Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Cupcakes

Spring is in the air! Not that you would know it here this weekend as we are being rained out of it!! Easter weekend has been a mixture of sunny spells and bucketing, window washing, rivers on every path style rain! Needless to say we have been hiding from it quite a bit, although we got drenched once!

None-the-less there is a sense of renewed life and new beginnings around the place as the country heats up and the flowers tentatively poke their heads out. Birds are singing in the trees and even between the downpours the sun shines brighter than before.

It has been a mixed week for me this week. I had a visit from a friend that moved away last year, which reminded me of things lost. I also had my final lecture in my doctorate; which feels like both an ending and a beginning. Finally we had Easter this weekend which is all about endings and beginnings. So everything seems distinctly meaningful, somehow.

In the presence of all these endings, it's not unusual to feel sad or perhaps at a loss as to what is coming next. I certainly feel excited about my future but there is an undeniable amount of uncertainty but I think that uncertainty can be a useful feeling to sit with, though daunting. I found myself processing these changes and struggling to write anything useful or insightful (not that my other blogs are always useful or insightful but still). So I thought I would show you the mini cupcake platter I prepared for my fellow doctoral candidates and show you how I put together the center piece.

The icing here is a swiss meringue buttercream to which I added 3-4 tablespoons of raspberry coulis for colour and flavour. All the surrounding roses are made using a star tip and a swirl but the central rose is a little more complicated. I assembled three cupcakes as shown below -

Then I used the rose piping technique demonstrated in this video from cakestyle -

I really like her rose piping technique but I prefer the narrower base as I feel it gives a more dramatic effect. This piping technique is relatively easy given a little practice and a moderately steady hand (I was shaking like crazy when I piped these - too much emotion/adrenaline/caffeine). As you can see I finished these roses off with a dusting of edible gold leave but that is totally optional. Another possibility would be to add an extra stripe of coulis to your piping bag and give more depth to your colour. So if you want to do this I would say to play around and have fun!

So that's it, and then all you have to do it protect your masterpiece from thieves but this is more difficult than you might imagine ;)

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