The mythology of fairies is far reaching both in idea and geography. Coming from the old French word, fae, fairies have come to represent everything from troll like creatures ready to steal your baby to the embodiment of mind altering liqueurs (see, absinthe aka the green fairy) to, of course, the superstar known as Tinkerbell. It is this idea of the charming diminutive winged creature of magic and goodness that has defined the notion of the fairy in American culture, and you know what? The American version won't give you nightmares (unless you're struggling with sexist representations of female form in toys-- personally, I have given up), or hangovers like the green fairy, but does make for a quite charming set of action figures-- thank you, Disney.
So, then the Brits came up with fairy cakes, which to my untrained eye and mind, seem remarkably similar to cupcakes. Let's think about this for a second, though. If I, as an American, consider my understanding of that which is a fairy, those British fairy cakes would be about the same size as our friendly neighborhood Tinkerbell. I don't think she would be making and eating a slice of that, especially if she plans on still being able to fit into that green get-up of hers, which brings us to my version of the fairy cake. Confession time. They're really mini berry muffins, but doesn't fairy cake sound more fun?
(all room temperature)
3 1/4 C flour
3 ts baking powder
1 ts salt
1 stick of butter
1 3/4 C sugar
1 C whole milk
2 C berries
extra sugar for sprinkling on top
Whisk first three ingredients in large mixing bowl and set aside.
Cream butter & sugar in stand mixer on medium for about three minutes. You might have to scrape the bowl down occasionally.
Add egg-vanilla-egg one at a time scraping down bowl after each addition. Beat mixture for about 3 minutes until pale yellow and fluffy.
Turn mixer to low and add 1/3 flour mixture, then 1/2 the milk, then 1/3 of the flour, then last 1/2 of milk, then final 1/3 of flour mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl somewhere in the middle of all that. Don't over mix or you'll turn your muffins into bricks.
Turn off mixer and gently fold berries in with a spatula.
Have oven preheated to 375°
***Okay, here's where I screwed up. The first batch I baked, I just sprayed the mini muffin tin with veg. spray and they were a huge pain to get out-- I had to tease them out with a butter knife. The second time, I used mini muffin liners and it was a miracle of convenience. Learn from my pain!***
So then. Line muffin pan with papers.
Fill 1/2 to 3/4 full.
Sprinkle liberally with sugar.
Bake at 375° for about 15 minutes for minutes for mini muffins or about 20 minutes for the regular size. Let them cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan and let finish cooling on rack. Finally, share them with your favorite fairy.