Remembrance Day has always been an important day within our household, with my dad working for the army he has always told me how important it is to remember the millions of people that gave their lives throughout two world wars and any and all wars still going on. I always respect the 2-minute silence but this year I thought I would try something new, expressing my respect through cake!
I’ve attempted to make some basic lemon cupcakes from BBCGoodFood with buttercream icing and then used some roll-out icing to hand-make a poppy on each one…I can’t promise that it’s gonna be perfect but it’s my way of showing I care and remembering those we’ve lost.
225g Self-Raising Flour
175g Caster Sugar
Zest of 2 Lemons
175g Butter, melted
For the Icing
226g Butter, softened
400g Icing Sugar
Juice of 1 Lemon
Yellow Food Colouring
Block of Red Roll-Out Icing
Black Icing Pen
To start with, preheat the oven to 180C/ 160 Fan/ Gas Mark 4 and line a muffin tray with cases.
In a large mixing bowl mix flour, sugar, and lemon zest together until combined.
Now, in a small bowl whisk together the eggs and yogurt before pouring the wet ingredients into the dry along with the melted butter and gently whisk until you have a smooth batter with no lumps.
Next, divide the mixture between your cupcake cases; I used an ice-cream scoop to save the mess and put them in the oven for between 20-25 minutes until the sponge is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cupcakes to cool for at least 5 minutes in the tin before putting them on a wire rack to fully cool for at least 15 minutes.
For the icing just mix together the icing sugar, lemon juice and butter until it's smooth and silky (I put hot butter in mine so it didn't recover from the heat and was way too runny to use). Once at the right consistency add a small drop of yellow food colouring in just so it takes on a more interesting colour.
If you mess up the icing like I did (I’m sure you won’t) then just use it as a bit of a glue to stick your poppies on with later!
If you did do the right thing then put your icing into a piping bag with a piping nozzle and pipe the icing in a spiral around the top of the cupcakes!
Now for the fun bit; making the poppies! If you’re more artistically gifted than me (which isn’t hard) then you’ll have your own way of doing this but if you’re doing it for the first time like I am, then allow me to show you the easiest way to do it!
Using your roll-out icing, roll it out on a floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin (about half an inch to 1 inch thick). If you have a poppy cookie cutter then you’re lucky if not, gently trace the shape of a poppy with a knife or a cocktail stick.
Now, using a knife, cut around your poppy and gently lift. Turn it over in your hand and apply a SMALL amount of icing in a blob on the back then lay it on top of a cupcake!
Once you have all your poppies in place, simply go along with a black icing pen and blob the circle of poppy seeds in the middle! If you’re able to, you could also roll out a small circle of black icing and prick it with a toothpick to take on the look of seeds before sticking that in the middle of your poppy. Whichever is easiest for you!
Of course, these would have looked better with a lovely spiral of buttercream icing on top but what are you gonna do?! I’m really happy with the poppies, considering I’ve never even attempted anything like that before, just to come out looking kind of like poppies is more than enough for me.
If you decide to make these today or remember the recipe for next year, try and think of the real reason that I made these; to commemorate the people we’ve lost in every war since WWI. These cupcakes may be a light-hearted kind of funny attempt at commemorating their lives but this is the way I choose to show my respects.
Happy Remembrance Day,