31 December 2008
Happy 2009 (and don't forget to vote in IC:E)!!!
At least once a day, I like to log on to flickr and check out what other cupcake bakers are making. Some of the designs and detail that goes into these things are amazing; there are some truly talented bakers out there. You can see some of my favorites and where I often find inspiration here.
So being inspired, I recently tried a marshmallow fondant recipe as an attempt to jazz up my cupcakes a bit. While I was very pleased with this first-trial outcome, DH was not. A true foodie and cupcake snob, he turned up his nose at this marshmallow and icing sugar concoction, stating that most people would peel it off and push it aside. I agreed that yes, this is often the case with fondant, so he argued, why bother?
Well, with the countdown to New Year's Eve right here and several cupcake orders in my book, I wanted to add a little extra something special to my cupcakes for an added punch. I like drizzled chocolate designs but wanted them to be colorful and fun. I devised some cupcake toppers that use drizzled chocolate as a first step and then a traditional cake decorating transfer process as the second.
I think these came out looking kind of retro funky. They remind of those Shrinky Dinks "stained glass" sets we use to do as kids. And best of all, they taste good! Here's how to make them yourself at home.
(Oh, and before I forget, if you haven't already done so, please go and vote for LMC in the Iron Cupcake Challenge for December. Last I checked, my entries were in a distant 4th and 5th place. Read more about it here.) Wishing you all a sinfully rich New Year!
Chocolate and Icing Transfers/Cupcake Toppers
1 bar chocolate (I used dark but this can work with white, milk, etc.).
1 cup icing sugar/sucre glace
2 tsps. milk
2 tsps. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Food coloring gels
1) Select designs, words, etc. that you want to make. Drawings with a black outline such as a cartoon drawing or illustration work best. Print out on a sheet of paper, lay out a sheet of wax paper on top of this and trace the drawing with black felt pen. Flip the paper over so that you see the mirror image and tape this to a cutting board or other flat surface. You will use this as a stencil or pattern for the chocolate. Moisten a paper towel with vegetable oil or cooking spray and lightly coat surface of wax paper.
2) Break up chocolate and place in a ziploc bag - do not seal. Microwave on medium power for 5 minutes, stopping and stirring the chocolate every minute or so until it is melted. You may not need the full 5 minutes.
3) Cut one corner of the ziploc bag very close to the edge so you can pipe a thin stream of chocolate out. Now, pipe chocolate onto the stencils you have made on the wax paper. Allow to set for a few hours or overnight in a cool dry place.
4) Make icing sugar. Combine sugar, milk, corn syrup and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. icing should be thick enough to coat a spoon and slowly drizzle back into bowl when dropped. If icing is too thick, add a little milk. If too runny, add some sugar. Divide into smaller bowls and add desired food colorings to color. using a small spoon, fill in chocolate outlines of designs. Now I am not a very patient person normally, but trust me on this -- you have to allow these to set overnight in a cool, dry place so that they will completely harden. Once set, you can peel the designs off the wax paper and decorate cupcakes. Enjoy!