I tried something a bit different for the obligatory generic & inevitable cupcakes for Mabel’s birthday party.
Whilst cupcakes are considered old hat by some & I can hear baking snobs proclaiming “Cupcakes are so 2010 dahling. Whoopie pies & cake pops are what’s hot right now”, I like to keep it old school & think these little cakes will withstand the test of time. Plus I needed something I knew I could do & knock up quickly. The kids (who they were really for) loved them too.
I usually go to the Hummingbird Bakery ‘s trusted recipe, but as I like to have a nice big Mr Whippy-style swirl I find it too sweet – & that for me is something as I have an extremely sweet tooth.
I remember well Peggy Porschen’s luscious cupcakes from when I was lucky enough to attend her Academy for a cupcake & fondant fancy making class (post pending). She told me she uses the largest tip in the Lakeland piping nozzle set. Go forth & purchase!
Here’s a pic of Peggy’s magnificent swirls.
Peggy’s frosting recipes use the actual ingredient to flavour them & have a more palatable sugar to butter ratio. So I went easy on the sugar & swapped vanilla essence for the seeds of a pod to the first batch & added a tablespoon of strawberry jam & a dash of pink food colouring to the second. Voila!
After all that I accidentally used the star nozzle so have still failed to emulate PP’s excellence. Doh. Next time.
Whilst I’m on the subject of icing, I wanted to share my new-found love of cheese-based frostings. I tried the delicious suggestion of marscapone whipped up with icing sugar to taste & a drop of vanilla essence to ice Mabel’s birthday cake. The result was a silky smooth icing, again not too sweet (which was useful as it covered such a large surface area), that is a great consistency for piping. I can’t wait to use this again.
I adore Barefoot Contessa & Ina Garten’s recipes are always a winner. She too says marscapone is her go-to frosting. She adds in almond essence. I’m going to try this next.
I am now a convert – cheese-based frostings are not just for carrot cake.