Saturday, 29 December 2012

Candy Cane Cupcakes

I had been wanting to make some Christmas themed cupcakes for a while, and since I had peppermint extract and willing volunteers, I thought candy cane inspired cakes would be fun.

I probably got a bit carried away with ideas for this one.  Some of which were too big and I didn't manage to pull off, so the end result wasn't quite what I was hoping for.  But they were still very much enjoyed by the fiancĂ© and his friends.

So what have we got?  Well, the cakes are red velvet and white chocolate marble cakes.  These are then topped with peppermint flavoured buttercream, in red and white, and then finished with crushed candy cane sprinkles.  If I had managed too, I wanted to pipe the cake mixture into the cases to get a spiral pattern, rather than marbling, but the two mixtures I used were of slightly different consistency and wouldn't co-operate.  Maybe if I'd used one of the split piping bags instead of trying to fill a single one half and half it might have worked better but oh well.  Live and learn.

I actually tried two different mixtures for the white chocolate part of the cakes but the first recipe was far too runny.  I did save it to cook as a cake on its own but, due to being ill and thus a bit cloudy in the head, I forgot to take it out the oven when the timer went off and it got ruined.  Ooops.  I'll have to try it again at some point in the future though because it sounded yummy. 

Recipe - makes about 12 (and maybe 3 or so spare red velvet cupcakes)

Red Velvet Cake - adapted from Cake Days 
  • 60g/2oz unsalted butter
  • 150g/5oz caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 10g/0.35oz cocoa powder
  • 40ml/1.5fl.oz red food colouring
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 150g/5oz plain flour
  • 120ml/4.25fl.oz buttermilk
  • 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
White Chocolate Cake:
  • 60g/2oz butter
  • 60g/2oz caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 60g/2oz self raising flour
  • 100g/4oz white chocolate
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 and line a 12 hole muffin case with cases.  
  2. Put the white chocolate in a glass bowl and then place over a pan of gently simmering water to melt.  Don't let the water touch the bowl.
  3. Start making the red batter by creaming the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and beat into the mixture well until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. In a small, separate bowl, mix together the vanilla extract, cocoa powder and food colouring to form a paste.  Add the paste to the cake batter and mix until all the batter is red.
  6. In another bowl, sift together the flour and the salt.  Add the flour to the cake batter in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk.  Mix well after each addition.
  7. In yet another bowl, mix together the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda and then add to the batter.  Mix well and then set aside.
  8. If the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and place to one side.
  9. For the white chocolate cake, start by beating the butter, sugar and vanilla together until creamy.
  10. Add the egg and mix in well.
  11. Pour in the white chocolate and mix in.
  12. Sift in the flour and fold into the mixture.
  13. Fill the muffin cases about two thirds full, half with red batter and half with white.  If you can, try and keep the colours split down the middle.  Otherwise fill with alternating spoonfuls.  You will probably have more red velvet mixture than you need so pour any excess into spare cases.
  14. Use a skewer or toothpick to marble the cake batter.  You want to aim for a swirling, spiral pattern but don't worry if it doesn't co-operate.  Not all of mine would.
  15. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes.  The sponge should be slightly springy to the touch.
  16. Remove and leave to cool before decorating.
Peppermint Buttercream
  • 340g/6oz butter
  • 680g/12oz icing sugar 
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract
  • Red food gel
  • White food gel
  • 7 candy canes
  1. Divide the butter and sugar between two bowls (so 170g/3oz butter and 340g/6oz sugar per bowl) and add 1 tsp peppermint extract to each.
  2. Mix together until you get smooth and creamy buttercream.
  3. Add the red gel to one bowl a little at a time and mix until you get the desired colour.
  4. Do the same with the white gel in the other bowl.
  5. Fit a piping bag with a large star nozzle and then fill it half with red icing and half with white.  You want the colours side by side, not one of top of the other.  It is tricky but doable.
  6. Pipe swirls of buttercream on top of each of your cakes.
  7. Put the candy canes in a bag and partially crush them with a rolling pin.  You want small, sprinkle like pieces but also some big chunks of candy cane.
  8. Sprinkle the smaller pieces over the top of each cake, and then finish with a couple of bigger pieces.

No comments:

Post a Comment