Thursday, December 03, 2009

Mini Cupcakes Inspire My Inner Elf

December brings the end of fall and thoughts turn to the coming winter holidays.

My inner elf has come to the front of the line, so to speak, and I've been spending wonderful time in the kitchen messing with flour, sugar, butter and such. One recent baking session yielded pretty little cupcakes topped with a white chocolate star.

I was inspired by the cake on the cover of Holiday Baking by Sara Perry. A snowy white frosted white cake is decorated with a snow flurry of white chocolate snowflakes, each flake decorated with silver dragees (little edible silver balls). It looks so pretty.

My variation is to make mini-muffin size cupcakes, swirl on a decadent sour cream and cream cheese frosting, then top each with a white chocolate star. Each point on the star is decorated with a silver dragee.

I used Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake for the tiny cupcakes, but you could also use any white cake recipe you like or even packaged white cake mix. The Perfect Party Cake recipe can be found in Dorie's fab book Baking: from my home to yours. Just use mini-muffin size cupcake papers and put about 2 tablespoons of the batter into each cupcake paper. The baking time is much shorter...about 8-10 minutes, but since ovens vary, check it after 6 minutes and keep checking until done.

The frosting is the one I used for my very first Daring Baker challenge...Red Velvet cake! It can be found here.
The creamy cream cheese sour cream frosting goes so well with the vanilla cakes.

The stars can be just as easily made into snowflakes. You pipe the melted white chocolate onto foil in a cross shape, then pipe two more lines as shown below:


If you want to make stars, just 'draw' it with the melted chocolate as you would with a pencil (see photos to get the idea). The shapes of both will be a little irregular, which is fine. After all each snowflake is supposed to be different from all others and some think the same is true of stars.

Snowflakes (stars) Decorations

1 ½ (3 oz) white chocolate candy bars
Silver dragees

Line a baking sheet with foil. Put the chocolate into a reseal able plastic bag, close fully, and immerse the bag in hot water until the chocolate melts. Dry the bag.

Snip a small piece from one corner of the bag of melted chocolate. Pipe as many 2-inch (or other size) snowflakes (or stars) onto the foil as possible, and decorate the points with the dragees. Place the sheet of foil with the snowflakes (or stars) in the freezer until ready to use.

Remove the snowflakes (or stars) from the freezer and gently peel off the foil. Be careful – these flakes (or stars) are fragile. Use to decorate frosted cakes, cupcakes, or cookies.

3 comments :

MeetaK said...

these are gorgeous! and they not only inspire YOUR inner self I am feeling quite inspired too!

Dharm said...

I give you a 'Star' for this effort!! LOL. Yes, Christmas is always a nice time for the inner elves to surface... I"m still waiting for mine to pop up!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Now that is a brilliant Inner Elf!
Loved that cake ... and the red velvet.