Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Birthday cupcakes

It was my mother-in-laws birthday on Saturday and I toyed with the idea of using it as an opportunity to make a birthday cake but the week didn't really allow time for a full-on cake. So on Friday night, I decided to set-to and make some cupcakes instead (once the kiddies were in bed and hubby was at karate).

I made the cupcakes gluten free so that Jase could eat them too and they didn't turn out too badly. They were much drier in texture than normal sponge cakes and sweeter as I used rice milk instead of dairy milk but still edible. Strangely, they seem to have improved with time, becoming more moist in the cake tin!

I always find that I end up making twice as many cakes as the recipe states with the same quantity of ingredients - how does that work? I made about 18 normal sized cupcakes and 24 mini ones and baked the normal sized cakes in a deep muffin tin which helped stop them splaying too much. I experimented using my daughter's icing plunger to fill the mini cakes and it worked a treat. I have seen a bottle labelled as a cupcake filler and I think I need to look into this further as I do find it hard to not get cake mixture all over the cases and tins! I did notice on television the other day that they used an ice cream scoop (the one with the metal arm that scrapes the ball of ice cream out) so I might give that a go!

For decoration, I used some buttercream that I had stored in the fridge (note to self: useful to keep a supply ready made in case of last minute cake making decisions) and coloured half of it pink. I then used an open star nozzle that I recently bought and loaded pink buttercream in one side and non-coloured buttercream on the other side and piped some swirls. I had enough to decorate eight cakes.

I then cut out some plunger flowers in pale pink and a rose leaf in pale green fondant and arranged on the buttercream swirl. I finished off the flowers with a silver, pink and green edible ball in the centre of each fondant flower and a compulsory sprinkling of sparkle!

I laid them out on a plate and put a pink candle in the middle one. Glad to say my mother-in-law thought they were very pretty.

© 2011 Nicola Noble

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