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!

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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. 

Lion Tart

Lion Tart

I was browsing aimlessly around the internet and came across a pie that had a cat face done with pastry. Immediately, I was drawn to it. A few days later and several YouTube videos on how to draw lions and hundreds of Google Images of ‘kind lion’ and ‘wise lion’ and ‘Aslan’, I decided that I would dip my toe into template making after years of using what was available out there. Can you tell that I am not a risk taker?

Let me tell you it was no easy task for me – I have no natural talent in drawing. I’m great a replicating something that’s in front of me but coming up with something on my own is a nightmare. My housemate was very helpful though – after a few pointers on how I had to look at objects as shapes rather than things and copy the shape I finally came up with a reasonable template that I was happy with. Template now available for download here.

photo

Then came the actual tart baking. I had some leftover lemon curd from my previous project and decided to make another lemon tart – this time with a sweet shortcrust pastry – recipe as shown here.

After making the tart the usual way, it was time for the fun part – the lion! To make him, I first decided that I would cut everything free hand and just refer to the template. Results below.

photo

It took a long time. I suggest you start early in the morning if you want to photograph your project in daylight.

photo

I decided the pieces for the face did not cut it and I was bad a free-hand shortcrust pastry cutting. Decided to cut out pieces of the template to use as a stencil and remade his face.

The lion’s face still was not how I envisioned him after all of that effort! In my template I felt his expression was exactly right but I just could not for the life of me replicate it in pastry. I am sorry to say that I was a quitter – I stopped at two tries. I plonked all the pieces onto my lemon tart and voila – lion tart. Kinda.

Lion Tart

Overall, not perfect but it was a great learning project. I usually shy away from drawing and creating so this really pushed me beyond my comfort zone. I am also suddenly very strangely drawn to animals as inspiration now. Hopefully I do the next animal justice.

Lemon Tart with Coconut Pastry

They say when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. I branched out and decided to make a lemon tart.

 


Sparkling lemon tart

I was actually very pleased the image I managed to capture. Word of caution though – your food will be covered in a fine layer of sparkler dust at the end of the exercise!

Rectangular lemon tart

Do you like my lemon juicer? It only took me several years to decide on which to get. I love it to bits – it was worth every penny.

The actual baking of the lemon tart was not too difficult either and the result was pleasing – smooth, creamy curd that cut cleanly, candied lemon that was intense and a coconut flavour through the tart pastry. Recipe below:

Crust

1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 1/2 sticks chilled butter, cut into half inch cubes
1-2 tablespoons of chilled water, as needed.

1. Preheat oven to 160 Celcius (fan-forced).
2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water and mix again until mixture comes together. Wrap pastry in cling wrap and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes.
3. Roll pastry into a sheet large enough to fit into the pastry pan. Cut off excess.
4. Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly brown.

Lemon filling from here

Candied lemon from here

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Cupcake

I love lemon flavoured desserts – the tartness cuts through the sweetness making it a much easier to eat more of a thing.

I have wanted to make this for a very long time but had always put it off due to the three components required – the cupcake, the curd as well as the Italian meringue. Plus there was the browning of the meringue that I had to do at the end which always stressed me out a little. However, here it is and I have to say it tastes delicious!

Recipe from Martha Stewart.