Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Off With Her Cupcakes!*

*Title must be shouted imperiously.

I made this recipe for We Should Cocoa, a monthly event for food bloggers focused around chocolate.  This months is hosted by Choclette, while last month's and next month's will be Chelle's.  The idea is, to create some dish using both chocolate and the special ingredient, which, for April, is...marzipan!

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

I only found out about this last night, so I'm technically too late to enter (entries need to be in my the 25th).  I figured I'd have a go anyway, because it looked fun!

I did want to make little marzipan bowls, with chocolate mousse inside, and delicate marzipan flowers on top, like little lotus blossoms, but we're all out of coconut milk, and we had no waxed paper, which would have made the marzipan so much easier to work with.  So, instead, I decided to use the chocolate cupcake recipe I've been testing everything on this week, add some vanilla buttercream, and make little marzipan roses for the top.  Since I wanted a smooth surface for the icing, I made three cupcakes from that mixture, so they didn't quite come to the top of the cases.

Clearly, the cards have not finished painting this one.
Off with their cupcakes!
Now, I've never worked with marzipan before, but how hard could it be?  I decided to make my marzipan from scratch too, just for the heck of it.

I went with this recipe from Jeena's Kitchen, which was SO easy.  I halved the quantities, since I was only making a few cupcakes, then dyed a bit of it green, and the rest red.  All you need to do to colour it is knead in some food colouring.  Gel would be easier, but we only had liquid, which got...messy.

I look at the video below for tips on how to fashion marzipan roses, then totally ignored it (due to the aforementioned lack of waxed paper), and did it a slightly easier way, which made them come out more cartoony.  Why am I posting it if I totally ignored, you ask?  Why because this is a much better way of making them, and what I would have done if I weren't poor, and feeling a bit lazy today (I have a cold; don't worry, I washed my hands LOTS).

What I did was, unwrap the marzipan from its clingfilm, then folded the clingfilm back over it, and rolled it out gently. I used a butter knife to cut a strip, and to gently flare the edges, before rolling it up in a tube, like if you were making a rose from a piece of ribbon. It ended up quite thick at the bottom, so I pinched that bit off (and ate it), and then gently flared out the petals.  For the leaves, I rolled out my green icing in the same way, cut out rough diamond shapes with a serrated knife, then used the butter knife to gently draw veins on.

Make a remark.
It's ridiculous to leave all the conversation to the pudding.
 The icing was a very simple vanilla buttercream.  I mixed one tablespoon of vegan margarine with 1 tablespoon of soya milk, then kept adding icing sugar for the desired consistency.  I used about six tablespoons of sugar, and it was still a tad thin.  Better idea would have been to add in some icing sugar, then drip the milk in, but I got impatient.

I made the marzipan first, then put that in the fridge while I made the cakes.  Once the cakes had cooled, I simply poured the icing on, up to the rim of the cases (silicon cases, SO handy, saves a fortune), and put them in the fridge to set, while I made the flowers.  I stuck those on while the icing was still a little damp, then put them back in the fridge.  Et voila!


  1. These look beautiful. Impressed you've made your own roses and your own vegan marzipan. I was rather late in getting the round-up posted, so you did get included despite being late. Thanks for participating.


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