It was so good to be back in class again last night and even more so when I saw that Kim was going to be our Tutor again. We had to take in 4 pre-iced cupcakes and all the tools of the trade that we have with us. My cupcakes where Mary Berrys’ Rich Vanilla Cupcakes and I smeared a thin layer of vanilla Royal Icing over the tops and then covered them with white and milk chocolate flavoured Sugar Paste.
The first piping method that Kim showed us was the Chrysanthemum flower, that is done with the “smiley face” nozzle. I am sooooo happy that I just have to write down that name…’cause you have no idea how I struggle to say it :D. Put a blob in the centre of your cupcake, using the round nozzle. This will form the base of your flower. Then, working from the outside, inwards, you use your smiley face or more professionally known as the number 81 nozzle, to pipe lines, making each circle of lines shorter, until you reach the centre.
The second flower and the second piping method was for the Hydranga. For this one you only used your big 2D nozzle. Piping the simple daisy, starting from the outside of the cupcake and working your way in. Then…you start piping more simple daisies on top of the first piped ones and continues until you are satisfied with the outcome.
The third flower was a gorgeous Sunflower. For this we used sugar paste, a small round nozzle and the leave nozzle, number 352. First we rolled out the sugar paste and cut out the big green leaves and placed those on the cupcake. Then, by using the small round nozzle, we piped the centre of the sunflower. After that, we used the leaf nozzle and piped the first circle of leaves on the edge of the cupcake and from there you just, again, repeat the process until you reach the middle of the flower.
The fourth flower was the ribbon Rose. This is not the prettiest rose but one of the easier ones to pipe. For this we used the round tip nozzle and the petal tip, number 104. You build up a core, on a flower needle, for the rose by using the round nozzle and forming a “cone” about one and half times the length of the petal nozzle tip. Then, by turning and piping at the same time, using the petal tip, you start building your rose.
Rich Vanilla Cupcakes
175g Self-Raising Flour
125g unsalted Butter, room temperature
175g Castor Sugar
2 large Eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 tablespoons Milk
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg Celsius and prepare your muffin tin.
2. In a large bowl, beat the butter until very pale and then gradually beat in the sugar until the mix is light and fluffy.
3. Beat the eggs and the vanilla together and then add this to the butter mix.
4. Add the flour and gently fold this into the butter mix, adding the milk, one tablespoon at a time, during the folding process.
5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin holes.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Remove from the oven, let cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes and then remove from the tin to cool completely before decorating.
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
500g Icing Sugar
6-9 tablespoons water
1. Place icing sugar and meringue powder in a bowl.
2. Stir or mix at a low speed until blended.
3. Add the water and mix 7-10 minutes on a low speed until the icing losses its sheen.
Tips: Be sure that the utensils you use are completely grease free.
Royal Icing dries out quickly, so make sure that you cover it with a damp cloth while working with it.
Add the water a little at bit at a time…you do need the icing to be rather stiff when piping flowers.
The icing can be stored for up to two weeks in an airtight contains, seeing that you are not using “real” eggs.