vanilla, and eggs by hand and pour 3/4 into the dry ingredients with the mixer on a slow speed.  Once incorporated add the rest of the liquid. scrape the sides of the mixer bowl with a spatula to make sure it is all mixed and beat until combined and smooth.

4. Divide between the cases and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden and bounce back when pressed.  Leave to cool on a wire rack.

5. If you are making your own custard, place the milk and vanilla in saucepan and bring to the boil.  Meanwhile, mix the egg yolks, sugar, flour and cornflour to make a paste, adding a little hot milk to thin if needed.

6. When the milk has boiled, remove from the heat and mix 2 tablespoons of milk with the egg mixture and then pour it all back into the remaining milk.  Return to the heat and bring to the boil, whisking continuously and continue to boil for another minute to cook the flours.  Pour the custard into a bowl and leave until cool covered with cling film (about 40 minutes).

7.  Nearly there. Beat the cooled custard to get rid of any lumps and in a separate bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks.  Fold the whipped cream into the custard.

8. Make a hollow about 2cm across and 3cm deep in the cakes, keeping the cut out sponge.  Place a raspberry in each hole, top with half a tsp of jam and half a tsp of the custard mixture.  Trim the cake and place back in the hole so it is level with the rest of the cake.  Top with a swirl of the custard frosting and top with a fresh raspberry.



  1. You've just described pure joy! I can feel and taste and smell your time in France! And topping it all off with those delightful cupcakes! Perfection! Thanks for taking part x

  2. those cupcakes look really pretty! esp love that plump raspberry sitting on top.