Is this the most ludicrous title on the blog so far? I do apologise. But it's Nigella's fault, honestly. Really, with a title like that, who else would have invented this recipe? At least she doesn't refer to these as "a voluptuous inner thigh wobble" or "rosy-nippled", which she genuinely does for some of her other recipes. Really Nigella, just control yourself, will you? Incidentally, I've just realized that this post is going to attract a whole new kind of Google searcher to the blog. Hmm.
Anyway, name aside, these are charming little cakes - very light, fluffy and delicate, a good alternative to normal fairy cakes. The recipe comes from Feast (in the Valentine's Day chapter, natch). Nigella recommends a meringue-y topping, or recommends a blob of jam and swirl of whipped cream if you can't be bothered with all that faff. I disregarded both suggestions. I know, so rebellious!
The reason for such a greedy mid-week treat was very prosaic and boringly thrifty. The Dine at Mine household has just sold its flat, so the time is looming when we will need to move out. Rather than tackling any of the important bits like packing up all our books, chucking out decrepit old furniture or, oh yes, finding a new home, we have chosen to concentrate our energies on using up food from the freezer. Well, that's important too.
This white chocolate buttercream was left over from our wedding cake extravaganza (see the cake here, here and here, and more left over icing used here). We'd chucked it in the freezer to use up another time and as the freezer gradually emptied, the lumpy bag of icing needed to find a good home.
Incidentally, I wasn't sure if the icing would freeze well at all, but it survived its ordeal totally unscathed, just as delicious as the day it was made and with texture unimpaired. And because we'd frozen it in a plastic bag, once it had thawed I was able to just snip the corner off the bag and use it as a piping bag! Yes, I was very proud of myself when I thought of that.
In true Nigella style these were very quick and easy, all whizzed up in the food processor and done and dusted in about half an hour. I didn't want to be too greedy so just did half quantities of the cakes, but that meant I ended up with insane, Hummingbird Bakery-style quantities of icing on each one. Delicious, but the weight of the icing has started to squish the fluffy little cakes slightly, so we'll need to be quick...which I'm sure won't be a problem. As the actress said to the bishop. Sorry, sorry, I'm ashamed of myself - Nigella is a bad influence!
Recipe available here
Nigella's Love Buns
My half quantities to make 6 buns
- 62g butter at room temperature
- 62g caster sugar (as always, I used vanilla sugar)
- 62g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 tablespoons of milk
Preheat the oven to 200C and line a fairy cake tin with little paper cases. Put everything except the milk in a food processor and whiz until smoothly combined, then add the milk and zizz again until you have what Nigella calls "a smooth dropping consistency". Divide among your paper cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and well risen.
As discussed above, I iced the cakes with some leftover white chocolate icing from our wedding cake extravaganza but for Nigella's meringue-y topping, see the link to her website above. And enjoy!