Say it with Cupcakes! Chef Alison McLoughlin of The Culinary Institute of America has a great suggestion: create a beautiful “bouquet” of floral cupcakes for any festive celebration.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is a favorite of so many people but is a challenging recipe for the uninitiated. A couple great bloggers show us how to make this classic, yummy recipe and do a wonderful job of reassuring us that we’re doing it right.
First Dyan provides a video post and recipe on her blog Dyanbakes.com (I was so sorry to see she has stopped blogging.)
Dyann Bakes She also provides the recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream as a downloadable .pdf. for easy printing.
Then head over to howtoeatacupcake target = “_blank” for further video instruction and a couple of unique adjustments to the recipe.
Here’s a twist on bite-sized cupcakes. Bakerella has posted the recipe for her beautiful and innovative Red Velvet Cake Balls. While the recipe is from a box, this is a really interesting idea that is something that is between a cupcake and a piece of candy. I could see this as a nice revenue generating product for a wedding cake business.
Check out her blog, it is really inspiring and a nice use of artistry throughout her baking process.
Here’s a recipe that we have been using in our business for years. This is a simple, classic white frosting that every baker has in their arsenal:
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon powdered butter flavoring
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- With an electric mixer blend all ingredients until mixed.
Could it be any easier than that?
8 oz dark semisweet chocolate (225 g)
2/3 cup butter (140 g)
1 cup sugar (210 g)
4 heaped tablespoons all-purpose flour (1 dl)
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons sour cream
1½ teaspoon baking powder or 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ingredients for frosting
2/3 cup whipping cream (1.6 dl)
9 oz semisweet chocolate (260 g)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
2. Line a circular 10 inch cake tin (25 cm) with non-stick paper and grease the tin. (Please note that cake will rise to 3 inches and collapse somewhat when cooled.)
3. Melt the chocolate with butter over hot water.
4. Beat the eggs with sugar, mix with flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and vanilla extract.
5. Fold in melted butter, chocolate and sour cream slowly.
6. Bake at 350 F (180 C for about 50 minutes. (until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean)
7. Cool the cake completely then place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes,
8. Remove cake from tin and carefully slice off top surface from the cake
9. Cut in half, horizontally.
1. Heat 2/3 cup (1.6 dl) of heavy cream or whipping cream in a sauce pan.
2. Remove from heat, add 9 oz (260 g) of finely chopped dark semisweet chocolate, stir until smooth,
3. Let sauce cool until in thickens.
4. Use 1/3 of the frosting between the two layers, 1/3 on top, and the rest around the cake.
5.Cool cake in the refrigerator for at least one hour so the frosting will harden.
Serve at room temperature.