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Sunday, 2 June 2013

Food, Glorious Food... Birthday Book Cupcakes Plus Some Beautiful Art

Here’s a little something I made for Crow’s birthday. He loves writing, as you’ll see at www.dearsaul.wordpress.com, so I decided to make some cupcakes decorated with books. I’m sharing the recipe to show just how easy it is, even for the artistically challenged, to create a nice edible gift. But if anyone asks, it took me absolutely ages and I put in lots of time and effort. OK? Good.

Please excuse picture quality; I had to take them on my phone which isn’t the best for photos. I don’t want insult any corporations, so let’s call it a Flamsung.

TO MAKE THE BOOKS...

I used fondant (roll out) icing in white. Dr Oetker is my preferred brand. You could also get a coloured kind for the covers, but I’m showing you how to colour them anyway, which will save you getting two packs. 
You’ll only use about half a box for these 13 decorations.

You’ll also need food colouring. I’ve used liquid but if you can get your hands on paste, “Sugarflair” has been recommended to me by a friend who’s somewhat an expert in the field (thanks!).

For writing on the covers, I used a simple writing-icing tube, again Dr. Oetker. They’re the kind you’ll have been using since you were a kid.

Split the icing in half, so about a quarter of a packet each. Half will be dyed for the covers. To colour with liquid, it’s best to use a small paintbrush as you see here (obviously NOT one you’ve already painted with) and dot colour onto the icing before kneading it in. Repeat this as many times as you need until the colour’s dark enough and thoroughly blended. I only needed to do it a few times to create sky blue. I probably should tell you to use gloves, as I didn’t and my hands turned into those of a smurf, but panic not: the dye will wash out eventually...
(If anyone can tell me how to rotate pictures on blogger, I'll love you forever)

Next, roll out your icing. Make sure you use a glass board dusted with plenty of icing sugar. If you’ve got a small rolling pin like mine, so much the better. Cut rectangles about twice as long as they are wide. These will become the covers. Don’t panic about making them exact—the recipient will be charmed by the homemade, clumsy effect... I think. Set your covers aside on kitchen paper so they won’t stick.

Then make sure you clean your hands and board thoroughly, and roll out the white icing. Then cut it to squares a little less than half the size of the covers—you need some overhang. I rolled mine out to the same thickness as the covers and then found it best to use two white squares. Simply place them on one side of the cover and fold over.
(My pictures are being squashed for some reason which I cannot fathom... I blame Flamsung)

You can then write something on the book. I decided to make 13 cakes to spell out “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”. Not sure who decided that those words should have 13 letters not 12, but they kind of make my  day more difficult. Anyway, you could do names, or even pictures if you’re very good.
(I hate formatting)
(These captions seem to illustrate my growing upset and frustration. When an incident occurs, this post will be the first place the authorities look) 

I also tried practising my joined piping, which is getting better. These might make good decorations in the future. But for now... well, I won’t lie to you. I ate it.


Here are the finished cakes. I'm sure you guys will be able to find recipes for the actual cupcakes, chocolate with chocolate butter cream, pretty easily, but I might post one soon with my little tips. 


Meanwhile, I recieved some lovely pictures for the competition. Check them out here.


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