This month I have been invited to take part to a ‘Recipe Challenge’ in collaboration with Westfield London to promote their We Are Dining campaign. The campaign, which started on the 20th of January and will run until the end of February, supports the many restaurants, cafés and food counters open inside the Shepherd’s Bush shopping centre. As part of the promotion, Westfield is offering exclusive vouchers to use in the centre and recipes to recreate your favourite restaurants’ dishes.
Having spent many hours shopping in Westfield centres in London, I have had the opportunity to try out different food options. From the coffee and eggs royale at Grind, or the frozen yogurt at Snog and Pinkberry to the burgers at Byron, from the chicken souvlaki at The Real Greek to the Neapolitan pizza at Franco Manca. The food and drink choices at Westfield London and Stratford are both varied and good.
My challenge as part of the We Are Dining campaign was to try a dish from one of the Westfield restaurants and recreate it at home, trying my best to beat the original of course. I decided to recreate one of the cupcakes from the Buttercup Cake Shop.
Buttercup is a cupcake shop which opened in Kensington seven years ago and now also has two shops inside the Westfield centres. They sell fresh and hand-made cupcakes prepared with the finest ingredients.
At the counter in Westfield London the shop assistant assembled the cupcake in front of me, adding the frosting to the cake as soon as I placed the order. Their website says: “the person helping you will always be a cake enthusiast”. Just like the Buttercup Cake Shop founder Donna Egan!
I loved their “Elvis Presley” cupcake: banana cake with a peanut butter buttercream, topped with roasted peanuts.
My two objectives when making the Buttercup Cake Shop “Elvis Presley” cupcakes at home were: recreating the original flavours and matching their style.
The difficult part of the taste-matching was finding the right balance between sweet (of the banana cakes) and salty (of the peanut butter frosting). Let’s say I tasted a good amount of frosting as I was making it, adding more peanut butter or cream as needed.
The other task – recreating the look – was also challenging as I consider cake decoration to be my Achilles’ heel. Despite attending a fantastic cupcake decoration workshop, I lack the patience to handle a piping bag properly and carefully.
Overall though I think I did a good job! My cupcakes taste really good and maybe with a lot of practice I could one day beat the originals. :)
For the banana cakes
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 5 small ripe bananas, mashed
- 3 large eggs (yolks and whites separated)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
For the peanut butter frosting
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup double cream
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, cream the butter. Add the mashed bananas and egg yolks, and mix. Add the dry ingredients.
Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff. Gently fold them into the cake batter. Fill paper cake cases and bake for around 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool down completely.
Make the frosting by beating together the peanut butter and vanilla extract. Add the icing sugar, mixing on low. Once all the sugar is combined, add half of the cream. Mix until smooth. Add the remaining cream if needed and beat until fluffy.
Fill a piping bag with frosting and decorate the banana cakes. Add two or three peanuts on top to complete the decoration.
Disclaimer: This post was done in collaboration with Westfield. All views are my own.