It seems that not only is Spring the season for Weddings but also for baby births, at least in my part of the world. It seems some of my friends are having babies and my first reaction to a Baby Shower invitation is "Would you like some Cupcakes?". I'm a bit lost when it comes to Lamaze or Baby Einstein whatever they may be, but in Cupcake territory I feel somewhat safe. So while everyone talks about Maternity pads, breast pumps and nipple chafing and other bodily occurances, I'll be the one happily arranging the cupcakes in the corner.
Forgive me for the gender stereotyping here but I feel that I can't impose just any colours on a baby girl. I love making decorations with fondant, it allows me to shape things in a less messy version of clay. I have seen some great baby booties made in fondant so I set about making some. I had no idea how to shape them and after several unsuccessful attempts I finally figured out how to make a decent approximation of them.
I have a stash of the little pink hearts also in red and white and I love using them wherever possible. Thankfully the weather wasn't too hot today so there was no risk of the buttercream melting which is always a fear of mine after completing a wedding cake in Mid January where the temperatures reached almost 40 degrees. I had visions of pink booties floating down a Dali-like melting river of yellow buttercream. The cream centre is entirely optional, if you have hot weather or cannot be bothered with that extra part, you could certainly eliminate this step.
I follow the cupcake recipe with a step by step guide on how to make the booties, it's a cinch once you have the pieces together. The reason why the booties in the pictures below are in purple are because I accidentally deleted the photos of me making the pink booties and all I had left was violet fondant. So you see not everything went smoothly with these although I'll take a bit of photo deletion over a melting buttercream river any day.
Vanilla and Passionfruit Cream Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup self raising flour mixed with 2 tablespoons cornflour
125g butter softened
1 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup passionfruit pulp
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
1/2 cup whipped cream sweetened with 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
Vanilla buttercream (see below)
Pink pearl droplets
Booties (see below)
Step 1 - In a large bowl cream the butter until smooth and gradually add the sugar. Beat for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a spoon fold in the flour in lots of three alternating with the passionfruit and vanilla. If the mixture is too thick, add some milk (about 1/4 cup). Do not overmix.
Step 2 - Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake in a 170c oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool in tin.
Step 4 - Cut out a cone from the top of the cupcake and spoon in a little whipped cream. Trim cone and replace on top.
Step 5 - Pipe buttercream using a medium-large star tip nozzle. Then top with tiny pink pear droplets. Add a pair of Booties on the top and dust with more iridescent powder.
Adapted from the Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes book
You will need:
a chopstick (I used a non disposable Japanese one with a tapered end)
Heart decorations (bought, don't drive yourself crazy making them)
Iridescent edible powder in pink or violet
Roll one small ball and one smaller ball (about 1/3 of the size of the larger one) of fondant.
Holding one end make an oval and press down on the other end to make the "sole" of the bootie. Then place the small ball on the left end of the bootie sole.
Insert a chopstick's thinner end and jiggle it about to make a slightly bigger hole. Voila! You have a bootie, now it's just the finishing touches.
Using the chopstick to hold the bootie in place use the toothpick to gently but firmly press to make "stripes" on the top part of the bootie.
Then use the toothpick to make a row of dots around the main shoe area. Then stick on a small heart using a tiny amount of water. Then finally dust with some edible iridescent powder
250grams butter softened
3 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Beat butter in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy, beat in sifted icing sugar and milk in two batches until fluffy.
This is also my entry to the Sugar High Friday event hosted by Foodbeam! :)