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Posts Tagged ‘cupcakes’

Europe is missing out on all the cupcake fun. Why? They didn’t discover the cupcakes yet. They know cakes and they know muffins, but no one put the two together yet. Till very recently, I myself have never made cupcakes.  But two things lead me to try and, my oh my, am I happy to venture into the cupcake territory!

The first thing was my son’s love for muffins. The boy is weird – he doesn’t like sweets much. Also, he is a “one component” kinda guy, by which I mean he more often than not chooses simple one-component food over complicated one (no sauses on his meat, no dips for his veggies, no whipped cream on.. well.. anything). So, muffins, being small and not too sweet, and being one-component dessert, are his drug of choice when it comes to baked goodies.

The second thing was related to the first – since I started to bake muffins for kids’ gatherings and birthdays, I got myself a little helper. Here it is

Cupcake Courier

Cupcake Courier

This thing is absolutely ingenious for transporting muffins and cupcakes (up to three dozens!) And, because I’m so rational, I wanted to try and use it for more than just muffins, so I decided to try cupcakes!

Let me tell you, once I started I couldn’t stop! I really got cupcake crazy and haven’t made a real cake in more than a month! How come I’ve never made them before??? They are easy to make, practical (especially when you have such a great way to transport them), easy to eat, easy to share, and above all – oh so cute! I am a cupcake convert, that’s for sure!

Since my little discovery, I bought two books on the subject. The first is by Dede Wilson – A Baker’s Field Guide to Cupcakes: Deliciously Decorated Crowd Pleasers for Parties and Holidays. It has some neat ideas and a lot of great recipes.

The second book is Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make by  Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. It has the neatest decoration ideas, and anyone who bakes at least occasionally, should have this book!

So, here are some of my creations. The first ones were pretty classic – the Black Forest Cupcakes (chocolate cupcake with cherries inside, topped with whipped cream, chocolate cut-out and a cherry, sprinkled with sweet cocoa powder).

Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes

Next were the Boston Cream Cupcakes – yellow cupcake filled with pastry cream, glazed with a bittersweat ganache and a single silver pearl.

Boston Cream Cupcakes

Boston Cream Cupcakes

These ones were made for a 7-year-old boy’s birthday party. Kids went crazy over these! The cupcakes were chocolate with vanilla buttercream spaghetti, strawberry sause and chocolate truffle meatballs.

Spaghetti with Meatballs Cupcakes

Spaghetti with Meatballs Cupcakes

This last weekend I made some carrot cupcakes for a tea gathering with my girlfriends. Some of them were topped with a swirl of traditional cream cheese frosting and topped with a fondant carrot.

Carrot Cupcakes

Carrot Cupcakes

For the second half of the batch, I colored the frosting green and piped it on the cupcakes using the large leaf tip. Then, I put buttercream roses on some, and simple drop flowers with gold pearls on the others. This was by the way my first ever attempt at buttercream flowers!

Flower Cupcakes

Flower Cupcakes

Buttercream Rose Cupcake

Buttercream Rose Cupcake

That’s it for now, but be sure to check back! With the holiday season upon us, there’ll be more baking in my kitchen!

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Yep, that’s me! It’s been so crazy that I had absolutely no time to post here (excuses, excuses… I know). I do have something to write home about though, so read up!

Well, it’s already full-blown fall here and it makes me hungry for baking. Especially for the sweet and spicy stuff. And for pumpkin (I love pumpkin for it’s cheerful nature and ultimate versatility – you can do absolutely whatever with it and it always comes out great!) I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving here in Germany by baking a Pumpkin Pie (sorry, no pictures, but in my defence it doesn’t look as great as it tastes) and some Pumpkin Muffins.

I found both recipes on the Internet, which slowly becomes my cookbook of choice. The recipe for Pumpkin Muffins is from another blog (how appropriate!)

We had so much going on these last couple of weeks, that I had several other opportunities to practice my baking and even some decorating. One reason to make a cake was my older son’s new bed. He grew out of his old one (which was actually a converted crib), but because of our temporary status here in Germany we didn’t want to buy such a bulky (and not cheap) piece of furniture. Well, while browsing our local Kijiji, I came across an ad by a young girl offering a perfect loft bed to be adopted into a good home. Of course, we took it and my son was (and, two weeks later, still is) on the seventh heaven. The least I could do to express his and our gratitude was to bake her a gift. Here it is:

 

It was a chocolate buttercake with raspberry italian meringue buttercream filling – brown-pink inside and out. That was my second attempt at fondant-covered cake, and I must say I need more practice. Here’s the first attempt (a cake made for our friends’ wedding – as a gift, not an actual wedding cake – I’m not as far advanced yet). 

  

This one was a carrot cake with white chocolate cream cheese filling. It was a big mistake to put it under the fondant; it didn’t hold up well at all – the fondant started melting from inside and it finally cracked and partially slid off the cake when we were transporting it to the wedding site. Gee, was I happy it wasn’t an actual wedding cake! The bride was still very impressed and said it tasted great (we didn’t stay long enough to try it).
Well, here’s the last picture for today:
 
Because we didn’t get to try the chocolate-raspberry cake either (with it being a gift and all), I made some cake squares for us and our friends to enjoy. Actually, I still had some buttercream left over from a gift cake and I wanted to try a new recipe for a chocolate cake itself. Because leftover cream was only barely enough to fill one layer, I made some raspberry filling using frozen raspberries to fill another layer. The top was just sprinkled with cocoa powder and each small square cake was decorated with a small fondant flower. They looked cute, tasted even better and everyone loved them!  

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