Firstly, I want to apologise for the lack of recent posts. Unfortunately last week I slipped over in the kitchen, while cooking dinner, and dislocated my right knee, leaving my leg in a metal brace and on crutches for at least 3 weeks. As a result, my ability to cook up a storm in the kitchen has to be put on hold while I recover. However, I did get back in the kitchen (or should I say hobble) to make some cupcakes, some special cupcakes in memory of a very special person. You see, 2 years ago last Saturday, my cousin Alex passed away at 19 years of age as a result of complications of type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is a terrible autoimmune disease that affects approximately 140,000 Australians and is a disease that affects the sufferer throughout their entire life. The diasease is caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking cells within the pancreas affecting the body’s ability to produce insulin. Insulin assists the body in processing sugar to create energy. Without insulin the body literally starves as it cannot process food.
Whilst type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed during childhood, it can be diagnosed at any age. Alex was diagnosed at 16 years of age which meant he was unable to follow his dreams of becoming a pilot. Instead Alex turned his focus to aerospace engineering and dreamed of one day that he might be lucky enough to go in to space. Sadly, whilst away at University Alex suffered a hypoglycemic attack (a sudden drop in blood sugar levels) from which he never recovered.
The JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) are a fantastic organisation dedicated to finding a cure and treatments to assist those suffering from Type 1 diabetes. Funding they receive goes to projects such as the Artificial Pancreas Program which help type 1 diabetes sufferers by regulating their insulin levels. Alex had hoped he would be able to stay well enough to be a trial subject for the artificial pancreas program.
How can you help?
Each year the JDRF hold a walk to cure diabetes, and as we did last year, T and I will be attending the Brisbane walk. If you would like to attend a Walk to Cure Diabetes please visit the JDRF Walk page to find a walk near you.
If you would like to sponsor T and I in the Brisbane Walk to Cure Diabetes please visit our JDRF Walk to Cure participant page and click on the donate button. All donations, regardless of amount are greatly appreciated and will help bring JDRF closer to finding a cure. When you donate a receipt will be automatically generated and emailed to you. Together we can make a difference.
Alex’s special cupcakes are chocolate, with a strawberry jam center, frosted with chocolate buttercream frosting and topped with a jelly baby, which has become synonymous with type 1 diabetes.
Makes 12 cupcakes.
1 1/2 cups of self raising flour, sifted
110 grams of butter
1 cup of caster sugar
1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup of milk
200g of 70% cocoa chocolate
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt and set aside to cool. I prefer to melt chocolate in the microwave. The time required to melt the chocolate will depend on the quality of chocolate you use as well as your microwave.
3. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to your mixer bowl along with the caster sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition before adding the melted chocolate.
5. Add the milk and mascarpone cheese and mix until combined before adding the flour.
6. 3/4 fill the cupcake cases (I use an ice cream scoop for this as it makes it quick and easy) and bake for 20 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
1/4 cup of strawberry jam
Fill a piping bag with the jam and press the nozzle into the cupcake and squeeze in the jam. Alternatively, cut a small section out of the middle of the cupcake and fill with the jam and replace the cut out section.
125g of butter, cut into cubes
1 cup of icing sugar
1/4 cup of cocoa
1 tablespoon of milk
1. Add the icing sugar and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy.
2. Add the cocoa and milk and mix until well combined.
3. Fill a piping bag and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Top with a jelly baby (I dusted mine in icing sugar so that they looked like old fashioned dusted jelly babies).