Waiting for Agnes

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And so the world is divided November 18, 2010

Inspiration seems in short supply today. It could be that I’m just tired and distracted. Or it’s possible I inhaled a little too much bleach vapour in the midst of my cleaning frenzy. Either way, I’m finding it hard to get too exercised about the media coverage of Significant Progress to the Gay Marriage Cause. Perhaps I should be more impressed, but at the moment the most I can muster is ‘meh’. So politicians are being encouraged to consult their constituents? Was that not always their job?

In my relentless hunt for ideas I conducted a poll. It was brief. In an ad break during her Stories, I asked the beloved what she thought of the news.

*    *    *

Someone passed a motion in Parliament? Ha!

No, not that kind of motion. The Greens passed a motion…

A green motion!! Hahaha!

Gah. Politicians are going to consult their constituents, you know? Ask their opinions.

Oh. Good. Shhh now, my stories are back on.

*    *    *

Yup, we are political animals here.

Much as the world is divided between the gays and the ‘dinosausers’, so it is between those who love icing and those who painstakingly scrape it off every slice of cake they meet, or just eat it and then whine about its excessive rich/sugary/creamy/abundant-ness. Like the beloved. Possibly it’s fortunate that she’s not as in love with icing as I am. If she was we might both spiral into a teeth-aching, nerve-jangling, eye-popping diabetic fit by dusk each day. And small would be raised on a diet of buttercream and ganache.

Anyway, by some unintended stroke of genius, I managed to make an iced cupcake that the beloved loves.


Miniature Minty Cakes

100 grams of plain flour

20 grams of cocoa

140 grams of caster sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

a pinch of salt

40 grams of unsalted butter, at room temperature

120 mls of full fat milk

1 egg

1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract


150 grams of dark eating chocolate

90 grams of cream

3/4 of a teaspoon of peppermint essence

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 fan forced).

Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.

You can use a freestanding mixer, or handheld electric beaters.

Put the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a large bowl. Mix on slow speed until everything is well combined and a sandy consistency.

Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together.

Continuing to beat on low speed, slowly pour about half the milk mixture into the flour mixture.

Increase the speed to medium and add the rest of the milk mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.

Mix until smooth, without overdoing it.

Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. When done they will be risen and springy.

Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

While they are cooling, make the icing:

Break up the chocolate into a medium heatproof bowl. Add the cream.

Heat gently over a small saucepan of just simmering water until the chocolate melts.

Take off the heat and stir until smooth.

Add the peppermint essence, stirring to combine. Leave to cool and thicken, stirring regularly.

By the time the ganache thickens to a spreadable consistency, the cakes will be cool.

Swirl generously over each little cake.


Not really a cupcake. Not just a dry, sponge-like vehicle for excessive, garnished buttercream frosting (yes yes, I know they’re not all like that). These are tiny devil’s food cakes, moist and flavourful. Like a Mint Slice biscuit, but bigger and better.