Helen at Fuss Free Flavours posted these delicious looking cupcakes recently. I thought they looked really delicious and decided that I would reproduce them - after all, what is the point of reading other people's delicious recipes if you don't occasionally make them! Sadly I didn't have a free sample of Pixley Berries delicious sounding cordial to use in the making of these cupcakes, but reading Helen's post reminded me that last time J was visiting she left a bottle of Spiced Berry Cordial, produced by Bottlegreen.
It's a rather delicious cordial - J has been enjoying it hot (as helpfully suggested on the bottle!) as a substitute for coffee - perfect for just before bed when you want a warming drink but don't want to be awake for half the night from the after effects of caffeine! You can see from their website that they've got a wide range of cordials - there are lots of interesting sounding flavours there like Strawberry & Elderflower or Ginger & Lemongrass - I must try some of the others too!
Anyway, this is the bottle I had to hand, so this is what I used. And to great effect too! I followed the recipe almost exactly so won't reproduce it here and it worked very nicely with a few more minutes baking time (thank you Helen), producing very light, moist cupcakes with a subtle hint of the spiced cordial. This was nicely complemented by the buttercream icing - rich and buttery with a stronger hit of spiced berry cordial. I think that I must try using more cordials in my cooking. Do you have any novel uses for cordials in cooking or baking? Are there any recipes I must try that use a cordial as an ingredient?
Colleagues enjoyed these - the spice of the berry cordial was definitely noticeable, and commented upon by a couple of people. I think this flavour would be good around Christmas time too.
As an aside, as I was making the buttercream and adding the cordial, the buttercream seemed to become grainy and look split. I rectified this by adding more icing sugar, which worked well, but I'm mystified as to why it happened in the first place. I've never really had buttercream split on me before!
And I suppose I should say... with thanks to J for providing the cordial. Don't worry, I haven't used your whole bottle, I'll give the rest back later!