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Beehive CupcakesBeehive Cupcakes:

Chapter two of the ‘Bumble Bee’ themed birthday event involved the return of Foodie Frolics’ yummy, Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes.

The ‘Beehive’ cupcakes were not quite as challenging as the sugar cookies but Istanbul definitely presents with some issues that impact on baking, especially with decorating and transport.

Baking CupcakesDrawing on a Foodie Frolics favourite-Vanilla, Vanilla cupcakes, the baking part was a cinch, a tried and true recipe. With a 1.5cm round piping tip and disposable piping bags bought in Eminönü, I thought it would be smooth sailing.

However, buttercream is another thing to perfect. Issues to consider:

  1. The quantities of powdered sugar (yes I’ve been here too long, icing sugar Aussies) vary from recipe to recipe. I like an equal quantity of butter to sugar so it’s not too sweet but this could affect the texture and thickness. Unfortunately the powdered sugar here is grainy which is difficult to avoid.
  2. After learning my lesson about the effects of humidity on royal icing, I searched for a solution. Need I say cornflour blended with milk is the saviour! It helps stabilise the buttercream.
  3. With buttercream in tow, the piping is not too difficult with a little practise, but don’t think you can then transport your iced cupcakes! The icing must be done at the client’s house or venue to ensure delivery in perfect condition.
  4. Any decorations can be put on at the last minute. The chocolate buttons were good quality, the tempered chocolate holding up in the heat without refrigeration.

Sugar flowers

Making Sugar Flowers. 

After my search for pre-made sugar flowers came up empty, I decided I was up for the challenge of making my own sugar flowers, although I refused to buy any more equipment. Luckily ready-made fondant is available, taking away one step.

Without a stencil or cutter and with a little logical thinking and creativity I managed to work out a technique for my flowers. Here are some helpful hints:

 

  1. You need a lot of patience.Cupcakes galore
  2. You need about 3-4 hours free time.
  3. The key is using small balls of fondant and squashing them between two pieces of baking paper to form the flowers (5 balls per flower.)
  4. Use a toothpick to apply the detail and a little water to help the sugar balls stick to the centres.
  5. Make sure your let your flowers dry for at least 24 hours.

Final thoughts:

Foodie Frolics loves to learn new techniques. However, creating new taste sensations is more satisfying than perfecting sugar flowers and practising different piping shapes and textures on cakes. Next time you are shocked by the price of a celebration cake, think about the hours of intense and detailed work that goes into the final product. Nothing short of 20 hours work for this FF task!

Sally

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