In a matter of hours we celebrate the birthday of Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest men ever in the whole wide world; born in 1918, he turns a whopping 95 years old!! He spent 28 years of his life in prison – and emerged with a great big beaming smile and great taste in print shirts to become our President :-).
In celebration of “Mandela Day” we are all donating 67 minutes of our time to a good cause, in honour of the 67 years Madiba has given to the struggle for social justice – join us!! I’ll be distributing cupcakes, and pledging money for charity for every kilometre I run in 67 minutes on the treadmill (heaven help me…).
Of course I am not the only person to throw cupcakes at people in the name of goodness – check out what these fantastic Record-winning people at “Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer” have been up to this past weekend:
Everyone seems to be having a ratty, uninspiring couple of weeks and the chilly weather isn’t helping – we are all in dire need of a bit of sunshiney goodness, and what better to inject a bit of zest into life than a nice burst of zingy citrus? Incidentally, Madiba is also feeling under the weather and has been in hospital for some time now – hopefully he is up for a bit of cake and candles tomorrow :-).
This cupcake recipe is based on one from Jenny Colgan’s Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe, one of my favourite “bit of fluff” novels when I need something not too taxing on the grey matter. The cupcakes are full of Vitamin C and have more fibre than the average sweet treat since an orange, skin and all, goes right in. I had been planning to embellish them with candied lemon slices, for which I’d found a recipe – they looked so lovely, diaphanously see-through and posh. My efforts yielded picture-perfect lemon slices BUT… they were bitterly inedible! Taste can never be sacrificed for prettiness in my kitchen. Leave the bitterness behind, people!
Fortunately I had a packet of soft fruit jelly sweeties lurking in the recesses of my cupboard (intended to be bastardised into naughty jelly sweeties for grown-ups…). They don’t look as shmancy as what those lemon slices would have, but I think Madiba’s a fun kind of guy – why else would he do the Madiba Shuffle? – and wouldn’t mind too much.
I used the cupcakeinator for these, to help save electricity, as it heats up very quickly and takes just 5 minutes for a batch of 8 little cakelets – according to the original recipe, regular cupcakes would take 50 minutes. I’ve never tried that size but this does seem a bit excessive. No-one should be made to wait nearly an hour for cupcakes, surely?
For lots and lots (but not quite 67 – possibly 35) Zesty Orange & Lemon Cupcakes:
1 orange, chopped – skin and all. Your kitchen will smell phenomenal.
1 cup of butter, melted
1 heaped cup of white sugar
2 cups of self-raising flour
Don’t forget to give the cupcakeinator a blast of non-stick cooking spray before firing it up – I don’t trust that stuff they coat all cookware with nowadays. Teflon? It sounds like something you should clean tiles with.
While the magic cupcake machine is heating up, beat the sugar, melted butter and eggs together, mix in the chopped orange, then stir in the flour. Wasn’t that easy? Make another batch – maybe 67 is a possibility after all! (I ran out of oranges, oops).
Bake until a skewer (aka the tip of a steak knife) comes out clean, and allow to cool.
This is the point at which you neglect to make candied lemon slices because they are GROSS. Instead, mix lots of icing sugar (maybe 500g? I never measure) with freshly-squeezed lemon juice to form a spreadable, drippy, droopy kind of icing (ok the juice can come out of a bottle. I just had a spare lemon hanging around looking sorry for itself). Spread this over the cooled cupcakes and wodge a jelly sweet on the top for a bit of prettiness. Doh! I just remembered that I had yellow and orange sprinkles handy, dang nabbit.
Enjoy handing out citrusy sunshiney yumminess on a great day to honour a great man, yay!
Let’s make every day a Mandela Day 🙂 xoxo
PS: Have you read Long Walk to Freedom yet? Do!