Friday, November 1

Halloweeeeen!- Cupcake Hijinks 1

I got asked to make some Cupcakes for a Halloween party at a local pub- for both children and adults alike. It was pretty short notice but I came up with 3 yummy styles...

I'm going to blog the recipes in a 3 parts...They could be used for next years Halloween, a spooky-themed party or just made without the creepy decoration for any event.

First up is these spider cupcakes - Chocolate Orange cake with orange flavoured Buttercream, topped with a dark chocolate cobweb and gummy spider.

The Cakes
I don't make a habit of using cake mix when I'm Baking, I've only used it once before for some Lemon Blueberry Poppyseed cakes as the recipe required it- It was vanilla mix with added zest,juice and poppyseeds. So after searching for a suitable recipe for chocolate orange and coming up empty, I decided to use the same principal and it produced some pretty yummy cupcakes...

(Makes 12-15 cupcakes depending on your case size)

Betty Crocker Devil's cake mix
90ml vegetable oil
250ml water
3 medium eggs
zest from 3-4 oranges
4 tablespoons of squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 160.
Sieve cake mix into a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, combine eggs, oil, water and orange juice and then slowly mix into cake mix.
Scoop mixture into cupcake cases and place in the oven for 18-20 minutes (until cakes spring back when touched).
Remove from oven and leave to cool completely.

The Cobwebs

The cobweb decorations were made from piped melted chocolate.
When I'm using chocolate to pipe shapes I find it easier to put chocolate chips in a plastic disposable piping bag, tie it up with an elastic band and place in already boiled water. The chips melt easily- you just need to 'swish' the piping bag in the water a little so that it works evenly.
Once it is completely melted, the chocolate needs to be left to cool for quite a while until it starts to set. If you try to pipe it too early, it will be really difficult to control.
Then simply snip the end of the piping bag and pipe cobwebs onto grease-proof paper.
Put completed designs on a plate or tray and place in the freezer for 20 minutes before moving to the fridge to set further.
Once they have completely set, the cobwebs should come off the paper with ease but they will be fragile so take care when handling them.

The Orange Frosting

80g butter (softened)
250g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence/  half teaspoon vanilla paste
3 tablespoons squeezed orange juice
25ml milk
1 teaspoon orange food colouring*

*I had a nightmare with my orange food colouring because it was the cheap 'natural colouring' and ended up making my first batch of frosting taste hideous so in the end I had to use half red and half yellow which meant a lighter orange than I'd have liked. If I was making these again I would get a different make of colouring and taste it before I put it in. Gel ones are ideal but note that these take a smaller amount to create desired colour!

Cream butter with a mixer (or a little elbow grease) and add icing sugar gradually.
mix milk, vanilla, orange juice and colouring in a jug and add into frosting slowly, mixing as you go.
Either pipe frosting into a rose shape (starting from the middle and spiralling outwards) as above or just spread it onto cake with a palette knife- you need a flat-ish surface rather a Mr-Whippy-type frosting swirl so that the cobwebs will sit.

The cupcakes were finished with gummy spider sweets from Rowntrees Randoms phantom mix...

Check out the second recipe here...

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