New cupcake stand!
I have to say that I've really enjoyed this Jubilee holiday. No street parties or barbeques here, but just enjoying the festivities that the nation are engaged in, and the lovely, pervasive relaxed atmosphere. And watching our Queen on the television. Happiness.
Unfortunately (for my bank account) I have been well and truly sucked in by all the Jubilee merchandise. I'm sure I'm a dream target audience for marketing types - I tend to see, think 'Oh, that's nice...' and buy. Then later on think.... but I don't need two new mugs/a cake stand/teatowels/millions of themed cupcake cases/ma'amite..... Bother. I guess I'll use them up eventually, just don't be surprised when my Christmas cupcakes are still being presented in Jubilee cases! And I've used the cupcake stand for the pictures here. It's not too Jubilee, so hopefully it'll get another few outings.
I wanted a simple cupcake recipe here, because my focus was on the decoration. A while ago when my June 2012 issue of Delicious. magazine arrived I was flicking through and saw their two-tone cupcake icing (pg 88) and then later on in the issue their 'Technique of the Month' on page 101 is how to do this two-tone icing. Really wanted to try this. Then I saw Jules' amazingly decorated cupcakes. Now I really, really wanted to have a go, and the Jubilee seemed as good a time as any.
Now mine aren't a patch on Jules' version - you must hop across to see what I mean (and she has other stunning designs too) but I'm pretty pleased for a first attempt.
Ingredients (makes 12)
175g Stork margarine
175g caster sugar
3 eggs (med/large)
110g self raising flour
65g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the buttercream frosting (enough to frost 16 happily)
160g unsalted butter, softened
320g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to gas 4/180C. Place 12 (Jubilee themed) cases in a muffin tin.
- Cream the Stork and sugar until very light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, flours and vanilla and beat well until all combined and smooth.
- Divide between the cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and light golden.
- Remove and allow to cool on wire rack.
For the buttercream - beat the butter alone until light and creamy, then gradually add the icing sugar, beating well after each addition. I added mine in 4 lots of 80g. This just helps to avoid the spread of icing sugar all over the kitchen. I object to breathing icing sugar! Add the vanilla extract and a little boiled water to achieve the texture you want.
Coloured and into three piping bags
Now for the interesting bit.....
- Divide the buttercream between three bowls (or two additional bowls to the one you started out in). Add the colours you want to the intensity you want them.
- Fill three piping bags with each of the colours - one colour per bag
- Put your nozzle into a fourth bag and then place the other three inside, trying to ensure they are evenly placed and all down to the base of the bag and poking into the nozzle.
- You're all set - pipe away!
All three bags inside the fourth
There is enough buttercream to frost sixteen cakes - I wasn't sure how much to start out with and wanted to make sure I had enough. Luckily I've had a bit of a baking day today and there were some other cupcakes sitting round ready to be iced by the time I was doing these ones, so the buttercream wasn't wasted. I'll hopefully get round to posting my other baking exploits soon, but being Jubilee themed this one is already on the late side!
Next time I will definitely invest in some gel colours - I just couldn't get the intensity I wanted using the Silver Spoon colours commonly available in the supermarkets explaining why mine are rather pink and pale blue rather than red and royal blue! I also noticed that they buttercream colours started to look a little split/curdled too. I'm not sure why this was, but hopefully gel colours will help there too. I also really, really need a Wilton 1M tip. Amazon here I come. I'm sure they'll be well received at work in spite of my perceived imperfections!