The idea for this cake came from the memory that I had of this film (which I hadn't watched in the years since it first came out!) and that memory was BLUE. I recalled the film having very blue-tones (not surprising considering it's based under water) but I also remembered the bright brilliant blue of the magic crystals that protected the Atlantians. So it was these bright blue magic crystals, the Heart of Atlantis, that I decided to recreate in cake form.
I decided that as I was basing the only decoration of these cakes on the Heart of Atlantis, that I'd let my friends decide on what flavour the cupcakes would be underneath all of the blue icing and glitter. They decided on strawberry, possibly the least "blue" flavour they could have come up with, but it sounded tasty all the same. I had a vague idea in my head of wanting to bake fresh strawberries into the middle of the cupcakes, but wasn't sure if this would work so I set to researching my recipe books. the recipe I ended up using was an amalgamation of the "Strawberry Jam Fairy Cakes" recipe in Peyton and Byrne's British Baking and the "Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins" recipe in BBC Good Food's 101 Cakes and Bakes.
Prep time: 45 mins Cook time: 15 - 20 mins
Makes 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
150g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp natural yogurt
50g strawberry jam
6 fresh strawberries
For the frosting:
200g unsalted butter
450g icing sugar
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
blue food colouring
For the decoration:
Black or brown liquorice laces
150g Fondant icing (white or blue)
Blue food colouring (if using white icing)
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp water
Blue edible glitter
Note: As these cupcakes contain fresh fruit they do not keep very well and are best eaten on the day of baking.
Tip: to save time you could make the decorations a few days in advance
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 and line a bun tray with cupcake cases
- Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla, yogurt and jam to the mixture and mix until just incorporated.
- Hull and halve the strawberries. Spoon 1 teaspoon of cake mixture into each cupcake case, and then place half a strawberry on each, pushing it down slightly. Cover each strawberry with another half teaspoon of cake mixture, until all of the mixture has been used up.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown and springy to touch. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, prepare the butter cream and the decorations for the top of the cupcakes. To make the "Heart of Atlantis" gemstones: colour the fondant icing blue, and mould into the required shape (I made various different shapes and sizes... whatever you feel like!) Mix 2 tbsp of icing sugar with 1tbsp water to make an edible "glue". Tip the blue glitter onto a plate. Roll each gemstone into the "glue" then immediately roll it in the glitter. Leave to dry. Once they have dried, place them on the middle of a liquorice lace.
- To make the butter cream: beat together the butter, icing sugar and milk until soft and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. Separate the icing into three bowls. Leave one bowl of icing un-coloured, colour one a pale blue and colour the third a darker shade of blue. When putting the icing into your piping bag, put one colour down one side, one colour on the other side and the third colour in the middle.
- Once the cupcakes have sufficiently cooled, pipe icing onto them and then place the "Heart of Atlantis" decorations on top.
Next time it's Lilo and Stitch - my favourite from this period, and I'll be making a pineapple upside-down pudding!