Friday, 4 January 2013

Review: Christmas cupcakes

Christmas cupcakes, by Annie Rigg
Happy New Year everyone! It might seem very late for a Christmas themed review, that's because it is - but I wasn't organised enough to write this up before Christmas and really wanted to share this wonderful book with you. If you are able to pick it up in sale somewhere and save it for December 2013 I suggest you do, as the recipes and creative icing inspiration  within are brilliant. 

Christmas cupcakes by Annie Rigg is a beautifully put together book with 26 cupcake recipes. Most of the cupcakes are based on two basic sponges (buttermilk and double chocolate) which are detailed at the beginning of the book. For the majority of the cakes, Annie also uses one of three frostings (marshmallow, meringue and buttercream), the recipes for which are also detailed at the start of the book. This format really allows you to take inspiration from an icing and decoration perspective (with the assumption that the sponges are technically interchangeable). 

Annie Rigg's Christmas cupcakes:
Candied clementine with pistachios
Annie Rigg's Christmas cupcakes: Christmas trees
Annie Rigg's Christmas cupcakes: Candy canes
Annie Rigg's Christmas cupcakes: Fat penguins
Annie Rigg's Christmas cupcakes: Glitter baubles
Annie Rigg's Christmas cupcakes: Snow-ho-ho-men
(I believe that the fantastic images from the book above should be credited to Kate Whitaker) 

Each recipe is beautifully photographed with very easy to follow instructions. I needed to make some cupcakes for work just before Christmas - as tempted as I was by the Christmas trees and snow-ho-ho-men, I wasn't confident their fragile buttercream toppings would survive the commute, so took inspiration from the Christmas baubles cupcakes. I used the buttermilk sponge for this - I haven't baked with buttermilk before, but apprently it can be used instead of a raising agent (the recipe uses plain flour), it gives the sponge a nice creamy taste, but the result was relatively dense and did stick to the cupcake case quite a bit - (I think I'll probably try this one again with self-raising to see if it makes a lighter sponge, as it did taste great).   

Having not been too prepared, I topped a few of the cupcakes with icing baubles and freestyled the rest of them with vanilla buttercream, coconut and an icing snowflake.

Home made icing baubles and snowflakes, as made by EJ
The finished cakes, boxed up and ready to go, as made by EJ
Anyway - enough of this Christmas talk! Some lovely New Year recipes to come :)

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