One of my closest friends gave birth to her first child last week and I´ve been wanting to make some cupcakes to mark the special occasion so out came the apron and the electric whisk today. Unfortunately, like Alma from the blog Objectivo Cupcake I went to my cupboard only to find it bare, like Old Mother Hubbard....well, not exactly bare but I hadn´t realised that I´d run out of icing sugar. Don´t you just hate it when that happens? As it is a Sunday and all the shops are shut apart from a few little shops that sell basic food stuffs such as the imaginatively named Open Shop (which in desperation I tried but to no avail) there was no getting hold of icing sugar!
In the end I ended up having to improvise and this was the start of my Kitchen Nightmare! First of all I whipped up these basic vanilla sponge cupcakes/fairy cakes from Hannah Miles´s book Big Book of Cakes and Cookies, which is why again I haven´t included the recipe. The cakes seem really airy and light. I really love this book and up to now every recipe I´ve tried has turned out perfectly! So far,so good!
I decided to use some leftover Ballena fondant/royal icing from my Christmas Biscuit decorating course so set about melting it in a glass bowl placed inside a pan of boiling water (somehow the water always ends up boiling over and spilling everywhere). I then filled a disposable piping bag with a nozzle but the icing was so hot it was burning my hands. Plus the icing wasn´t coming out of the nozzle so quickly (I think I used too small a nozzle) plus maybe I made the consistency of the icing too thick and it soon started to set. I scrapped that idea and cut the icing bag and then tried to ice the cakes with a knife but as the cakes are so light and spongy, they started to crumble and break.
I then decided on option c....leftover fondant. As it had been stored in the fridge, it was rock hard and took a lot of working and kneading with my hands until it was workable. I then rolled it out finely and cut circles out to cover the top of the cupcakes, using apricot jam to stick it on. Using a decorating brush I applied some water to the pink baby footprints that my Mum had got me from Whittinghams in the UK to stick them onto the fondant. I tried to use my pink icing witing pen to write Congrats but didn´t like how it turned out so ended up leaving them as they were. Sometimes simple is the best anyway! I think I need a lot more cake decorating practice! It´s a good job I enjoy baking/ cake decorating as I spent almost the whole morning making them! The main thing is that hopefully my friend and her husband will appreciate them!