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You'll need a large (5-litre) mixing bowl on your electric mixer to make the buttercream; otherwise make it in two batches. I prefer the precision of weight measurements for all ingredients, which is usual practice for pastry chefs.
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Apple, banana cream, lemon meringue, raspberry… so many sweet pies (more than twenty of them) to try, so little time to make them all. Pick your poison and cut yourself a slice.
When raspberries are in season, use fresh, but for the rest of the year frozen raspberries work just fine.
Tips for cupcakes
* Bring all ingredients to room temperature before you start for ease of incorporation. That goes for butter, eggs, milk and other wet ingredients.
* Prepare your moulds by lining with cupcake papers or buttering and flouring before you start.
* Make sure your butter is soft but not melting. Coarsely chop it while it's cold and place in mixing bowl minutes before you start.
* Scrape down sides of your mixing bowl regularly to prevent lumps in the batter.
* Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. If the mixture shows signs of splitting (it'll look grainy), add a tablespoon or two of flour to the mixture and stir to combine before you go any further. A split mixture will result in tough cakes.
* Beat butter and sugar, and eggs, in an electric mixer, but stir in dry ingredients and milk by hand to avoid overworking the mixture.
* Fill moulds to 5mm below tops, unless otherwise specified.
* Bake cakes in centre of oven and turn halfway through cooking time to ensure even baking (except for sponge cakes, where an even oven temperature must be maintained).
* Remove cupcakes baked in paper cases from the moulds and place on a wire rack to cool, to avoid sweating.
* Be patient and let cakes cool before icing or filling.