This week’s baking challenge was Cupcakes from Mary Berry’s 100 Cakes and Bakes. I went through a cupcake phase some time ago, when I made dozens of the little beauties so at first I wasn’t too thrilled at the prospect of revisiting them. But, looking on the bright side, I have recently enrolled on a cake decorating course and so far I’ve learnt how to cover a fruit cake with marzipan and fondant icing so that it’s smooth and shiny.
However, the bit I’ve been dreading is coming up – the piping bag. I have a real phobia about it. I have never managed to get the icing in the bag without it slopping down the sides and squelching through my fingers. Once inside it never comes out how I want it and the icing tip nearly always pops out when I’m doing the trickiest bit.
I now had the perfect opportunity to get some practice in before my next class as rather than spreading the butter icing on the top of the cupcakes, I decided to put my fears behind me and pipe it on. Not only that, I could go one step further and make chocolate lattices since I didn’t have any sprinkles for decoration.
For the lattices I melted 75g of plain chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water, left it to cool slightly then poured it into a plastic bag. I snipped off the corner and drizzled the chocolate onto a non-stick baking sheet. When it was cold I slipped it into the freezer for 20 minutes to set hard. The whole process was repeated with the white chocolate.
Onto the buttercream icing which ended up rather thick and uneven and I found myself having to mix up an extra batch for the 6 chocolate topped cakes.
The delicate lattices peeled off the baking sheet quite easily, although I had to work quickly as they were melting from the heat of my hands.
Overall the cupcakes with their pretty topping tasted good, albeit the sponge was a little on the dense side. I think this was due to me baking them on a lower heat for much longer than the recipe stated, as my Rayburn simply wasn’t in the mood for cooking.