Pawesome chocolate cupcakes
I still have my first teddy. My late grandfather gave it to me when I was born and I in turn passed it onto Olive when she was born. It’s certainly seen better days but it fills my heart with joy to see her cuddle a memento from my own childhood.
When invited to bring some cupcakes to a teddy bear picnic birthday party, I just had to do something cute.
And nothing could be cuter than bear paw prints. The fondant ‘badges’ look impressive and are easy to rustle up ahead of time.
They’re as simple as one, two, three:
1. Colour your fondant2. Roll out and cut big circles, medium circles and small circles.
3. Using water and a paint brush, stick the paw print onto the large circle.
If you want to get fancy, you could squeeze the medium and small circles to create ovoid shapes for a more organic paw print design.
Maybe you could make these ‘pawesome’ cupcakes for someone ‘beary’ special to you?
Cake recipe by Jennifer Graham, The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook
Original decoration by Di-licious Cupcakes
The recipe promises to make at least 24 cupcakes. I managed to make 52 cakes despite enthusiastic batter taste testing by Olive. Cakes keep well for two days in an air tight container. Un-iced cakes can be frozen for up to two months.
3 cups plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tblsp instant coffee granules
1 cup hot water
1 cup cocoa
1 cup cold water
200g unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 170°C. Line two 12 hole muffin trays with brown cupcake papers.
- Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the coffee, hot water and cocoa until you have a smooth paste. Add the cold water and mix until evenly combined.
- In another bowl, cream the butter for a few minutes. Add the castor sugar one third at a time, beating for two minutes after each addition (make sure you scrape down the sides regularly too). After the last addition, beat until the mixture is light and creamy and the sugar has almost dissolved.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat for one minute after each addition or until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- Add a quarter of the flour to the creamed mixture and mix through gently until clear. Add a third of the cocoa mixture and mix through gently until clear. Repeat Alternate flour and cocoa finishing with the flour. Be careful not to over mix the batter otherwise the batter will toughen.
- Spoon mixture into cupcake papers, filling about three quarters full. Allow mixture to sit in the papers for 20minutes before baking to help prevent cracking during cooking.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from tray immediately and allow to cool on wire racks for at least 30minutes before decorating.
Fondant paw print badges
Make these a few days ahead for stress free decorating.
- Colour fondant according to your theme. I used Dark Brown and Caramel/Tan.
- For badge background, roll out fondant to 2mm thick.
- Using a 4cm round cutter, cut out rounds and allow to dry on tray lined with baking paper.
- For paw prints, use piping tips to cut out two different sized circles. I used the tip and base of a Wilton #12 round tip.
- Squeeze the rounds into oval-ish shapes between your forefinger and thumb and then flattened them down on a baking paper lined sheet. Allow to dry for a couple of hours.
- To assemble the badges, fill a small glass with water and arm yourself with a small paintbrush. Dip the paint brush into water and brush a medium sized shape and attach to fondant badge background round. Apply three smaller shapes above the medium shape to resemble a paw print. Repeat .
I always make at least five extra badges than I think I’ll need in case some break. It also lets me make a practice cake design before decorating the whole batch of cakes.
Chocolate ganache icing
400g dark chocolate, broken up into small pieces
- Place chocolate in a large mixing bowl.
- Heat cream in a small saucepan and bring it just to the boil. Take off the heat and pour over the chocolate. Whisk thoroughly until all the chocolate has melted.
- Dip cakes while ganache icing is still warm or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat gently in the microwave til ganache is runny and then dip away!
Decorating your paw print cakes
- Working one at a time, dip the top of the cupcake into the warm, liquid ganache.
- Gently swirl the cake to make sure the top is completely covered (a little bit of icing on the paper doesn’t matter). Keep swirling the cake as you take it out of the ganache and place it right side up on bench.
- Position paw print badge in centre of cake before dipping your next cake.
- Allow cakes to set at room temperature and store in an airtight container.