Fancy cupcakes

For a pretty sweet treat, Silvana Francos super simple cupcakes can be frosted or decorated in any way you choose
By Silvana Franco
Fancy cupcakes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 12-16 cakes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 200 g softened butter
  • 200 g golden caster sugar
  • few drops vanilla extract
  • sugar decorations, to serve (see cooks note below)

For the orange butter cream

  • 75 g softened butter
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 1 orange, rind and juice only

For the mallow frosting

  • 2 egg whites
  • 110 g vanilla sugar
  • chocolate
  • crushed mixed summer berries, (optional)

Tips and Suggestions

whenever I make pretty cakes, I get my decorations from Jane Asher (www.janeasher.com). They have loads of edible flowers, crystallised petals, coloured sugars, mist sprays, coloured sprinkles, edible paints and pens, brilliantly-coloured ready to roll icings and things like silver stars on wires for sticking in the cake. If I am making the cake and icing it myself, I think its worth splashing out on the decorations. You can also try a few of these ideas:

Floral sugar: whizz rose or other petals together with granulated sugar and leave to dry for a couple of days.
Frosted flowers: dip edible flowers in egg white, dust with caster sugar and leave to dry.
Top cakes with Maltesers, Minstrels, gold dragees , silver balls, sugared almonds, sugar mice, jelly beans, letters, hand-piped initials, butterflies, flowers and love hearts.
Use coloured icing to stamp out shapes or mould your own decorations in my house its always snakes, snails and spiders.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Arrange silver paper cake cases in tartlet tins.

2. Combine the eggs, flour, butter, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk until smooth and pale.

3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared paper cases and bake for 12-18 minutes until risen, golden and just firm to the touch.

4. When cakes are cool, ice with the frosting of your choice and decorate as desired (see cooks note below).

5. For the orange butter cream: whisk all the ingredients together till smooth and spread onto cooled cup cakes.

6. For the mallow frosting: beat the egg whites with the vanilla sugar until stiff. Swirl the mixture onto cooled cup cakes, then pop them under the grill for a few minutes until just tinged with colour. For a marbled finish, stir some chopped chocolate or crushed berries into the meringue at the last minute before grilling.

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