Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pretty in Pink Butterflies

So I subscribed to Cake Decorating, the magazine. Yeah I am that person but in my defence they come with freebies! So far I have the first three, the first came with butterfly cutters and pink glitter, the second with piping bags and tips and the third with letter embossers. Apparently October is the month for birthdays so I thought the best way to say a blanket “Happy Birthday” to multiple friends (and really the only way I know how) was with double chocolate cupcakes.

Butterflies toppers first; I’ve used store bought gum paste before (for the bunny ears) but I don’t really like the taste so first mission was to make marshmallow fondant. My little sister has been making her own fondant for ages and I was always assumed it was rocket science but for the most part it’s just sticky. Most of the recipes I found are exactly the same. This video from is probably the most thorough. My only tip is to use powered sugar when kneading, the mix can get very sticky. Since I couldn’t find a packet of only white mellows, I bought three packs of the strawberry and vanilla and separated the colours. I don’t like wastage so instead of colouring the white fondant I used the pink mellows for pink fondant.

Once the fondant is done I suggest refrigerating it for a bit so its firm enough to work with. For the butterfly toppers to look 3D the butterfly cut outs need to dry in the form. You can buy fondant forms/shapers but you can also make it yourself. To make the form take a large sheet of foil and fold accordion length wise.   
Once the butterflies are completely dry, if you’re unsure leave to dry overnight, you can decorate. I used a little bit of water to paint on the glitter and attach the cachous.

You can attach the butterflies once the glitter has dried. The thing I learnt a couple of hours later was that frosting doesn’t dry hard like butter cream and the moisture from frosting causes the butterflies to wilt a bit. My suggestion, use butter cream frosting or add the toppers just before you serve.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Magic Goodies

So my partner plays Magic The Gathering every Friday like clockwork and being the good girlfriend that I am I decided to bake him themed cookies. This particular Friday they had an event on and I didn’t want anyone to loose out so Thursday night I set out to make a hundred sugar cookies from scratch!

 I honestly did think that this would be easy, time consuming but easy. Boy did I have another thing coming! The sugar cookies were easy enough. I’ve made sugar cookies before from Joy of Baking. Joy of Baking is my first choice for recipes because most of the recipes are tested so I know it’ll turn out perfect and mine turned out amazing! I doubled the recipe to get the hundred cookies and I would suggest only baking them for only 10-12 minutes depending on size. Because they are chocolate sugar cookies you cant see them going brown so be very careful not to burn them.

Cookies done and now for the icing; again I used the recipe from The Joy of Baking. I used royal icing because it dries had and therefore easier to transport. I’ve used this recipe before but it was a very long time and never in on such a large scale. First things first, you want the icing at piping consistency. Anything thicker and you’ll need to spatular it on and anything runnier and it’ll just roll off. The best way I found to put the icing on was to pipe on a circle outline and then fill in the circle. If you don’t want the layer of icing to be too thick then put a little bit on spread it with a toothpick. Also remember that the type of food colouring you use will affect the consistency so if you want really vibrant colours I would suggest using gel or powder food colouring.    

Now for the chocolate toppers, I initially got the idea for these from Nerdy Nummies but I wasn’t about to make a hundred cupcakes by myself so I just used the chocolate toppers. In theory this looks easy; you get a template, trace it out with chocolate and leave it to dry. Not quite. This probably goes without saying but tape both the template and the wax paper that you are tracing on down. I melted the chocolate in the piping bag and then snipped a tiny hole. Because the hole needs to be relatively small make sure all the chocolate is melted otherwise it will block the opening. If I had opted for a basic shape maybe this part would have been easier but some of the symbols are tricky so this part took a lot longer than I thought. It also didn’t help that I don’t have a very steady hand so I ended up going to bed at about seven am! Here’s the end result.