CGC’s Showstopper Baker

As the UK prepares itself for the annual cakeathon and fabulous charity campaign that is Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, we wouldn’t be a catering company if we didn’t get involved would we? And we happen to have one member of staff who we all look forward to seeing after she’s done some baking! Lizzie Baxendale is Event Manager at the Yorkshire Event Centre, our Venue of the Month, and somewhat of a baker extraordinaire here at CGC Event Caterers. Having been with the company for 15 years, and at the YEC for the same amount of time, the sales office at HQ have grown rather accustomed to sampling Lizzie’s latest delights after one of her “days off”, and below is what she baked for us today on Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

Lizzie’s role at CGC sees her managing the Yorkshire Café, which Lizzie has decorated with various trinkets and decorative Yorkshire fair. On event days visitors are able to enjoy hot meals such as classic filling sandwiches, a range of hot daily specials and YAPAS – Yorkshire tapas; featuring pork pies, cold meats and help yourself salad. However it’s not all café culture for Lizzie, she also has the tough task of managing other big events we cater at the Yorkshire Event Centre, such as the Welcome To Yorkshire White Rose Awards which was hosted there last year. Lizzie headed up the 150 strong CGC team who served 120 tables (1,100 guests) a three-course menu. Out of all the events Lizzie is part of she says Countryside Live is her absolute favourite as ‘it’s absolutely bonkers, there’s so much going on!’

It’s not too late to join in and get baking  – why not try Lizzie’s latest creation form the Sainsbury’s Magazine:

Salted caramel Jelly Baby cupcakes

Makes 12 | prep 35 mins | total time 55 mins, plus chilling and cooling

Ingredients

For the icing:

300g full-fat soft cheese

100g very soft unsalted butter

50g icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cupcakes:

175g soft unsalted butter

175g light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar

3 large eggs, beaten

2 tsp vanilla extract

175g self-raising flour, sifted

about 4 tbsp milk

12 tsp salted caramel sauce, at room temperature

To decorate:

3 shortbread fingers, crushed finely (plus an extra 2 if you want ‘sand’ for the plate)

jelly babies or seaside-themed sweets

edible gold stars (optional)

paper cocktail parasols

Step by step:

Get ahead:

The iced cupcakes can be frozen for up to 1 month. Any leftover decorated cupcakes are still good the next day.

To make the icing, whip the soft cheese for 1-2 minutes until really soft and smooth; this is to stop the icing going lumpy when you add the butter. Scrape in the soft butter plus a pinch of salt and beat again. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Chill to firm up.

Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases. Cream the butter and sugar with a pinch of sea salt, for at least 2-3 minutes using an electric mixer, until really pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, followed by the vanilla, then the flour. Add enough milk so that the batter will drop easily from a spoon.

Divide the batter between the cases and bake for 18-20 minutes until cooked through. Cool on a wire rack.

Use the tip of a sharp serrated knife to cut and scoop out a bit of sponge from the top of each upcake. Fill with a spoonful of salted caramel sauce, then pop the section of sponge back on top.

Spread or pipe the icing on top of the cupcakes. Scatter with crushed shortbread, then add sunbathing jelly babies or seaside-themed sweets, gold stars (if using) and parasols.

For more information on the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and to make a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support visit: www.coffee.macmillan.org.uk

Join in the conversation online by using the hashtag #Coffeemorning on Twitter, a look out for our Head Office Bake-off competition in aid of the day and see who our winner will be this year!