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    Peach and Mascarpone Cupcakes

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    Peach and Mascarpone Cupcakes

    They’re oversized and they’re over here. It’s hard to resist those modern American invaders, cupcakes, especially when they combine peach sponge with a lusciously creamy topping

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus cooling
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 50 minutes 50 minutes

    Makes: 8

    Ingredients

    • 115g Unsalted butter, soft
    • 115g Caster sugar
    • 2 Eggs
    • 2 tsp Milk
    • 2 drops Vanilla extract
    • 115g Self-raising flour, plus 2 tsp for the peaches
    • 2 Ripe peaches, stoned and chopped
    • Topping
    • 60g Unsalted butter, soft
    • 150g Icing sugar
    • 100g Mascarpone
    • 2 drops Vanilla extract
    • Raspberries, to serve
    • 50g White chocolate shavings, to serve

    Method

    1. Make the cake mix. Line a muffin tin with eight muffin cases (these are bigger than fairy cake cases). Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas 4. Cream the butter and caster sugar together and gradually add the eggs, milk and vanilla extract while still beating. If the mixture looks like it has curdled or ‘split’, add 2 tbsp flour from the 115g and beat well. I like to use a KitchenAid mixer for cakes, but a hand whisk will do just fine. (Failing both of these, a wooden spoon will do the trick – with a bit of elbow grease.) Add the rest of the flour and combine quickly. Don’t overmix.
    2. Fill the cases. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are roughly two-thirds full. This can be a bit of an effort if you use a spoon, so I like to use a mechanical ice cream scoop. Sprinkle the chopped peach pieces with 2 tsp flour; this should help them stop sliding to the bottom of the cake during cooking.
    3. Bake the cupcakes. Push a few peach pieces into the top of each cupcake and transfer the tray to the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden. When touched, the cooked sponge will be slightly springy. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool (put them in the fridge for 10 minutes if you’re in a hurry). Meanwhile, to make the buttercream, beat together the butter and icing sugar until fluffy. Add the mascarpone and vanilla extract and mix very quickly, until just combined; the mascarpone can turn into a runny liquid if mixed for too long.
    4. Add the topping. Spoon buttercream on top of each cupcake and make a pretty swirl with a knife, or use a star piping nozzle to make a professional-looking icing. Top each cake with a raspberry and a few shavings of white chocolate.

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    Drinks recommendation

    For a tea time treat, try this new high-quality, elegant fizz. Waitrose Cava, Castillo Perelada. Bin 396950; £7.99.

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