Friday, 16 April 2010

New Year's Eve cupcakes (December 2009)

In the first entry of this blog, I mentioned my plans to create some cupcakes for our New Year's Eve party this year, and these are the result! I stuck to a simple combination of rich chocolate sponge and creamy vanilla buttercream frosting, in order to please everyone's tastes.

I used a pretty basic chocolate cake recipe and the vanilla buttercream recipe from the wonderful Primrose Bakery cookbook that my beloved bought me for xmas. It was by far the best buttercream recipe I have ever used, and created the perfect consistency for piping and swirling. It was the first time I had ever attempted frosting a cupcake using a palette knife, using the instructions in the Primrose Bakery book, but it was fun and relaxing and the results were quite good, I feel.

To decorate, I wanted gold liners and gold glitter, but couldn't order the ingredients online because of the holiday season, so I popped into Bert's where I could only find silver liners, and no glitter as such, so I decided upon the substitute of Wilton's edible sparkles in yellow. They are more like a flat shiny sugar sprinkle than glitter, but they added a little decoration. I debated about what to top them off with, and in the end decided to keep it simple with a Cadbury's caramel chocolate button, cut in half and arranged as butterflies. The chocolate caramel buttons proved a hit, but they were a bit messy to work with.

Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and caramel buttons:

Successes: Beautiful icing and tasty too! Lovely and smooth texture with a good vanilla flavour. Cakes were fluffy and light and very quick and easy to make.

Failures: Chocolate sponge was a little dry, which I attribute to the use of cocoa powder instead of real chocolate in the mix. First time frosting with the palette knife meant the swirls weren't as neat as they should have been. Didn't really like the silver liners, I thought they looked a bit like tin foil!

Ideas for the future: Order in advance if you're going to make cakes around the holiday period! Many internet business remain closed between xmas and new years, which I didn't take into account... Use real chocolate in the recipe, which would make them a bit more moist and rich, and a bit sweeter.

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