You can’t celebrate the 12 Days of Chrismukkah without my dear friend, the pocket-rocket portrayer of the gloriously rage-filled Summer Roberts … Rachel Bilson.
Deep breath – what a freaking (long/terrible) sentence, amirite?
I first met Rach – and spotted her talent – in early 2003 on the set of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I was part of SMG’s entourage at the time but was taken in by Rachel’s spunk. As soon as I saw her perform, I knew that she was the only person that could play the role of Summer and do just to her season 1 catch-phrase “ew.”
While we had a brief falling out after I tried to set her trailer on fire after she began dating Adam Brody (I had fantasised about us becoming a twincesty couple), she understood my complete lack of logic/basis in reality and forgave me within a week.
The girl, it needs to be said, is a damn saint.
(Her sweet, forgiving nature is the only way I could forgive her for marrying Hayden Christensen, who broke my heart on the set of Life as a House when he wouldn’t play sweet dixie with my behind… but that is another story for another time. Plus I worked that line into Hart of Dixie, so how could I stay mad?).
I haven’t been able to see much of Rachel since Hart of Dixie was egregiously axed – which is actually about my life as a small town Alabama doctor falling for a myriad of similar looking men – given how busy she is with my dear god-daughter Briar Rose Christensen, so it was such a treat to be able to reconnect over some festively appropriate Rachel Bilsonta Hats!
Sweet, delicious, kind-healthy (yay whole strawberry!) and completely kitsch, these little babies are the perfect festive bake for those dreaded office Christmas morning teas.
Or as a gift for people you actually like. Like the Bilson-Christensens – enjoy!
Rachel Bilsonta Hats
2 cups plain flour
¼ cup valrhona cocoa
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp allspice
1 cup buttermilk
200g unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp red food colouring
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
120g butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
strawberries, tops sliced off
Preheat oven to 170°C and line muffin muffin pans with paper cases – quantity will depend on the size you want, but I can make 8 Texans.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk the wet ingredients in a large jug until combined.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir through the wet ingredients until just combined. Then stir through the food colouring. You can use a stand mixer – like I do, because I’m lazy – but just remember that the best muffins are the ones that are barely mixed, so just do it on the lowest setting and only for as long as it needs.
Divide the mixture among your pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
While they are getting chill, combine the icing ingredients – sans strawbs – in a stand mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy.
To assemble, smear each cupcake generously with icing, top with an upturned strawberry and top said strawberry with a dollop of icing. Ta dah – bilsonta hats!