Of Cupcakes and Buttercream
Before I was introduced to buttercream, I only knew how to make frosting using butter and icing sugar. And I didn't like them at all - because it's too sweet! However, it's not nice to give away plain cupcakes... People still prefer a sensory appeal (both in taste and aesthetics).
For the past 2 weeks, I've been baking cupcakes. It's for a little girl who turned 4 today. This project has special significance for me, for it challenged me to churn out a larger quantity - which I rarely do, put together a design the girl will like, and think of ways to package it.
Must say I truly enjoyed the process. Repetitive it may be, going through the test bakes have offered me the chance to hone my skills. The results: I now have a cupcake recipe as 'keeper', and learnt more about buttercream than I ever know. Sweetapolita has a great post on making buttercream. Thanks to her... I'm confident of making them now (Only problem is I don't know what to do with the 8 yolks sitting in the fridge).
This was my first attempt. Made these for friend's farewell celebration.
Can you tell what the orange-colored fondant resembles? A little worried others couldn't tell what I was trying to mould. Thus added the alphabet "SQ".... haha very obvious right?
This was my second attempt. Practiced my piping instead. I actually like how it turned out!
Played with fondant. As you can see, the smaller creature looks "alien-like". It was supposed to be an owl.... but luckily the second one turned out fine.
This is the final design.
(Almost wanted to shed tears of joy seeing it! Hubby has a feedback though - the color scheme doesn't match the owl design. That's food for thought if I'm doing again. )
Cupcake Recipe (from Ancoo Journal)
- makes about 12 cupcakes, using 44 by 35mm cases
- Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder in bowl.
- Cream butter and sugar until light. Add the essence and egg. Beat till well-combined.
- Add mixture in the following order: flour-liquid-flour-liquid-flour. *This means you add the flour in 3 parts, and liquid in 2 parts; to help make the batter light and moist.
- Spoon batter into paper cases till 3/4 full.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 20 mins. *Baking time will vary based on cupcake size
My buttercream recipe was from Baking Library. Only change I made was to increase sweetness to 110g sugar.