INDIVIDUAL sponges flavoured with delicate floral notes and topped with a zesty citrus frosting.
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
175g unsalted butter, softened
175g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, at room temperature
1 orange, zested
2 tsp lavender flowers (dried are fine), finely chopped
6 slices candied orange, chopped or 3 tbsp chopped candied peel
60g dark chocolate
150g icing sugar
3 tsp cocoa powder
ORANGE BUTTER CREAM
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g icing sugar
1 small orange, zested and juiced
1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Put the flour and baking powder into the mixing bowl, add the softened butter, broken into soft pieces, shake over the caster sugar, crack in the eggs and add the orange zest and lavender. Beat everything together until thick and well blended (use electric beaters if you like). Stir in the chopped candied orange.
2. Spoon the batter into 12 small or 8 large cupcake holders set in a muffin tray. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 15 minutes or until just springy when prodded. A skewer or knife pushed into the middle of one should come out clean. Leave to cool.
3. Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over but not touching a pan of simmering water. Mix the icing sugar with the cocoa powder and 3 tbsp of water to make a paste, then stir in the melted chocolate. Using a wide knife, spread the chocolate icing on top of each cooled cake. If the chocolate spread seizes, just add a little hot water to make it spreadable again.
4. For the butter cream, beat the butter, sugar, orange zest and juice to make a thick cream. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a fluted nozzle, and pipe whirls onto the cupcakes. If the mixture is becoming too soft, put the piping bag into the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up again. Serve straight away or chill until ready to serve.