For those who grew up in E/Africa (and probably many other former British colonies), Vimto was a soft drink that was very much part of our childhood. It was a treat that we enjoyed on just about every special occasion, and a very beloved one at that! It also comes as a cordial or concentrate. The drink is basically a combination of flavours; grapes, raspberries and blackcurrants. These soft cupcakes are marbled with some vimto flavoured batter, giving them a charming 'pink and white' appearance and a memory evoking taste and flavour. I associate this cake with fun and carefree chidlhood memories and am sure many of you will too!
Always make sure eggs, milk and butter/margarine are at room temperature before starting.
This recipe does not make for a very sweet cake, however I find that the milk chocolate topping does help to balance the sweetness, so do not skip that!
Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a cupcake pan with liners or grease and line two 8 inch round cake pans.
Sift/sieve the flour with baking powder and salt three times to properly aerate the flour for a lighter cake.
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter/margarine with the sugar until light and creamy. Then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla essence and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly.
Then add the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk (start and end with the flour). You can use a mixer for this on LOW speed or use a spatula to ensure the batter does not get over mixed. Make sure everything is combined then remove a portion of the batter (about a cup) into a separate bowl and add the vimto concentrate. Mix well and add more concentrate if needed.
Put some plain batter into the cupcake liners, then dollop in some of the vimto batter, and top with more of the plain batter so the coloured vimto batter is sandwiched between the plain. You can swirl the batters together with a toothpick if you want a marbled effect.
Bake in a preheated oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center of each cupcake comes out clean. (for 8" cakes, it will take 25-30 minutes)
Remove the cupcakes from the pan onto a wire rack and allow them to cool.
In the meantime, chop up and melt the plain chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 10 second instalments until fully melted then add a tsp of butter (to give the chocolate a good shine) and a few drops of vimto concentrate if you want some extra vimto flavour on the cakes. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, top them with a layer of melted chocolate and add some sprinkles or food glitter dust to make them fun and festive. Allow the chocolate to set and serve!