Monday, October 25, 2010

Classic tea for two

One of the joys of cake making and motherhood are impromptu tea parties.

My almost three year old daughter Olive is well versed in the custom and loves it when I test recipes or decoration techniques. This time around I was experimenting with cake chemistry, a la Cake Journal

The lovely Miss Louise from Cake Journal has a theory of how to make the perfect domed cupcake - perfect for dipping in poured fondant.  She changes the traditional method of creaming butter and sugar together and instead whisks the  eggs and sugar together and melts the butter with the milk. 

I used my favourite vanilla cupcake recipe to see how different (and puffed) my cupcakes could be. 

Method-wise, I would go so far as to say Cake Journal's method was simpler and faster.  It was supposed to yield a runny batter which would benefit from using a jug to pour the batter into the cups but mine was still thick.  I ended up using my trusty ice cream scoop.

I filled the cups past the three quarters mark as suggested by Cake Journal but found that my cups did runneth over, but I definitely had domes!  Hooray! 

When I think about the classic cupcake I get nostalgic about the cupcakes of my own childhood - simple glace icing with hundreds and thousands on top.  You sometimes see them in bakeries but they never look chic. 

Cake Journal's gorgeous pistachio green poured fondant cupcakes are so pretty that I just had to try  her 'simple' poured fondant icing.

The premise was simple - melt ready to roll fondant in your microwave until you get a smooth liquid consistency and then dip your cakes into it.  I had plenty of blue coloured fondant left over from my cherry blossom cupcakes so used this. 

I did manage to get a liquid-like icing but found it crusted on the edges of the bowl.  This is something I'll have to experiment with but I love the idea of it - and absolutely love the shiny icing shell result.

And so did Olive. 

We're having lots of practice tea parties in the lead up to her Afternoon Tea Birthday Party in December. Classic iced cupcakes will definitely be on the menu!