Thursday, 4 February 2010

Ironcupcake London - Love Month

The first round of Ironcupcake London for 2010 was held on Monday and the theme was 'love'.......a perfect excuse to practice making sweet treats for our valentines. There were so many amazing entries on the night - and even though this month there were separate categories for professionals and amateurs, all of the cupcakes on display were fabulous. As I looked at all of the cupcakes before the eating frenzy started, I felt like I was in a bakery. The standard of entries is growing from strength to strength. Here are some shots from the night:

You can see my cupcakes in the picture above (the second plate of cupcakes from the front). I decided to create simple cupcakes this month and made rose flavoured sponge cakes decorated with an assortment of handmade sugarpaste decorations. Here's a close up of some of them:

If you want to make some for yourself, here's the recipe:

110g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 medium eggs
150g self raising flour
125g plain flour
225g caster sugar
1/2 tsp rosewater
125ml skim milk

150g unsalted butter at room temperature
5 tbsp skim milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
500g icing sugar (sifted)
1 tsp rosewater
pink food colouring (optional)

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180C. Mix butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until the mixture is pale in colour and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure they are mixed in well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, sift in the flours then put the bowl to one side. Next mix the rosewater and milk in a jug. Feel free to add more or less rosewater, depending on your taste preference. By the way, if you can't find rosewater in the supermarket (or specialty baking store), you can easily make your own by boiling washed rose petals (I used about 15) in 1 cup of water in a saucepan until the petals disintegrate. Strain the liquid and allow to cool before adding it to the milk (as mentioned previously). Right, getting back to the cupcakes, add 1/3 of the flours to the butter mixture and mix well before adding 1/3 of the flavoured milk. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk has been added and mixed together well. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases (about half full) then bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into their middle comes out clean. Try not to peek in the oven too many times while the cupcakes are baking otherwise they may sink. Once the cupcakes are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire tray completely before icing.

In the meantime prepare the buttercream frosting by beating butter, milk, vanilla and 1/2 of the icing sugar together until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar and mix well again. Lastly, add the rose water and pink food colouring (if desired) and mix thoroughly. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe swirls onto the cupcakes. I also applied the buttercream to some cupcakes with a palette knife to create a variety of different textures which I could then decorate with sugarpaste flowers and hearts.

Hope you enjoy baking these cupcakes x

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