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Tea for 2, or 20!

Last week something very exciting arrived in the post, my new Wilton Cupcake Decorating Set! So at the weekend I went a bit cake crazy in order to play with the nozzles. Good tools really do make the difference! My cupcakes looked really professional with next to no practice. I used the 1M nozzle, piping buttercream rosettes, swirls, and some interesting shapes on vanilla cupcakes and chocolate muffins, and the Bismark nozzle to inject raspberry jam into vanilla cupcakes. I also made some mini-Victoria sponges.

Mini-Victoria Sponge Ingredients:

Unsalted Butter – 4oz/115g (softened)

Golden castor sugar – 4oz/115g

Self-raising flour – 4oz/115g (sifted)

Eggs – 2 large

Baking powder – 1 teaspoon

Raspberry or strawberry jam – about 6 teaspoons

Whipped cream (fresh or squirty) – a good dollop per cake

Equipment: Large mixing bowl, sieve, hand mixer, spatula, 12 hole muffin tin (greased with a little butter)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven at 160°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3.
  2. I use the all-in-one method, placing all the ingredients into the bowl and whisking (scraping down the sides with a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are combined) until light and glossy.
  3. Divide into greased muffin tins and bake on the middle shelf for 15-20 minutes until the top is firm to the touch.
  4. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  5. If the tops aren’t flat cut them off.
  6. Spread jam and a dollop or pipe on some cream on one cake and top with another.
  7. Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Vanilla Cupcake Ingredients:

Unsalted butter – 5oz/140g (softened)

Golden caster sugar – 5oz/140g

Eggs – 2 large

Self-raising flour – 7oz/200g (sifted)

Vanilla extract – 2-3 teaspoons

Equipment: Large mixing bowl, sieve, hand mixer, spatula, 2 12-hole bun trays, 18 cupcake cases.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven at 180°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 4.
  2. Again I used the all-in-one method, placing all the ingredients into the bowl and whisk (scraping down the sides with a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are combined) until light and glossy.
  3. Divide into cupcake cases and bake on the middle shelf for 10-15 minutes until the top is firm to the touch.
  4. Remove from oven, remove from tray, and place on a wire rack to cool.
  5. To fill with jam: Drop the Bismark nozzle into a disposable icing bag and fill with a couple of tablespoons of jam. Stick the nozzle into the middle of the cake, right to the bottom, and apply pressure to the piping bag as you pull out the nozzle. Stop squeezing just before the nozzle comes out of the cake.

Chocolate Muffin Ingredients:

Unsalted butter – 6oz/170g (softened)

Golden caster sugar – 6oz/170g

Eggs – 3 large

Self-raising flour – 6oz/10g (sifted)

Cocoa powder – 3 tablespoons

Baking powder – 1 teaspoon

Milk – 3-4 tablespoons

Equipment: Large mixing bowl, sieve, hand mixer, spatula, 12-hole muffin tray, 12 muffin cases.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 3.
  2. Put the butter and sugar into the mixing bowl and whisk with a hand whiskey (scraping down the sides with a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are combined) until light and creamy.
  3. Whisk in the eggs.
  4. Sift in the flour, cocoa, and baking powder and combine (scrape down the sides).
  5. Whisk in the milk.
  6. Divide into muffin cases and bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until the top is firm to the touch, and a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven, remove from tray, and place on a wire rack to cool.

Buttercream Ingredients:

Unsalted butter – 6oz/170g (softened)

Icing sugar – 12oz/340g (sifted)

Milk – 1-2 tablespoons

Food colouring – a few drops.

Equipment: Large mixing bowl, hand mixer (or wooden spoon), sieve, spatula, disposable piping bag, piping nozzle

Method:

  1. Add the butter to the mixing bowl and beat until soft and paler.
  2. Sift in half the icing sugar, and continue to beat until smooth, scraping the sides down with the spatula.
  3. Add the rest of the icing sugar and the milk and beat until smooth and light.
  4. Stir in the food colouring until the colour is even.
  5. Put the nozzle in the piping bag, scoop in the icing, and you’re ready to go!
  6. For swirls: Start on the outer edge of the cake and work your way into the centre of the cake.
  7. For rosettes: start at the centre and work your way outwards.
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