At least a year ago, people started asking me if ‘The Boy’ would no longer be called ‘The Boy’ after the wedding. It seemed quite a popular theory that after the wedding, he should become ‘The Man’ but for a number of reasons, this is just wrong.
Mostly because the reason he is called ‘The Boy’ is because he is younger than I am.
From October to February, he gets to claim that he is four whole years younger than me. Which clearly isn’t quite the case, since from February to October, he is merely three and a half years younger than me. Suffice to say: if his name changes to one that seems old, then I would by definition be older. Ahem.
He will always be The Boy. At all costs.
Since I was actually home for his birthday, I had a master plan to take dozens of cupcakes to his office without him knowing in advance. Note to those who may have similar ideas: if his office has a tradition of the birthday person providing cake on their own birthday, the surprise factor has to go, unless you are quite happy for him to also buy a cake at the shop around the corner from the office. Perhaps the surprise factor is overrated anyway. Or so I tell myself.
The Boy remembers a rum-soaked cake from his childhood, but apparently he was quite the boozy child since he said it was absolutely soaked. No way that was going to work in a cupcake paper then. I asked for more description and he said there was coconut involved. And apricot jam. Which sounded like a very odd combination but turns out, it’s not at all. I know I sent two dozen of these and two dozen chocolate to his office and he returned only with empty boxes, so it seems they were approved.
Rum Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-Rum Cream
makes about 24 medium sized cupcakes
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar (I use vanilla caster sugar in pretty much every cake)
190g unsalted butter (in US sticks, that’s one and a half. in UK blocks, it’s 3/4 of one.)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup dark rum
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
dash of salt
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Soften the butter and mix on high until fluffy.
Add eggs, sugar and vanilla and continue to mix.
Stir in all remaining ingredients and mix on medium until the batter is even.
Fill cupcake cases 2/3 full and bake for 16-20 minutes, or when a chopstick comes out clean.
Remove from pan immediately and cool on a rack.
Rum Soak: Combine equal parts dark rum and honey. Use a knife to cut an X in the top of each cake, and add a teaspoon of the rum and honey to each cake, so it soaks into the cake through the X.
When cakes are cool, glaze the top with apricot jam or conserve.
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup caster sugar (more or less to taste)
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon dark rum
Place in a mixing bowl and whisk at the highest speed until the cream thickens to form soft peaks.
Spoon on top of cooled, glazed cupcakes and sprinkle with coconut pieces.
And my own childhood preference for rum-flavoured sweets (Butter Rum Lifesaves were my favourite for years!) tells me you could certainly replace the real rum with flavouring in the cream, but the flavouring is most certainly more concentrated, so go easy.
For birthday dinner? I, the vegetarian wife, took The Boy to an Argentinian steak house. Let it not be said that I am always a pain in the neck when it comes to food.