I struggled to find an idea I liked for Cars, and so finding an idea for Cars 2 - which I hadn't previously seen - was even harder. Except, in a way, it wasn't. When plotting what to bake, I kept coming back to the idea of making "lightning" flavoured cupcakes. But that was ridiculous - lightning doesn't even have a flavour! So for Cars I ended up using the lightning image to decorate the cupcakes, which was fine, but if I COULD make them taste like lightning, that would be amazing. So this time round I decided to just go with it. Let's be honest, since Cars things around Princess and the Cake HQ have hit new levels of ridiculous - from baking ratatouille ingredients into some cupcakes, to sticking other cupcakes in a blender after icing them with perfect swirls - and they turned out to be, put frankly, AWESOME. And that's how my lightning flavoured cupcakes were born.
I imagined lightning to taste mostly tangy, with a hint of spice and a hint of smokiness. I also asked my Facebook friends and Twitter followers what they thought. One friend suggested that lightning would be sour, like limes, whilst another suggested it would taste just like sherbet. So that's what I went to work with. I decided the tanginess and spiciness would come from lemon and sweet chili cupcakes. The lime and sherbet would form a fizzy, sour (but still tasty!) frosting, and that some crumbled up cinder-toffee would provide the right hint of smokey-ness as a topping. This edible experiment had massive potential to go wrong, but hey - this was the last Disney Pixar movie in the collection so far, so it was a case of now or never, really!
There a scene in the film where Mater goes up to a food stall and sees what he thinks is some really tasty looking pistachio ice-cream, only to taste it and have his bonnet blown off because it's actually wasabi. That's a little bit like eating these cupcakes; they look amazingly tasty, and then you take a bite... and it's not at all what you were expecting. I think this montage of Alex trying the first cupcake best relays how they tasted:
They weren't disgusting. They weren't even horrible. They just weren't quite right. we all spoke about it, and we think the sweet chili sauce is what contributes to the not right-ness of these cupcakes, and the couple I made without chili were actually quite tasty as lemon and lime cupcakes. My advice, if you're going to try this - leave out the sweet chili! Even though they didn't taste great, my lightning cupcakes were definitely shocking! hehehe...
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15-18 minutes
Makes 18 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
200g caster sugar
2 large eggs
200g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
zest and juice of 1 lemon
For the Chili Glaze (omit if you'd like these to taste good!)
4tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
For the Icing:
350g icing sugar
50g powdered sherbet (I used dib-dabs!)
Zest and juice of half a lime
Crushed cinder toffee to decorate
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and line a bun tray with cupcake cases.
- Beat the margarine and sugar together until creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and lemon juice to the bowl, and fold in until all the ingredients have combined to form a smooth batter.
- Fill each cupcakes case 3/4 full with batter, then bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and springy to touch. Remove from the tray and leave to cool on a wire wrack.
- Whilst the cupcakes are cooling, warm up the sweet chili sauce until it is runny, then spread a little over each cupcake.
- Once the cake are completely cool, prepare your butter cream. Place the butter, icing sugar, sherbet, lime zest and lime juice into a bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes in swirls, then sprinkle a little crushed cinder toffee on top.
- If you made yours cupcakes sans chili sauce, take a big bite and enjoy the citrussy goodness. If you decided to brave it and include the chili sauce, I'd suggest letting your friends try them first, and have a camera ready when you do ;-)
So, that's the end of the Disney Pixar Collection... for the time being! Brave is released later this month, so you'll only have a short wait between now and then to see what we do for it. Until then, my friends,