Thursday, 20 May 2010

Dum da-dum da-dum da-dum-dum-dum-dum

Disney Classic # 3 – Fantasia

I drew inspiration from the concept of Fantasia for these cupcakes, rather than from any specific part in the film. I took the idea of combining sounds, colours and textures and tried to incorporate that into the cupcakes; using edible glitter, rainbow sprinkles and popping candy inside the cake! It was brilliant to watch the delight/surprise/horror on my friends’ faces as their cake started to make popping noises as they ate it – I wish I had filmed their expressions!

When facing the prospect of making Fantasia cupcakes I knew I just HAD to find a way to make my cupcakes musical (or at the very least noisy!), because quite frankly I’m certain that had he the capacity to do so, Walt Disney would have made Fantasia taste great.

Now this is where I normally cite my sources, but for these I don’t really have any! This recipe for vanilla cupcakes with vanilla butter-cream is ingrained into my brain – it’s the recipe my Mum taught me when we used to bake together back when I was a little Princess. Where it came from before that, I don’t know! For the “sorcerer’s apprentice” hat toppers, I used the recipe on the back of a pack of Tate and Lyle Royal Icing Sugar, but I’m sure any old royal icing recipe will do just as well!

 Prep time: Overnight        
Cook time: 15-20 mins           
Makes 12 cupcakes


For the hat toppers:
200g Royal Icing Sugar
10ml cool water
Navy food colouring
Black food colouring
White star shaped sprinkles

For the cupcakes:
200g Margarine
200g caster sugar
200g self raising flour
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2tbsp multi-coloured sprinkles

For the buttercream:
150g unsalted butter
350g icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
drop of vanilla essence

To decorate:
30g popping candy
Edible glitter (I used Rainbow Dust in White Hologram)

TIP: It’s best to make the royal icing toppers the day before to give them plenty of time to set! Popping candy starts to pop on contact with moisture, so it’s best to finish the cupcakes as close to serving time as possible – the longer you leave the cupcakes between putting the popping candy in them and serving them, the less poppy they will be! I finished my cupcakes around 30 minutes before my guests arrived, and they were still very poppy. The cupcake that was leftover the next day only had very little “pop” left!
  1. Draw the outline of your toppers onto a sheet of greaseproof paper to create a template (I drew 16 Mickey Mouse hats). Turn the paper upside down and secure this (pen side down) onto a flat baking sheet. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the royal icing sugar and the water with an electric mixer for 10-15 minutes, until it forms soft peaks. (When you lift the mixer out of the mixture this should like a peak which stands for at least 5 seconds.) Once the royal icing is ready, put 1/3 of it into a smaller bowl and colour this black. The remaining 2/3 of the icing should be coloured navy 
  3. Using the smallest nozzle on your piping bag, and using the templates you created earlier as a guide, pipe the royal icing onto the greaseproof paper, allowing each colour to set slightly before moving on to the next. Gently press the star sprinkles into place, and then put to one side to set, uncovered. 
  4. Nex, move on to the cupcakes. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, and place some cupcake cases into a bun tray.
  5. Mix the margarine and the caster sugar in a bowl until creamy, then sift roughly half of the flour into the bowl, and fold this into the mixture. Add 1 egg to the mixture and beat until combined, then sift the remaining flour into the mixture and fold in. Add the final egg and beat until the mixture is well combined, then stir the vanilla essence and the sprinkles into the mixture. 
  6. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases (around 1 tbsp per cupcake) and bake until firm to touch. (approx 15 – 20 mins) Allow cupcakes to cool on a wire rack before decorating.
  7. Once the cupcakes are cool, carefully cut a circle out of the top of the cake (as if you were making butterfly cakes) and leave the cake and the top on the side to dry out a little whilst you make the buttercream. (The cupcake as a whole will still be very moist – it’s just that you need to dry out the parts that will be in contact with the popping candy, in the end you will have a moist sponge with a crunchy layer of popping candy and deliciously creamy buttercream!) 
  8. To make the buttercream; beat the butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla essence in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Keep this in the fridge until it is needed. 
  9. Place about 1tsp of popping candy into the hole you made in each cupcake, and the put the top back on. 
  10. Cover the cupcakes with the buttercream, trying to disguise the raised centre. Place a topper onto each cupcake and sprinkle with a bit of edible glitter. Magic! 

Next time: Dumbo! I’ll be making some marshmallow krispie cakes inspired by the Pink Elephant sequence.

Happy thoughts

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