Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wedding dress cupcakes

This weekend I was celebrating the upcoming nuptials of a good friend of mine. It's lovely to see two people that are so wonderful together getting married. This is one of those couples that serve as almost a way-mark for a healthy relationship. In fact I know more than one inspirational couple that got engaged recently. This particular friend is a brilliant combination of practical, hard-working, optimistic and well-balanced and I don't mind telling you that on several occasions during my relationship I have considered what she might do in any given situation when making choices. So now I'm gushing a bit but it is sweet to see people getting their happily ever after.

In celebration of this wonderful occasion I wanted to gift my friend with a special treat and, when asked, she specifically requested red velvet cupcakes. Therefore I present my red velvet wedding dress cupcakes...

The cream cheese frosting has the perfect texture and finish to look silky smooth on the outside while sitting like the skirt on a dress that has been put down and it bunched up on itself.

You will need:
Gum paste
short lollipop sticks
pearl 100s & 1000s
thing ribbon ( in your choice of colour)
a flower press
a rolling pin
corn starch
thick icing and a piping bag
a cutting tool
a ball ended tool
Cake simmer sprinkles
a small paint brush
+ ingredients as listed below

The red velvet cupcakes

275g Plain flour
25g Good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
115g butter (at room temperature)
150g white caster sugar
150g brown caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 whole egg + 2 egg yolks
200ml milk
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Natural yoghurt
1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 tsp red food colouring

1- Preheat the oven to 170'/325'/Gas mark 3.
2- Sieve together the flour, baking soda, cocoa and salt.
3- In a separate jug whisk together the milk, yoghurt and lemon juice. Then add the vinegar and let it sit.
4- In a third bowl, or a stand mixer (I know we're making lots of washing up here!), beat together the butter, sugars and vanilla essence
5- Add the eggs and a tiny bit of the flour to the eggs and beat until smooth
6- Add the red food colouring to the milk mixture. (Side note: this WILL look disgusting-don't be put off).
7- Slowly add the milk mixture and the flour mixture to the sugar and eggs, alternating.
8- Line your muffin tin with cupcake papers and fill each up to half way with mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the sponge springs back when pressed.

The key to my cream cheese frosting has been documented here and the recipe is simple

260g cream cheese
100g Butter
600g Icing sugar

Whip together the butter and cream cheese, beat in the icing sugar slowly and chill before frosting.

For these particular cupcakes I only chilled the frosting for c.10-15mins because I wanted it too be less firm and to droop over itself like the folds of a dress.

Now onto the bodices. For the bodices I used a 50/50 ratio of fondant to gum paste. I then molded them by hand, which was very entertaining as they look like Eva from Wally as you mold them.

To mold the bodices, take a 1" diameter round of fondant mixture and form a cyclinder. Then using a ball ended tool start to push up one side of the top and form a crevasse as seen here. Push down the centre to form a heart shape on the higher part and then smooth the whole thing out.

Then insert a short lollipop stick into the base

Then on the back slice a shallow line vertically running in line with the stick and then push the sides in so that the line is visible but does not cut in.

Using the icing pipe tiny dots, one of each side of the cut line down the back of the bodice. While they are still wet stick a pear 100&1000 onto each dot and let this dry

Mix together some gum paste and red food colouring and then roll out the coloured gum paste dusting it with corn starch to prevent sticking. Then cut tiny flowers with your flower press cutter.
Dust off the corn starch and leave to dry. Then you can add colour accents with more food colour and a little paint brush.

With your icing pipe a tiny line around the middle and stick on your ribbon. Then use the flower to decorate the ribbon and again leave this to dry

Finally to assemble, pipe your frosting onto your cupcake in a spiral from the center until you have reached the edge and then build up to a peak. Then sprinkle the 'skirt' with some cake simmer sprinkles. Finally insert your bodice into the center and then present to your bride to be, yourself or a couple friends and enjoy =)

To my bride-to-be friend/s, wishing you all the happiness and joy that your marriage deserves

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