Sunday, 15 July 2012

My Name is Dug. I Have Just Met You, and I Love You.

Disney Pixar # 10 - Up

Up is amazing. I remember being slightly disappointed by it the first time I watched it, but every time I've watched it since, I've wondered why. The first 10ish minutes of the film are so beautifully, heart-breakingly, cinematic-history-making-ly perfect that it's impossible not to fall in love with Up. The rest of the film is pretty good too.

Aside from the opening sequence - which I didn't want to touch as I could never possibly hope to do justice to it - my favourite moment of the film is when Carl releases his balloons and the house floats up into the air; it has just the right mix of awe and magic to make you suspend disbelief and that's what I decided to create in cake form.

Now, being a veteran reader of Cake Wrecks, I was a little dubious about creating a cupcake-cake, however, I couldn't think of a better way to do this and stick to my remit of "all the Disney/Pixar films have to be made with cupcakes", so the cupcake-cake was made. I don't think it turned out too badly (at least I hope it's good enough not to be deemed a wreck!). I decided to go with a raspberry flavouring for these cupcakes, as I thought it would be reminiscent of candy-floss and bubble-gum and the manner of treats Carl might have enjoyed as a young balloon-seller. The recipe for the cupcakes is one I adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery's Cake Days, as it makes really fluffy light cupcakes.

These cupcakes have A LOT of icing on them, so this one is best saved for when you have a very, very sweet tooth.

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 15-18 minutes
Makes 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:
40g butter
140g caster sugar
120g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1 large egg
120ml milk
raspberry flavouring - to taste

For the butter cream:
100g butter
200g icing sugar
A few drop of raspberry flavouring
Blue food colouring
Milk (as required)

To decorate:
200g fondant icing
Pink, Green, Yellow, Ice Blue and Navy food colourings
Edible glue

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 and line a bun tray with cupcake cases.
  • Beat the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder together in a bowl until the ingredients come together to resemble bread crumbs. Mix the egg, milk and raspberry flavouring together in a jug, then beat this wet mixture into the dry mixture a little bit at a time until you have a smooth batter. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases, filling the around 3/4 of the way full.
  • Bake for 15-18 minute until golden brown and firm to touch. Leave to cool completely on a wire wrack before decorating.
  • Whilst the cupcakes are cooling, prepare your butter cream by beating the butter, icing sugar, raspberry flavouring and a little blue food colouring together until creamy. Add a little milk to achieve the desired consistency if necessary. Keep the butter-cream in the fridge until ready to use.
  • To prepare the decorations, split the fondant icing into 5 pieces, and colour each one with the colours listed above. I split my icing again so that I had a pale and a vibrant version of each colour. The pale colours were mostly used for the house, and the vibrant colours for the balloons. To make the house, cut out the pieces (see photo below for step-by-step) and assemble using the edible glue to stick the pieces together. Paint on the detail with a little blue food colouring. To make the balloons, roll a chunk of icing into a ball and cut this into two halves. Pinch one end of the circle into a teardrop shape, trying to keep the bottom flat. I ended up making around 100 balloons, but didn't use them all. 

  • When the cupcakes have cooled, spread a layer of blue butter-cream over them, then arrange 8 of the cupcakes onto a cake board in a 1, 2, 3, 2 formation (see the pictures for explanation!) Place the fondant house onto the bottom cupcake, then layer the balloons onto the other cupcakes, curving the edges to make the shape of a large balloon.
  • Now watch your friends get a little awkward as they really want to eat the cakes, but don't want to ruin your pretty mosaic ;-) 

Next time it's Toy Story 3, and I'll be paying homage with some cuddly cupcakes that smell (and taste) like strawberries!

Happy Thoughts

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