Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Cupcake decorating Part 2

Last night was Part 2 of my cupcake decorating course. Last week, we learned how to make basic recipes and piping buttercream frosting. This week, we built on what we'd already practised, but this time it was all in chocolate. Mmmmmmm.

Tamara's goals for us was to go away having made three cupcakes (which she'd pre-baked): two iced with chocolate buttercream frosting, so we could practise our technique from last week; they would also have piped chocolate decorations. The other one would be covered with chocolate plastercine and decorated with a formal rose. It turns out that I got to decorate six.

These two cupcakes were covered with chocolate plastercine, which is basically a mix of 55% chocolate and glucose syrup left to set overnight. It is warmed in your hands before being ready to mould. You can use miniature cutters, roll the plastercine into strips and craft it, or roll it out flat and use a large cookie cutter to create a solid icing piece for the top. The cupcake on the right is finished with a gold powder (edible fairy dust!). At $25 for a tiny bottle, we were encouraged to use it sparingly ... not sure if I'll be splashing out on this just yet.

The icing for these two cupcakes is chocolate buttercream frosting. The roses were made by rolling a long strip of chocolate plastercine around a central bud shape. The challenge was being able to complete the whole rose without the paste becoming too soft and greasy from the warmth of my hands. The white chocolate decorations were made by piping directly onto greaseproof paper; again, speed is of the essence when lifting them off the paper and arranging them on the cupcake before they melt in your hands.

And now for the decorations which stand up; I'm surprised how easy they are to make. They involve piping a closed shape on greaseproof paper, adding a small stick, leaving it in the fridge for a while, and voila - they just peel off and stay standing up by themselves! The chocolate daisies on the right cupcake were made by using a tiny cookie-type cutter. I just need to practise my technique for piping (and finishing) blobs; the white parts of my flower look a bit clumsy.


Kellee said...

They look fantastic :)

Every time you write 'Chocolate buttercream' my stomach aches I want to eat it by the spoonful!!

Donna said...

They look heavenly.

Sab said...

Ooh, I SOOO want to learn that!