Camomile Honey Cupcakes

Camomile Cupcakes 1Honey and camomile – my new bedtime beverage before I drift off to sleep on my duck down pillows, which are incidentally my favourite kind of pillow, regardless of how unhygienic and allergy causing it supposedly is.

Here’s my sketch of my vision of what I think my cupcake should look like. Apologies for my drawing skills – drawing was never my strong suit.

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Also, on a side note – I would like to tell you that all was not fine and dandy in the kitchen when I attempted this recipe. I photographed my egg disaster:

Stages of Meringue

Tip of the day : Make sure all utensils are absolutely spotless before attempted to beat your egg whites, otherwise…. well – let this photo be a cautionary tale.

Onto the recipe!

Camomile Honey Cupcakes

Ingredients (Makes 6 cupcakes)

Cupcakes
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
3 tabsp vegetable oil
1 teabag of camomile tea

Meringue
1 egg white
25g caster sugar
10g water

Decorations
Plastic ipettes (I got mine off eBay)
Honey
Fondant bumblebees (tutorial here)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160 Celcius (fan forced). Mix all the cupcake ingredients together and beat with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes or until light. Pour into a piping bag and pipe into cupcake liners for the neatest result. Bake for 20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed.

2. Whip egg white into soft peak stage in an electric mixer. Meanwhile, heat sugar and water to 121 Celcius. Pour sugar mix into egg white while mixer is running at low speed and then turn up to high speed. Continue to whip for another 5 minutes or until cool.

3. To decorate, watch the video tutorial I made here.

If you wanted to know what my photography set up was, here it is! Just the usual settings – 60mm 2.8f shot with a Canon 7D and edited with Lightroom 4.

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Cupcakes for Spring

IMG_0872Spring in Melbourne is unpredictable. One day it’s sunny and beautiful, the next it is cold and dreary again.

I was invited to a barbecue a week back and decided to bring some of these along. If these daisies look familiar, it’s because they were done exactly the same as the ones on my Daisy Bee Cupcakes.

IMG_0883These were orange almond cupcakes with cream cheese frosting by the way – simple and easy. Recipe from here.

Candle Cupcake

Recently, a friend had a birthday and I baked a simple batch of chocolate cupcakes for her. Because it was such a plain project I thought I’d try to photograph it a little differently and decided to style it sitting on a SOMA cube motif. I like how the  shadows turned out.

IMG_0711

There’s my set up – light coming from the right from my apartment window, black board at the back. Taken with a 60mm 2.8f lens.

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Lemon Tree Cupcakes

Lemon Tree Cupcakes

Having exhausted every idea associated with lemons, I asked for suggestions from my housemate. She promptly replied, “How about a lemon tree?”

Yes – how about it?

Lemon Tree Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes

(makes 9 cupcakes)

Ingredients

100g butter, room temperature
100g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
100g self raising flour

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160° Celcius (fan forced).
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light in colour and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add zest and eggs and mix until combined. Mixture may look slightly curdled but nothing to worry about.
  4. Add flour and mix until well incorporated. Pour batter into a piping bag.
  5. Pipe mixture into cupcake liners in a cupcake pan (fill 2/3rds of the way up).
  6. Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes or until cupcake springs back when pressed gently.

Lemon Curd

Ingredients

160g caster sugar
2 eggs
Juice and rind of 2 lemons
80g butter, melted

Method

  1. Whisk eggs and sugar together until smooth in a microwave safe container.
  2. Stir in lemon juice, lemon rind and butter.
  3. Pop into the microwave and cook for 60 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir thoroughly.
  4. Repeat Step 3 until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and when a line is drawn through it with your finger it stays nice and sharp.
  5. Leave to cool before use.

Lemon Tree

Lemon Tree Tutorial

Equipment and Ingredients

Milk chocolate, melted
White chocolate, melted
Green gel food colouring
Yellow gel food colouring
3 piping bags
Waxed paper
Lemon tree template (available here)

Method

  1. Place lemon tree template underneath wax paper.
  2. Pour melted milk chocolate into a piping bag and pipe the tree trunk.
  3. Leave until fully set.
  4. Mix some green gel food colouring into a portion of the melted white chocolate and place into piping bag. Pipe leaves of tree. This is done by piping a small dot and drawing the tip of the bag away, creating a tail that resembles the tips of the leaves. Leave until fully set.
  5. Mix some yellow gel food colouring into remaining melted white chocolate and place into piping bag. Pipe lemons onto tree by piping small dots.
  6. Leave to set fully.
  7. Remove from waxed paper by carefully peeling the wax paper away. I like to do it at the edge of the table.
  8. Your lemon tree is ready for use!

Assembly

  1. Cut a slot into the lemon cupcake in desired area that is slightly longer than the width of the chocolate tree trunk.
  2. Gently insert tree into slot.
  3. Pipe or spoon lemon curd onto cupcake.

Photography

Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph my set up for this project! However, it is similar to that of my Flamingo Cupcakes. The only difference was the props. In this particular photograph, the gray background is a cashmere scarf and the cupcake is sitting on a burlap bag.

And that’s all for today’s post! I have an extremely busy week ahead but I will try my best to be on time for my next post. Blogging and full time work is not easy!

Cupcake Decorating: Flamingo Cupcakes

Flamingo CupcakesPink is for flamingo. According to Google Search when I typed in ‘pink animals’ in my search for something to match my pink cupcake wrappers. It was either that or weird looking sea life and insects. So flamingo cupcakes it is!

I wanted to name them but could not think of any names that rhymed with Flamingo (my preferred method of naming objects. For example, I’m currently typing this post on Claire the MacBook Air). Ideas, anyone?

I’ve decided to try to take a photo of my photography set up from now on. As long as I can remember to photograph it because I am terrible at reminding myself to do things. A few people have requested that I show my set up and I figured… why not. As long as nobody tells me how messy my apartment is!

Alright – onto the recipe and tutorial!

Flamingo Cupcakes

Flamingo Tutorial

Flamingo

Equipment and Materials

Floral wire
Wire cutters
Fondant
Pink food colouring
Yellow food colouring
Black edible ink pen
Small brush
Knife or fondant tool

  1. Tint some fondant pink and roll into the general shape of a flamingo’s body. As a guide, I had Google images open with a variety of flamingo photographs to hold my lump of fondant up against to get the right general shape and size. Leave to dry for a few hours.
  2. Dampen the tip of some floral wire with a brush and some water and insert into the base of the flamingo’s body.
  3. Roll a small ball of fondant into a teardrop shape and using a fondant tool or knife, gently mark some lines to mimic feathers.
  4. Brush some water onto the flamingo’s body and attach the wing.
  5. Paint some yellow food colouring on the flamingo’s face to depict the beak.
  6. Using a black edible pen, mark lines for added detail.
  7. Attached a tiny amount of white fondant for the eyes. Using the pen again, draw in the pupils and eyebrows into desired expressions.
  8. Paint the floral wire pink.

Cupcake

Ingredients (makes 9 cupcakes)

100g butter, room temperature
100g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
100g self raising flour

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160° Celcius (fan forced).
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light in colour and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add zest and eggs and mix until combined. Mixture may look slightly curdled but nothing to worry about.
  4. Add flour and mix until well incorporated. Pour batter into a piping bag.
  5. Pipe mixture into cupcake liners in a cupcake pan (fill 2/3rds of the way up).
  6. Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes or until cupcake springs back when pressed gently.

Glaze

Ingredients

Juice from half a lemon
100g icing mixture
Blue food colouring

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients together to form a smooth glaze.
  2. Add more icing sugar or lemon juice depending on the consistency desired.

Note: Glaze will form a dry surface but will not be completely set underneath.

Assembly

  1. Pour glaze onto cupcakes carefully, using a skewer to move the glaze into the corners of the liner. Dip a skewer into some blue food colouring and swirl glaze around to create a textured blue surface. Leave to set.
  2. Stick flamingo into the cupcake in desired spot, making sure that it is fully embedded and right down to the base of the cupcake for maximum support.

Photography

Flamingo Setup

I set my cupcakes on my piano stool. I know, I know! White leather is highly impractical. But, I’m a grown adult – I can look after things! Famous last words before I spill red wine all over the seat, no doubt.

I then propped up a wooden serving tray as the background (from Wheel & Barrow) and a olive green ribbon for the styling. The white piece of cardboard on the left is there to help reduce the shadows. What you don’t see is my hand holding it up. Main light source from the right (sunlight).

Photographed with the following lens and settings:

Canon 60mm 2.8f
ISO 100
f 2.8
1/50 seconds
Focus point: Front flamingo’s head

Cupcake Decorating Idea: Daisy Bee Cupcakes

Daisy Bee Cupcakes

If you live in Australia and you head to your local Coles or Woolworths, you will notice one thing – they do not sell ordinary plain cupcake liners. You have to commit to a damask pack or a multi-coloured pack – no ifs or buts.

At first that irritated me – I prefer to work with neutral wrappers e.g. white, black, brown. However, they seem to be here to stay so I decided to try to go with it rather than fight it!

I was pleased with results of this one – a forest green wrapper topped with a pastel green glaze, decorated with bees and daisies.

I went for lemon flavoured cupcakes this time – topped with a very simple lemon glaze. Scroll down for the recipe. It is divided into 4 parts – the cupcake, glaze, decorations and lastly, the assembly.

 

Daisy Bee Cupcakes

 

Daisy Bee Cupcakes 2

Cupcake

(makes 9 cupcakes)

Ingredients

100g butter, room temperature
100g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
100g self raising flour

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160° Celcius (fan forced).
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light in colour and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add zest and eggs and mix until combined. Mixture may look slightly curdled but nothing to worry about.
  4. Add flour and mix until well incorporated. Pour batter into a piping bag.
  5. Pipe mixture into cupcake liners in a cupcake pan (fill 2/3rds of the way up).
  6. Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes or until cupcake springs back when pressed gently.

Glaze

Ingredients

Juice from half a lemon
100g icing mixture
Food colouring, if desired

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients together to form a smooth glaze.
  2. Add more icing sugar or lemon juice depending on the consistency desired.

Note: Glaze will form a dry surface but will not be completely set underneath.

Fondant Decorations

The fondant decorations for these cupcakes have their own dedicated posts, as linked below:

Daisy Flower Tutorial
Bumble Bee Tutorial

Assembly

  1. Pour glaze onto cupcakes carefully, using a skewer to move the glaze into the corners of the liner. Leave to set.
  2. Press daisy into the centre of the cupcake.
  3. Stick floral wire into the cupcake in desired spot, making sure that it is fully embedded and right down to the base of the cupcake for maximum support.

That’s it! Let me know what you think and if you have any requests or suggestions in terms of what you would like me to make next. 

How To: Make Fondant Daisy Flower

There many daisy tutorials out there but most seem to be the ones that have fairly sharp angles and imprints. I decided to make something a little less angular and if you’re interested read on to see how I made mine!

I actually used them on my Daisy Bee Cupcakes in combination with bumble bees. Please refer to the bumble bee tutorial if you are interested in learning how to make that too!
Fondant DaisySupplies needed

Daisy cutter
Fondant (coloured to the shade of your choice)
Small rolling pin for rolling the fondant
Tiny rolling pin for flattening the petals
Flower sponge
Small sable brush
Some water
Sieve or meshy object

Steps

  1. Roll the white fondant out thin – you should be able to see the colour of the surface that you’re rolling on through the fondant. The thinner you roll it the more delicate your flower is going to be.
  2. Cut two flowers shapes using the daisy cutter.
  3. Using the tiny rolling pin, roll the petals outwards, thinning them further.
  4. Move the cut out onto the flower sponge. Place the rounded tip of the tiny rolling pin on the tip of the flower petal and draw inward towards the middle of the flower – this will curl the petal. Repeat these steps with the second flower cut out.
  5. Roll a pea-sized amount of yellow fondant into a ball and flatten. Press against sieve or any other textured mesh to create a textured surface for the daisy’s heart.
  6. To assemble, brush some water in the middle of a flower cut out and pop the second flower cut out on top of it, staggering it so that the petals do not overlap. Brush more water on top of the second cut out and press the textured circle in the middle.
  7. Leave to dry for a few hours before use.