What better for Valentine’s Day than Nigella’s Love Buns from Feast. So easy to put together! Everything in the food processor!. The frosting is a little fiddley, but it’s just time consuming.
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon soft butter
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
Take everything you need out of the fridge in time to bring to room temperature — this apparently makes a huge difference to the lightness of the love buns later — and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Put all of the ingredients for the buns, except for the milk, into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel to make a smooth, dropping consistency.
Divide the mixture into a 12-bun muffin tin lined with muffin papers or heart-patterned cases, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. They should have risen and be golden on top; you want a little peak if possible.
NOTE: The casings don’t look really full, but they really do rise quite a bit.
Let them cool a little in their tin on a rack, and then take them carefully out of the tin to cool in their papers, still on the wire rack.
Now for the topping. The problem with the topping is you make more than you need for the 12 cupcakes, but if you halve the quantities, you don’t have quite enough. My solution was to top the cupcakes, and with the leftover topping, I melted chocolate in a double boiler, some cream and the topping. Made a great hot fudge sauce for icecream.
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Heart-shaped sprinkles or colored sugar to decorate
This is a frosting that has a kind of meringue base, by which you whisk egg whites over heat until they’re stiff and gleaming. So make a double-boiler with a heatproof bowl that will fit snugly over a saucepan of barely simmering water, and put all of the ingredients for the frosting, except for the vanilla and sprinkles, into the bowl. Whisk everything with an electric beater until the icing becomes thick and holds peaks like a meringue. This will take about 5 minutes, so be patient.
Take the bowl off the saucepan and onto a cool surface and keep whisking while you add the vanilla. Then keep whisking until the mixture cools a little. You want a proper peaked and whipped covering here, so spoon some frosting over each bun and then dollop another spoonful over in a swirly fashion. Immediately shake over your choice of sprinkles, as the icing will set very quickly.
NOTE: I have made these many times before. For some reason, after adding the vanilla, the topping wasn’t as stiff as it had been. Sigh. Still very yummy though!