Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Jewelled Cupcakes

I can never resist the opportunity to make cupcakes! They are so easy to make and kids and adults alike love them. As well as that cupcakes are so much fun to make because the options of icing and decorating them are endless! I am always on the lookout for some new ideas so when I was back home in Scotland in February I couldn't resist the latest issue of the magazine Cake Decorating which came with a silicone mould for creating your own stunning jewels. I had hoped to post these special cupcakes in time for Mother's Day but unfortunately the best made plans don't always work so here they are, a little late but still just as special for any celebration.

In the magazine they suggested covering the cakes with fondant icing then sticking the jewels on with edible glue. They looked amazing but I didn't have much fondant and no edible glue (although you could use royal icing I'm sure) so I went with the faster, easier option of topping the cakes with my standard Royal Icing then carefully placing the jewels and pearls on top. My only advice if using the same method as me is to make sure after putting the jewels on to let the icing set before moving as it will crack slightly.

I did use fondant for the jewels where they suggested Flower Paste so use whatever you have or can get your hands on.

Makes 12 cupcakes

120g plain or all-purpose flour
140g caster or berry sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla extract
120ml milk
1 egg

Royal Icing:
225g icing sugar
2 tsp {6g} dried egg white powder {white meringue powder}
2-3 tbsp water
Food colouring of your choice

To Decorate:
Silicone Jewel Mould (check local suppliers/internet to find a supplier close to you)
Dusting brush
Fondant Icing or Flower paste
Food colouring of your choice (I used Ivory to give a light hue)
Edible Lustre Dust (silver, antique gold & gold are great options)
Edible Sugar Pearls

Start by making the Jewels as they need to harden a bit before using.

Take a small amount of fondant icing or flower paste and add a touch of colouring if you wish (alternatively you can buy icing or paste that has already been coloured). Knead it in well so that it is evenly distributed and there are no streaks. Once mixed and the icing is pliable set aside. Using a small dusting brush take some lustre dust of your choice and brush the inside of the mould with the dust, ensuring it has an even coating all over. Break off a small amount of fondant or flower paste and pop into the mould evenly, removing any excess. Smooth down as much as possible – you can use a knife if you like, I just used my fingers – then gently remove from the mould and you have a beautiful jewel. If you like you can carefully brush a little extra lustre dust but I found it tended to be ok without. Repeat until you have all the jewels you need then set aside on a board and leave to harden and dry out slightly.

While the jewels are drying out you can make the cupcakes.

Preheat your oven to 170C/ 325F/ GM 3 and line a cupcake tin with medium sized paper cases.

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter into the bowl of a KitchenAid (or other freestanding mixer) and using the paddle attachment mix slowly until everything is combined and you have a sandy consistency (if you don't have a KitchenAid use a hand-held electric beater). While the mixer is running, slowly pour in half of the milk and mix until it's just incorporated. Add the egg to the remaining milk along with the vanilla and continue beating until it's mixed in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is properly mixed but be careful not to over beat the mixture.

Evenly spoon the cake mixture into the cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until the sponge bounces back when touched (with my oven 22 minutes works perfectly every time) and a skewer comes out clean when put into the middle of the cake. Leave to cool for a few minutes then transfer the cupcakes onto a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling make the icing. Sift the icing sugar and the dried egg white powder/ meringue powder into a medium sized bowl then add enough water to make a smooth icing – you don't want it too runny so I add the water a tablespoon at a time, until I get the right consistency. Divide the icing into a couple of bowls (or more depending on how many different colours you want to make) then add a little food colouring to each bowl and mix well. When the cupcakes have completely cooled spoon over the icing so that you have an even, glossy and smooth cover. As soon as you have iced the cupcakes carefully top with the jewels and pearls in any design you like. Leave to set and dry out a little before serving with cups of tea or a glass of bubbly for an extra special celebration.

1 comment:

  1. These are very pretty! I would love for you to come and share your recipes on our The Yuck Stops Here link and blog party!


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