Saturday, December 27, 2008

Girly cupcakes

Was invited to a friend's daughter's birthday party recently. I volunteered to bake the girl's birthday cake. The mother was looking at Cheryl Shuen's cupcakes and adored her beautiful designs. I was afraid of not meeting expectations, so I did lots of research and did these test cupcakes.

Unfortunately did not take pictures of the final cake!! Make a couple of changes - used dark brown and gold cupcake liners for a more polished look. Also added more colours - pastel orange and pink as background.

Made two flavours of cupcakes - orange vanilla and chocolcate with maraschino cherries. The chocolate ones were very tasty, the maraschino cherries gave it a very nice flavour. I think I ate about four of those cupcakes, its a feat for non-cake lover like me.

Choc 'n' cherry cupcakes
adapted from '500 cupcakes and muffins' by fergal conolly
makes 18 cupcakes

225g self raising flour
4 tbsp dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
225g caster sugar (I reduced by 25%)
225g unsalted butter, softened
4 eggs, lightly beaten
90 g chopped cherries (Recipe uses fresh cherries, but I put in about 15 chopped maraschino cherries instead)
2 tbsp kirsch (I omitted)

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees
2. In medium bowl, sieve flour, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside
3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
4. Add eggs a little at a time, beating well with each addition
5. Add flour mixture, mix till well combined
6. Fold in cherries
7. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases
8. Bake for 20 minutes
9. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes
10. Pour a little kirsch over each cupcake
11. If using muffin tins, remove the cupcake and cool on rack

I did not make the topping, as I decorated with fondant. But if you use this topping, it will taste and look like a black forest cake, but in miniature.

For the topping
200ml whipping cream
3 tbsp icing sugar, sieved
18 whole cherries
100g dark chocolate bar

1. Whip the cream and icing sugar together until slightly stiff
2. Using a vegetable peeler, shave curls of chocolate from the bar
3. Garnish the cupcakes with a dollop of cream
4. Place a cherry in the center and chocolate shreds around it

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