Friday, September 26, 2008

Sugar High Friday - Cupcakes, The Final Chapter - Pretty in Pink Cupcakes

This month, Fanny of the sweetly delicious Foodbeam is hosting Sugar High Friday, the event created by Jennifer, the Domestic Goddess. Fanny has chosen a theme which is dear to my heart - cupcakes! Fanny's appeal is for participants to help her prove that cupcakes can be as tasty as they look and that they aren’t dead by making cupcakes with an original twist.

For this purpose, I sought inspiration from Gail Wagman's
Cupcakes Galore. If you love cupcakes, you gotta love this book - it is packed from cover to cover with easy-peasy but effective cupcake ideas in all different flavours, colours and textures. One look at Gail's profile picture and I knew that we would be good friends, at least in the baking world.

I started on my cupcakes for this event very late last night, but luckily, I had already chosen my base cupcake recipe from Cupcakes Galore - the delicious strawberry buttermilk ones dubbed by Gail as "Birthday Beauties". However, for decoration, I had to flick through the book for inspiration while the cakes were cooling. I decided to make Gail's 7 minute frosting, a fluffy marshmallowy sensation from her Yeti cupcakes, but with a twist - I dyed mine pink with cochineal, and flavoured it with rosewater essence to give it a musk taste. This tied in perfectly with the strawberry cupcakes, and when decorated with pink lollies and silver sparkly bits, ta da - Pretty in Pink cupcakes were born.

To make the cupcakes, you will need:

Dry ingredients

375g plain flour
150g sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt

Wet ingredients

240ml buttermilk
185g melted butter
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


175g fresh strawberries sliced into small pieces

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line 2 x 12-hole muffin tins with paper cases. Sift together the dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients, then pour them into the dry ingredients and beat well until just combined. Fold the fruit through carefully, then divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases, filling each case no more than 2/3 thirds full. Place the cakes into the oven and bake for aproximately 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove the cooked cupcakes from the oven and cool at air temperature.

For the frosting, you will need:

2 egg whites
150g sugar
60ml golden syrup
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon rosewater essence
sufficient cochineal to reach the desired shade of pink

In a large heatproof bowl, combine all of the frosting ingredients other than the rosewater essence and cochineal. Stir the ingredients in the bowl over a pan of simmering water until all of the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot. After removing the melted ingredients form the heat, beat them with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, then beat in the rosewater essence and cochineal.

This frosting tastes so good, I could easily have eaten it out of the bowl all by itself!!! As there was a fair amount of frosting left over, the temptation was definitely there.

Frost each cupcake, then decorate as desired. I used pink licorice bullets, pink sugar flowers, homemade piped pink chocolate hearts, pink sprinkles, pink conversation lollies, silver cachous and edible glitter. Here is the finished product:

Thanks to Fanny for hosting SHF this month and for choosing such a wonderful theme. You can see the roundup of fabulous and inventive cupcakes here and here.


adele said...

Oh, these look charming! Just the thing for a tea party, perhaps?

Happy cook said...

Beautifil, delicious looking cupcakes.
Love the colour

Ivy said...

Your cupcakes are lovely as ever. My daughter would love this colour in cupcakes. About cochineal: I looked it up in wikipedia and that was a very interesting thing to read. I encounter all these names in my painting classes alizarin, carmine and if I remember correctly they are the most expensive of all colours. I suppose these food dyes are not toxic like artificial food additives, are they?

Swati said...

The cupcakes look so so yummy and the pink could not get prettier...

Tammy said...

I love your decorations!!!

Empty Streets said...

dropping by to wish you a very sweet weekend :)

Cakelaw said...

I think they'd be perfect for that, Adele.

Thanks Happy Cook - gotta love girly pink.

Hi Ivy - I know - however, I am hoping it is artificial cochineal, cause it seems really weird when you hear what the real stuff is made of.

Thanks Swati - much appreciated.

Thanks Tammy - hoping to get them as pretty as yours.

Thanks Empty Streets.

zorra said...

These are SOOO pretty! Unfortunatley I had no inspiration for this SHF.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Cute, oh so cute!

Arfi Binsted said...

i missed this event... can't divide my time so little time too many great events! the icing on the cupcakes look really glossy!

Kittynn said...

Your cupcakes look amazing - I just fell in love!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Zorra and Cookie :)

Hi Arfi, I know what you mean - IMMB makes me exhausted.

Thanks Kittynn - glad you like them.

Snooky doodle said...

what cute cupcakes! these must be delicious!