Let’s start at the beginning shall we? In about a week’s time, I’ll be involved in a special little personal project. I’d rather not say anything else about the project until after it’s completed, but I can tell you it involves cupcakes.
So I thought I’d do some preliminary cupcake baking to test out the look and flavour of the cakes I’d planned to make.
First up, I made some simple vanilla cupcakes using the Perfect Pound Cake recipe from The Cake Bible. I added a filling of raspberry jam, some lime buttercream, then fondant icing to decorate - so far, so good, and very tasty too. The lime buttercream on its own is a bit sour but worked really well to complement the sweet fondant.
(I just use a very simple buttercream made from 1 part butter and up to 2 parts icing sugar depending on the consistency I’m after).
Then I made some chocolate cupcakes based on the All American Chocolate Buttercake recipe in The Cake Bible. What’s this? All the cake papers had started to peel off the cake. Not good! The flavour of the cakes were divine though, but I really needed them to look pretty as well.
Keep your shirt on!
So I tried another chocolate cake recipe I found here. Hmm, I actually forgot to put baking powder in the first batch. Oops, try again.
At first, they looked fine and I thought I’d found my recipe. But after I decorated the cakes with some chocolate ganache and fondant, and stored them in an airtight container, they started nuding up again!
(It's not very obvious yet here, but see how the paper at the left side of the first cake is starting to peel? It got a lot worse after this)
What was going on? The cupcake papers were professional quality, and I had no issues at all with the vanilla cakes, even storing them in the fridge. They acted like genteel cupcakes and stayed dressed.
Finally, I figured out that both the recipes contain a lot of moisture in them (boiling water for the first recipe, and a fair bit of milk in the second recipe). It would make sense then, that this moisture would turn to steam during baking and cause the papers to loosen from the sides.
Luckily, I remembered another recipe in The Cake Bible that I’d missed because it’s called Chocolate Bread. But in reality, it is actually a chocolate version of the pound cake, and involves very minimal water content.
Because it's a pound cake, it will peak and split - that's what icing is for.
Success at last! I decorated them, stored them in airtight containers and subjected them to vigorous testing – driving them around in the car and taking them on a picnic, and they stayed clothed, hurrah!
So glad I decided to do a trial run, with time to spare!
Have a good weekend everyone ☺