Well I was at it again this weekend: spending countless hours in the kitchen to create these delicious and (somewhat) Christmasy cupcakes. Although I’m afraid I wasn’t too original in the recipe, I copied this one here, they did in fact turn out splendidly – if I do say so myself. I’d been asked (read: begged) recently to stop making full cakes, and to focus instead on cupcakes and smaller bite-size desserts as they’re easier to spread the love. So, let me know if you have a special request (allergy-friendly, colours, designs, etc) and I’m happy to work with you, because I’m actually quite tired of eating all of these desserts myself…
So. Let’s start with the snowflakes. I spent nearly two days working on these, since there was a bit of trial and error in the process, but I’m happy with how they eventually turned out. I used a very simple royal icing recipe for this (no point in making things too complicated!). I created a very simple snowflake template (thank you Pinterest), placed parchment paper on top and with a frosting bag, traced out the designs. I popped those babies in the freezer overnight and waited for perfectly dried flakes for cupcake toppings.
If you decide to try this, I’d recommend using wax paper – it’s much smoother and I believe will be easier to remove dried icing decorations. Also, leaving them in the freezer doesn’t speed up the process any faster. Let them air-dry overnight, and if you still have trouble peeling them off, place the paper on top of an ice pack and slowly peel the flakes off that way. The cold and slightly damp ice block helps separate the two.
As for the cake itself, I realised I will need to invest in some proper food paste for red velvet cakes as food colourings don’t give me that deep, blood red colour that I like. The flavour (oh, the flavour!) was that classic yet subtle buttermilk, chocolate blend and topped with a fluffy, sweet buttercream frosting of white chocolate and peppermint. My only alteration was to add more peppermint (nearly doubled) for an stronger mint essence – I prefer intense pepperminty flavour in my holiday sweets. Yum!
On that note, why is it most Europeans do NOT like peppermint treats? A Scandinavian friend and I discussed this phenomenon of not being able to find peppermint extract in the local shops. (She thankfully lent me some imported from Finland for this recipe.) It’s like candy canes: what is up with fruit-flavoured candy canes here? I was disgusted the first time I bit into one – that is certainly not the festive flavour I would go for! Candy canes are supposed to be peppermint Anyway, I digress. In light of this little peppermint issue, I will have to be ordering my peppermint extract online in the future. Or travel to Finland, apparently.
I hope you like my little festive treat, and feel inspired to try something yourself (or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work on something special just for you!). For more baking inspiration, slide on over here…
Have a happy and joy-filled week, my friends! xx