I've had a very sad few weeks, so I hope you'll forgive my absence. My beloved cat, Tabitha, went to sleep in my arms on a Sunday afternoon in not-so-sunny March. She had been my friend and my feline companion since I was nine years old. She reached the grand old age of twenty, and was elegant and refined until the end. (Far more so than I was, with tears running down my cheeks and red, puffy eyes.) You might remember that she was my Nutmeg Bites taster, approving them before I posted them here; but, in all honesty, she tasted everything I baked and approved of anything that included butter.
She liked these fairy cakes, too (the cake bit, not the chocolate bit). More than I did, probably. I picked up these Hershey's 'semi-sweet' chocolate chips whilst I was at Partridges buying my Reese's Peanut Butter Chips for my cookies. I've never been clear as to what semi-sweet chocolate chips are as in England we only have milk, dark and white. As far as I can tell, they're dark chocolate, but sweetened. I'm not entirely sure if I like them or not! Do, of course, use whichever chocolate chips you have to hand for these cakes, you really needn't feel you have to attempt to figure out what semi-sweet chips are just because I did.
But this post isn't really about these mediocre cakes (though remove the chocolate chips and you're left with a practically perfect vanilla fairy cake recipe which I'd definitely recommend making!). This post is about my little furry baking assistant whose loud purr and endless meowing are sounds I miss everyday. I wish that I'd baked her something nicer and more exciting now that I know these were to be the last thing of mine that she would taste, but that's my pain, not hers. She was a cat with a love of butter, so I think she was pretty happy. I'd like to tell you more about her, but the long post I had saved in my drafts just didn't do justice to the incredible cat that she was - I just couldn't find the right words. I hope to find them one day. There are so many funny stories I could tell you.
I don't wish to think about the fact that this recipe is the last I am able to post with the 'Tabitha seal of approval', so instead let me say this: Tabitha liked these. I hope you will, too.
CHOCOLATE CHIP FAIRY CAKES
Yield: 8-10 fairy cakes
130g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
130g self-raising flour
95g chocolate chips
+ Heat the oven to 180C.
+ Lay out a fairy cake/muffin tray and line with paper cases.
- Blend the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, about three minutes.
- Add the eggs, a little at a time, until fully incorporated.
- Mix in the vanilla.
- Sift in the flour and fold until just combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spoon into your waiting cases and place them on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 15-17 minutes until turning golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tabitha (in her kitchen), 1993 - 2013