One of my favourite companies I’ve come across since starting this blog is ‘Bake With Maria’, a wonderful baking school based in North West London. You may have read my posts about their chocolate event and baking with rye class.
And recently, they introduced me to another lovely company called Lavolio, a boutique confectionery company. Their products are handmade by Artisans with real fruit, nuts and spices, and they’re 100% vegetarian and gluten-free. Each sweet can take up to five days to make. You can watch a video about the production process here:
Lavolio were kind enough to send me some of their Nutty Easter Eggs. Inside each white egg is one of three chocolate flavours – Extra Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut
Gianduia Chocolate, and White Amaretto Chocolate.
And Bake With Maria provided a cupcake recipe to put them to good use (probably a good thing, otherwise I could easily have eaten the whole box!)
• 125g self raising flour (you can use gluten free flour here)
• 125g caster sugar
• ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 125g soft unsalted butter
• 2 large eggs (120g)
• 1 tbsp Lemon juice
• 1 tbsp whole milk
• zest from 2 unwaxed lemons
• Lavolio Easter eggs
• 100g butter, softened
• 200g cream cheese
• 100g icing sugar, sifted
Makes 12 cupcakes
Preheat your oven to 170C.
Sieve together the flour, caster sugar and bicarbonate of soda in the standmixer bowl.
Add the soft butter, eggs, lemon juice and most of the lemon zest. Beat with beater for 1 minute at medium speed. Add the milk and beat for another 30 seconds. Scrape
down the sides of your mixer and beat for another 30 seconds.
Fill the cupcake cases ⅔ full, drop one or two Lavolio Easter eggs in to each
cupcake and bake for 20-25 minutes until a cake skewer comes out clean. Let them
cool off completely before decorating them with cream cheese frosting.
For the frosting: Beat the butter with half the icing sugar until pale and
fluffy. Scrape down the bowl well, add the rest of the icing sugar and beat again
until pale and fluffy. Stir the cream cheese to remove any lumps, then mix this
into the buttercream. Keep in the fridge until you need it. Frost the cakes once
they are completely cool and decorate with Lavolio Eggs.
Now I changed the recipe a little bit, as I’m not a huge fan of butter cream icing. And as I love making meringue, I thought this would be a great opportunity to combine meringue and cupcake!
I turned down the oven to 120 celcius (fan).
I whisked two egg whites in a bowl until they formed stiff peaks.
I then added 100g of white caster sugar and whisked until the whole mixture was stiff (and I could turn the bowl upside down without tipping out).
I then added some natural pink food colouring to give it an Easter pastel colour. I used a tube of gel colouring which I made swirls with in the meringue.
I then scooped the meringue out and placed on baking paper on a baking tray, into 12 circular nests, the size of the cupcakes.
I left them to bake for half an hour. You can leave them for up to an hour but I like my meringue quite soft – it also means they’re more flexible to place on top of the cupcakes. I did this while they were still warm, so they would mould nicely over the cupcakes and stay in place.
I just loved the ‘surprise’ of the Lavolio egg inside the cupcake – it gave each one added texture and flavour. You could make these cupcakes at different times of year, using a variety of colours and flavours. Pink and lemon just worked perfectly for Easter.
You can find out more about Lavolio on their website here, and about Bake With Maria here. They’re a lovely bunch of people and I hope to be able to attend another of their classes soon. They also host private events, so if you’re looking for somewhere to host a hen party, a birthday or a team building event, they’re definitely worth checking out!
I was sent products for baking use by Lavolio and the recipe by Bake with Maria, but did not receive any payment. All views are my own.