Blackberry Baking - Cupcakes & Jam

This year I was very spoilt for my birthday and by far the best surprise from Pete was a gift voucher for a trial flight in the Piper Warrior out in the English Countryside at High Wycombe Airfield. It was a lovely present which I finally got around to using a few weeks ago, however on the day it was a bit nerve racking as I haven't flown a plane since 14th April 2006. Luckily it was a fairly pleasant day with no rain and only a few clouds and the instructor even let me land it twice - I was a bit rusty I admit that.

As we were already in the countryside I had mentioned to Pete that I wanted to go berry picking. The only time I have ever gone berry picking in England was at Pick Your Own farm and so I was a bit surprised when Pete told me we would be going berry picking on the side of the road in bushes and I was clearly not dressed for this. This way of berry picking was definitely much more fun (and cheaper) and once we had filled up with about 7 litres of blackberries we were on our way.

I managed to get about 5 litres back to London and the first thing on my list was JAM!!! I have been waiting to make jam for a long time, but as berries are always so expensive for a large amount I hadn't got around to it. With this amount of berries I had to do something with them as my freezer is tiny and jam is one of my favourite things and so I was very proud of myself as it tasted delish.

Next up I decided to use a dollop of jam in some cupcakes. For the icing I pureed a handful of blackberries and added it to my butter cream icing which gave an amazing purple colour, a better colour than any of my gel's could give.

Even after filling a few jars full of jam and making cupcakes, I still have freezer full of berries at my disposal... blackberry pie anyone?

Happy Baking x

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