Hello ! And I’m here at the shop in Soho where we are celebrating Bees’ Needs Week and this recipe is all about bees, it’s gonna be lots of honey involved and I hope you enjoy it. Bees’ Needs Week is a week to raise awareness about the needs of bees because they are in decline and they’re super important to us and the world, so go and Google Bees’ Needs Week to find out what you can do to help bees. I hope you enjoy this recipe! Hello everyone and welcome to my kitchen at home. Now, between the 9th and the 15th of July, it is Bees’ Needs Week here in the UK, and that is a really important week which is gonna highlight all the important things about bees and what we can do together and individually to help bees to… do their thang. ‘Cause we rely so much on bees and other pollinators to help much of the food that we eat to grow, and if they decline as much as they have been, then we’re in serious trouble. All of us. So Bees’ Needs Week is all about bees and so this cupcake recipe is kind of all about bees (sort of) because it is a honey and rosemary cupcake with honey Swiss meringue buttercream. What else has it got? Honey caramel and a cute little bee to go on top! So I’m gonna get on with making the honey caramel to start with. So in my saucepan, I’ve got my sugar, my water and I’ve got this really lovely honey which I bought at the farmers’ market, if you’re lucky enough to have a farmers’ market near you then go and check out the bee guy, the honey guy there’s usually one around and I’m really lucky because I’ve got quite a few farmers’ markets near where I live. And so there’s always really amazing and local honey just at my disposal. And so I’m using a really strong flavored Scottish heather honey and that is in my pan as well, and I’m gonna take that over to the hob to get it on the heat. So I’m gonna start off with it on a low, medium heat just to kind of get things going, get the sugar melting and then I am going to just let that sit and bubble away until, well, it’s quite difficult to know because normally without the honey, I’d want it to get to a rich amber color but the honey itself is actually already kind of a rich amber color, so I’m gonna have to use my judgment and all of my senses except for touch obviously cause I’m not sticking my finger in there to find out how hot it is, but I will use my sense of smell and then when it’s done, I will put my cream in and it will be delicious, lovely caramel. Well that took about 15 minutes and I got it up to about 145°C. Meanwhile, I have literally been infested with wasps. I’ve got about four in here at the moment and during the time when normally I’d be telling you to not stop looking at the caramel I had to just get rid of all the wasps and then they’re back in here. So who knows what’s gonna happen? I feel like they’re the mortal enemies of bees. Anyway, my caramel is ready except that now I’ve got to put my double cream in and give it a really good stir. All the measurements for this recipe and the entire recipe are in the description box below. So please check that out. And that is super duper hot guys, as always so, please don’t stick your finger in it to taste it even though the smell of it is amazing and it’s probably what’s bringing the wasps in to be honest. Yeah, very odd. I’m not joking. There was like five in here at once at one point and yeah, I don’t like wasps, I like bees that’s why I’m doing this recipe. So I’m gonna put that to one side out of the way, and I’m gonna get on with making my sponge. Now I’m gonna start by mixing my dry ingredients together. I have got some self-raising flour. I’m gonna put that through the sieve along with my sugar. And I also have my bicarbonate of soda to help it to rise. I’m gonna put a pinch of salt just to bring out the flavor and a little pinch of nutmeg. I’ve actually freshly ground that, remember I’ve got my little tiny cheese grater thing, which I like to use, so any excuse is brilliant and the rosemary, I’ve used fresh rosemary and I’ve chopped it super fine, just with a sharp knife. I’m lucky enough to have a really healthy rosemary plant growing out in my garden and I used about, this much. Like a sprig, a small sprig and chopped it up really fine. I would highly recommend you look out for fresh rosemary rather than dried rosemary, the flavor is just gonna be completely different and much much better. So that goes shuffling through. Oo it’s very cloudy. Push the rosemary leaves through as well and that’ll just sit to one side and now I’m gonna get my wet ingredients together. So I’ve got some plain yogurt here. Just nice natural yogurt. And I’ve got one and a half eggs, you know how I love to split my eggs. And if you don’t want to do that, then just go and get some small eggs or medium eggs and use two of them, but I always have large eggs, so I can’t do that. I’d rather not just have mixed sizes because it messes with my whole flow, man. So one and a half large eggs or two small eggs and I’ve got some olive oil here as well and I like to use extra virgin, unfiltered olive oil, just because it’s got a much stronger flavor. I use that in all my cooking. You want something really nice and flavorful for your cake and I’m also going to put in just a tiny drop of good quality vanilla extract. And then using a whisk, just give that a nice stir and once it’s all combined, you can put your dry ingredients in with your wet ingredients and give them a really good stir. And once it’s completely lump-free and really well combined you can pour it into your cupcake cases as usual it’s 12 cupcakes it’s gonna make. I’ve already lined my tray with paper cases. And if you want, you can put this into a jug to make life easier for you. I’m just gonna go ahead and pour it straight from the bowl. ‘Cause that’s the kind of crazy kid I am. So here goes. And once all your batter is in you can then bake them at 170°C for 20 to 22 minutes and they should be nice and springy when you touch them. I’m back. So, my cakes came out of the oven, they’re cooling down, meanwhile, I’m making my Swiss meringue buttercream and I’ve already got my eggs and my sugar on the go. Basically, I’ve dissolved my sugar in my egg whites slowly over a bain-marie and now I’m gonna go ahead and put that into my mixing bowl. I’ve got a balloon whisk attachment on that as well and at the moment it’s quite hot. And I’m going to get this whisking on quite a high-speed and keep it going until it is cool to the touch. Yeah, this is hand temperature so this is about as cool as it’s gonna get in this heat today. Might find that my Swiss meringue is a little bit sloppy because it is really warm. But anyway, I’m gonna go ahead and add my very soft butter, bit by bit, while the mix is still going round like this. And once all your butter’s in, you just need to keep that going until it’s all mixed and if it does seem a little bit sloppy, whack the speed up, mine actually does. Whack the speed up and just keep going until it’s thickened up a little bit. Right, that’s looking really really good and it’s thickened up after having a bit of a whipping and I’m gonna now add my honey and I am using what was set honey, but it’s so warm in my kitchen at the moment that it’s kind of gone runny but use set honey, rather than runny honey because this is already quite liquidy. You don’t want to loosen it up too much, and just again, all the measurements are in the description box below. So go and check that out guys! So once your honey is in, whack the whisk on again and beat it until it’s all really well combined. Hmm this smells, and tastes, just delicious. Hmm. It’s so light and a really nice subtle flavor of honey. This is gonna be perfect on my cakes, but I’m gonna clear the decks get everything I need ready and then I’m gonna show you how to make some little bees. And it’s decorating time. So I’ve got all my bits and pieces in place, but the finishing touch is gonna be a little edible sugar paste bee. So I’m just gonna go ahead and make them. I’ve already made the bulk of them, but I’m gonna show you how I did it. So I’ve got some sugar paste here, which I’ve colored yellow. I’ve also got some white. I’ve also got some vodka and some black food color paste which I’m gonna use to paint the stripes on. So starting with a small piece of the yellow sugar paste, I’m going to just roll that into a ball in my hands, and then rock it side by side with my fingers, just to make a kind of little, short, stubby sausage like so, then using a toothpick or you know any kind of like pin or something like that. I’m gonna add a little face. So I’m gonna do two eyes and then I’m actually just gonna use the end of my toothpick to make a little smiley face just by dotting it. You don’t want to drag it. You don’t want to stick it in and drag it to make a smiley face, otherwise you’ll end up kind of catching the sugar paste then I have my vodka and my black food color paste and I’m just gonna loosen the paste up a little bit and I’m using a small paintbrush, the luxury of having two naked ends, so I’m going to kind of squeeze them… NOT squeeze them, just gently caressing while I paint my little stripes. And be very careful not to touch the black stripe and then touch somewhere else on your little bee. This is why it’s a good idea to kind of hold him at either end just to steady him. You don’t want to squeeze him because you’ll squish him. He’s really soft. Now he needs some wings, so with my white sugar paste I’m going to take off a very small bit, so small, and divide that into two, so two even smaller bits. Roll them between my thumb and forefinger to make a little circle and then, ooo very hot. So I’ve got very hot hands, squishing between your thumb and forefinger. And try and kind of make it an oval shape a bit like a wing, and then at one end I have here a little piece of kitchen paper which I’ve dampened and I’m just going to dip one end on to the dampness and then stick, stick that wing on and I’ll do the same thing on the other side. So all my little bees are ready. So I’ll just pop those to one side because now I’m gonna decorate the whole cupcake. So you can do what you normally do by filling the cupcakes themselves with the honey caramel, but I’m gonna do something slightly different today and that is to fill the icing which is — sounds a bit odd, but it’s gonna look really really cool. So I’ve got my Swiss meringue buttercream in a piping bag with a small round nozzle here, it’s not one of the big fatties, and what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna start by giving my cupcakes a blob, that is gonna form the foundations of my beehive, so I’m gonna go around my blob, with my buttercream in a beehive style until I reach the top. And now I’m going to go ahead and push my piping bag full of honey caramel into the top of that and squeeze until it sort of just feels like it’s about to burst. And then finish them off with my little bees. And there he is, the little finished dude. And he is very pleased with himself because his beehive is absolutely bursting at the seams with honey. And I hope you give this recipe a go, please do, and if you do, take a picture of it, put it on your Instagram feed, and hashtag #CupcakeJemma so that I can see it. If you’re interested in how to rescue bees or help the bee population then just Google Bees’ Needs Week. There’ll be lots of information on lots of different websites about that. So check those out. If you would like to save bees, do what I do and that is carry a little bottle of sugar syrup around. I just used 2 tablespoons of caster sugar and 1 tablespoon of water and stirred it around until that was completely dissolved and put it in a bottle and if you see a sleepy bee, put him to one side, give him a little drop of this delicious juice and he’ll fly off and you’ll be amazed and you will feel really good about yourself like I do. So make sure you do that. Tell me all about it on Instagram or on Twitter and I’ll be back next week with another recipe. So I’ll see you then. In the meantime, go and save some bees guys.