This week's recipe comes from that most excellent tome, 500 Cupcakes by Fergal Connolly. The recipe appealed to me because not only is it simple, but it yields cupcakes that are deliciously fragrant and zesty.

OK, so get ready to make Spiced Sour Cream Cupcakes! (Please note, the original recipe uses pecans instead of almonds and orange instead of lemon. I changed it because I didn't have those things lying around my kitchen today. Oh yeah, and I also added the mixed peel, just to give the recipe a bit more zing.)

For the base you will need:

190g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
175g brown sugar
175 ml sour cream
2 eggs
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
1 handful of sultanas
1/2 handful of chopped almonds
1/2 handful of mixed peel

For the topping you will need:

250g cream cheese
50g icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice

What you do:

1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C and line a cupcake tray with paper liners.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice into a large bowl and set aside.

3. Crack the eggs into another large bowl and add the sour cream. Whisk. Beat in the brown sugar.

4. Add the dry mixture a little at a time and mix until smooth. Fold in the sultanas, mixed peel and almonds. Mix well.

5. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes.
Put the cupcakes on a rack to cool.

6. To make the icing, mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth.

7. Spread onto the completely cooled cupcakes. Dust with a sprinkling of cinnamon.

8. Go forth and find a random stranger to share your cupcakes with. Alternatively, scoff the lot on your own.

And the eighth random recipient is...


...You Young from South Korea!

I met You Young as I was walking in to town this morning. Even though it was pretty hot, I had decided that I was going to take my time selecting my random recipient. I walked around for quite a while because I wasn't really getting the right vibe from anyone. That is, until I came across You Young.

At first, I wasn't sure if she understood what I was raving on about, but it turns out she comprendez-ed moi just fine. I think that maybe she was just a bit surprised by my act of cupcake randomness (which, I have to admit is most people's initial reaction). When I explained my mission to her, she laughed and accepted my cupcake. We ended up chatting for a little while - it turns out that You Young is a newly graduated teacher back in Seoul, but is on a bit of a working holiday in Oz. By the way, she said she was looking for some volunteer teaching work , so if anyone reading this can help her out, just leave a comment on this blog.

You Young seemed like she really dug her random cupcake and that made me feel happy and at peace with the world. If you're reading this, You Young, thank you for being open to my random act of cupcake. I hope you enjoyed it and that you have a great time in Australia.

Until next time, my friends, keep smiling and most importantly, be random!