Friday, 11 October 2013

Terrible treats: Halloween cupcake tutorials to come...

Spooky Halloween cupcakes, as baked by EJ
It's not often that I get to bake things that are gruesome and scary, so I'm delighted to have an excuse (and time this year) to dabble in some Halloween baking, the perfect antidote to pretty, pastel-coloured cupcakes (although I've tried to strike the balance between gruesome and edible-looking... I'm not sure it worked with the scar). Over the next two weeks, I'll be publishing a series of tutorials here - to show you how to make the Halloween cupcakes above. I still can't decide which is my favourite (it's between the pumpkin and the Rocky-Horror-meets-True-Blood vampire fangs). These can be a little time-consuming to perfect, but they're worth the effort :)

Spooky Halloween cupcakes, from the top
In this post I'll give you the vanilla cupcake recipe, my next six posts will be photo tutorials showing you how to decorate each of these with sugar paste. *Update*- you can find all of the tutorials through the following links:

Vampire cupcake

Pumpkin patch cupcake
Scar cupcake
Bones cupcake
Ghost cupcake
Skull & snake cupcake

The recipe makes six vanilla cupcakes - and the quantity of buttercream is enough for six of any of the designs- and plenty if you choose to do one of each (as above).

For the cupcakes:
120g caster sugar
120g self raising flour
120ml milk
40ml rapeseed oil
1 egg (separated)
1tsp vanilla extract

To make the cakes:
1) Pre-heat the oven to 170C (fan), line a cupcake tin with six paper cases.

2) Separate the egg, using an electric mixer whip the egg white until it forms soft peaks.

3) Pour the sugar into the egg white while whisking on a slow setting.

4) Add the egg yolk, rapeseed oil, milk and vanilla extract and continue to mix very gently.

5) Sift in the self raising flour and fold into a smooth batter.

6) Spoon the mixture into the six cupcake cases (there should be approximately 5mm space at the top of each case).

7) Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes. Check if the cakes are done by gently pressing down on the top with your index finger, if the sponge springs back they are ready. 

To make the buttercream:
200g butter (softened at room temperature)
500g icing sugar (sifted)
3tbs water
1tbs vanilla extract

For the buttercream:
1) Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy.

2) One tablespoon at a time, gradually add the sifted icing sugar - mixing on a low setting to combine.

3) One teaspoon at a time, pour in the water and vanilla extract, keep mixing until you reach a smooth piping consistency.

4) The buttercream can be kept refrigerated in a sealed container for one week before use, or you can freeze for up to a month.

Stay tuned for the first tutorial :)  

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