Hidden Heart Cupcakes


Hidden Heart Cupcakes for my Wedding Day

I saw a picture on Pinterest showing hidden heart cupcakes and I fell in love with the idea. My mum and I catered my wedding on Saturday, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to test this technique out.

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I tried two batches. The first batch I flavoured the heart cake batter with rose water and the cupcake batter with vanilla bean. Individually both cakes tasted great, but I found the rose flavour was lost in the vanilla. I tried this again and added more rose water and it worked out much better.

What you will need:

Cupcake recipe (flavour and recipe of your choice)
Food colouring (of your choice)

Heart shaped cookie cutters (It is important that you pick a heart shaped cookie cutter that will fit inside the patty liner)

Method:

1. Bake the cake batter you will use to make the hearts from. I used a square tin and cut into slices. I also used a rectangular pan on the second batch. Either works fine… Just work out how to you get the most hearts from each tin.
2. Once the cake is cooled, use your cookie cutter to cut out hearts. NOTE: I put the hearts into a Tupperware container and put them in the freezer overnight (a few hours will work to). I found this helped to keep the heart shape and prevented them from crumbling) – much easier to handle.
3. Line your cupcake pans with patty liners and place two tablespoons of cupcake batter into each liner.
4. Place a heart into each liner (pointy end down), and push to the bottom of the liner.
5. Put an additional tablespoon of batter over the top and bake for required time.
6. Allow to cool and decorate as you wish.

I did some sample cupcakes… Didn’t want to waste a whole batch and get it wrong. So tried out two ideas and wanted to share this with you so you can see the difference.
The cupcake on the left shows you how the cupcake would turn out if you put a tablespoon of batter over the heart… The cupcake on the right is how it would turn out if you didn’t put the extra batter over the top.

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Here’s a YouTube tutorial I found. This video includes a vanilla bean cake recipe you could use, but like I said, if using your own recipe, you can skip the beginning of this video.

Hope you have as much fun as I did with this! Let me know how you go.
Happy Baking!

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Here are some additional sites you can visit that demonstrate this technique
http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/537431/hidden-heart-cupcakes

Cake Decorating Basics #3


Piping Techniques using a Wilton 21 Tip

This YouTube video by ‘LeCordon Bleu’ demonstrates how to create rope, shells, e-motions using a tip similar to Wiltons 21 tip. This shell technique is what I have used to decorate the boarder of my cakes: Elmo, Dinosaur, Pirate, Blue’s Clues and Care Bear.

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Dark, Milk and White Chocolate Ganache


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I love chocolate ganache… what chocaholic wouldn’t! It’s incredibly delicious and it’s so much easier to get nice, straight sides and edges compared to butter cream. It also withstands the Australian heat much better than butter cream does. All you need is chocolate and cream. By varying techniques and tweaking ingredients, you can turn basic ganache into a truffle, a glaze, a frosting, a mousse, a tart, a warm drink, or a frozen pop. Brilliant!
Making dark, milk and white chocolate ganache varies. You require a higher ratio of milk and white chocolate to cream (3:1) compared to dark chocolate (2:1). That’s because milk and white chocolate contain milk solids, which contain milk fat. The added fat and the increased cocoa butter content make the lighter chocolates softer and more susceptible to damage from heat. You can certainly make ganache from milk or white chocolate using the traditional technique, but you’ll have to adjust the ratio of chocolate:cream to compensate for the increased fat content.
In extremely warm weather it is sometimes necessary to increase the amount of chocolate in the mixture to prevent it from melting.
To torte and cover a 9″ round cake with dark chocolate ganache 
1.2 kg dark chocolate
600ml pure cream
To torte and cover a 9″ round cake with milk and white chocolate ganache 
1.3 kg
450ml pure cream
Method: 
Place chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream until it just starts to bubble and pour over chocolate. Let it sit for about a minute to melt. Use a hand whisk to blend it all together then set aside to cool. If all the chocolate hasn’t melted, you can place the bowl into the microwave and reheat at short intervals (I usually do it for 10 second at a time).
Your ganache at this point will be thin. You will have to let it set overnight until it thickens.
If desperate measures call and you don’t have the patience to wait, let it cool to room temperature and then pop it in the fridge (don’t cover the bowl as you may get condensation). It would  usually set in the fridge in about an hour or two. If it sets too hard, just microwave it in 10 second intervals (keep mixing it whenever you take it out).
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For more ganache recipes and ideas, please visit Big Bake Theory

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes


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Ingredients:
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla essence
80g butter (unsalted)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup chocolate bits (milk, dark or white)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line 24 hole mini cupcake tray.
2. Sift all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
3. Make a small well in the middle of the bowl and then add remaining ingredients (except chocolate bits).
4. Beat on low speed with electric mixer until just combined.

5. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat on medium speed for a further 2 minutes.
6. Add chocolate bits and mix with wooden spoon.
7. Place tablespoons of the mixture into 24 hole mini cupcake tray until 3/4 full.
8. Place tray into oven for 10-12 minutes or until baked through.
9. Stand for 5 minutes and then turn out onto wire rack to cool.
10. Ice with Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting or leave plain as desired.

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Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting


Ingredients:
200g butter, softened
6 cups (900g) icing sugar mixture
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Method:
Use an electric mixer to beat the butter until very pale. Gradually add the icing sugar while beating. Add the milk and vanilla essence, and beat until well combined.

Note:
You can divide the frosting and add food colouring of your choice. Start with a small amount of colouring and build the colour by adding a bit more food colouring until you get the desired colour!

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