I really had fun doing these cupcakes. They are a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate pudding for filling and Butter cream Icing. I made my own fondant and colored them with food coloring gel. I made them pastel colors and used blue and pink because Sara doesn't know what she is having and isn't going to find out. They apparently want to be surprised.
I looked online for images of cupcake toppers and found a number of ideas. This is how they turned out. I did them the night before so they could get well dried. I think that next time I will mix half and half gum paste and fondant. I think they will dry faster and not wither when placed on something moist. These held up really well, but we have such changes in weather that doing a mix may work better.
I also tried the "Swirl" with two colors this time using pink icing and blue icing. It work well. I also practiced making "rose" icing swirls and those were a bit harder to do. Need to practice that one more.
I made a couple of quick cakes for friends who called and asked if I would do something for them. The first is a chocolate mint cake for Pastor Jim and another church member and friend Sara. I did chocolate mint because Jim's wife said it was his favorite and he was turning 40. She didn't ask Sara what she liked and I found out later she didn't like mint. Oh well. Everyone else did because the cake was devoured in a short amount of time.
I used Betty Crocker Chocolate Devil's Food cake mix. I know it's cheating, but when I have to do quick stuff I don't have time to mess with recipes especially at high altitudes. I used Butter Cream Frosting . I used heavy whipping cream in the recipe, about a cup, and it came out really light. I also blended into the frosting melted Ghirardelli Mint Chocolate Squares. This gave it a minty flavor, but I still added two teaspoons of mint flavoring as well.
For the Chocolate Mint ganache filling I melted Lindt Intense Mint Chocolate with heavy whipping cream to make a soft chocolate filling. Very minty and decadent chocolate taste!
The rose was one I had left over from a previous project. It is gum past as are the leaves. The candies on the cake are Junior Mint Candies.
The second cake was one I did really last minute for a friend who was having a wedding anniversary. She was afraid to ask me because it was so late. It usually takes me several days to make a nice cake so I told her that I probably wouldn't be able to do it. But after looking around, I found some more box cake mixes and left over red roses from another project plus I had left over frosting ingredients so I made the cake. I have heart shaped pans and made a two tiered chocolate cake with Butter Cream Frosting. I had some sprinkles and used them to dress up the cake on the leaves. I also had sugar pearls and used them for an added touch. It turned out pretty good for a super fast cake and the "bride" was overwhelmed with her surprise cake. I got the warmest hug ever and she loved the taste.
By the way, I usually brush my cakes with a simple syrup for added moisture. Simple syrup recipe is 1 cup granulated sugar to 3 cups water. Cook until the sugar is melted and the liquid is clear. Let cool. Us a pastry brush or spray bottle to apply the syrup. I think it's best to wait unto both cake and syrup are completely cool before applying.
I put red food color gel on one side of my pastry bag and then filled with white frosting. I won't do that again. It came out to grainy and not good consistancy. Next time I will us a pink or red frosting painted on the side of the bag and see if that works better to get a two toned look.