Berry-Nice Blackcurrant Cupcakes

Like a juicy little blackcurrant pie, all wrapped up in a mini cupcake.

Today the sun shone, and so to the garden we headed. Mum’s blackcurrant patch was bursting with berries which needed picked, and something yummy to make use of them. The whole garden seemed like it had just been turned to ‘super-bright’ like that camera setting you sometimes have. Every flower, tree, plant was beaming with bold colour and brightness, brought to life by the glow of the sun. It was really rather pretty.

A half hour later we had armfuls of blackcurrant stems which needed stripped. I was coping alright, I managed to put up with being covered in leaves, berries and general dirt. That was until a few spiders decided to join the garden party. You should know I really do not do spiders. Eughhh. Passed that branch to mum, and kept calm and carried on. Very soon I had a large tub full of bright purple berries. An hour well spent I thought. It’s little things like this that my mum has passed on and taught to me, that I hope I will be able to replicate later in life myself. There really is nothing like using fruit and produce you have grown and picked yourself, and eating it within hours of it leaving the plant. Fresh is most definitely best!

Tomorrow we head to the North Coast, or you may know it as the Causeway Coast of Northern Ireland, home to the Giant’s Causeway, and my favourite little town of Portstewart. This will be my 4th holiday this year and you have no idea how blessed and happy that makes me feel. The long, endless Portstewart Strand is my little slice of heaven. Days are spent body-boarding, swimming in the slightly chilly sea or if the sun decides to make an appearance, you can dare to lay out on the sand. Today’s sun is getting me excited that this week may be different, and a contrast to the usual weather we expect in Ireland, and maybe, just maybe, a little bit like summer. Touch wood.

If all else fails, these cupcakes may insert some sunshine. The sheer amount of juicy purple fruit in these beauties, makes you feel you’re eating something quite healthy, and I’m sure the vitamin C content cancels out the sugar and butter. Anyway, just indulge in a little goodness. Recipe which is from my mother’s favourite cook book of Sarah Raven’s, is included below.

*recipe adapted from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook

Blackcurrant Cupcakes

115g butter

115g sugar

115g self raising flour

2 eggs

1/2 tsp baking powder

100g blackcurrants, topped and tailed

1-2tbsp milk

Icing

250g icing sugar

2-3 tbsp blackcurrant juice/Ribena (I used half and half)

dash of lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 180oc. Line muffin tray with cupcake cases.

2. Cream butter and sugar then beat in eggs. Add sifted flour and baking powder gradually and beat in.

3. Add milk to make a smoother mixture, then gently fold in whole blackcurrants.

4. Divide between cupcake cases, only about half way and bake in oven for 15-20 mins.

Blackcurrant Icing

1. Sieve the icing sugar, then add lemon juice and blackcurrant juice and mix well until smooth. If too thick, add extra blackcurrant juice or water (if you don’t want the icing to be any sharper) till of desired consistency.

2. Spread over cupcakes using a spatula and decorate with extra blackcurrants.

Bite and chew, enjoy!

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