Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Fondant Flowers

I recently made some fondant flowers in my Baking Club.  
Our Club made roughly a hundred of these fondant flowers and 
put them on cupcakes which we made and then sold with the  
proceeds going to the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I made the fondant flowers again for my own cupcakes the 
same weekend I received my copy of the current Southern Living in the mail. 
On it's cover it features cut-out fondant flowers.
They called their's hydrangeas. Aren't they lovely?
The magazine includes steps on how to make them.
 Here are my fondant flowers - ready and sitting pretty.
Air is fondant's worse enemy, so I kept them in a covered 
plastic container until ready to apply.  Also, if you
plan to refrigerate your cupcakes overnight, especially
if you are using a buttercream frosting, wait to 
apply the fondant flowers until the next day.
The flowers themselves are quite easy to make, especially
if you purchase pre-made fondant.  Any cake decorating supply store
sells it, including Michael's.  I keep white on hand and can color it
myself should I wish to.  These tools are made for fondant.  
There are more tools in the complete set but the ones pictured
are the ones I am using for my fondant flowers.  These tools
can be purchased at cake decorating supply stores, 
Michael's, and WalMart.
The fondant is rolled out using a fondant roller, 
cut using a flower cutter of your choice, 
then a texture is applied by a tool of your choice,
and painted with the edible luster dust.  I placed three small
yellow candy sprinkle-balls in the center of my flowers.
These fondant flowers were placed atop my Cherry Cupcakes 
with a Cherry-Almond Butter Frosting. You can find these 
cupcakes and their recipes here.

Thank you for visiting.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sweet Peas and Cherry Cupcakes

Spring is here, yippee!
We are in Daylight Savings Time when it stays lighter longer...
and Sweet Peas are in bloom!!!
I picked up Sweet Peas at the Farmers' Market this morning.
I got more compliments as I was walking with them
and I told each person they had to smell them as I let them
Not only are Sweet Peas gorgeous but Sweet Peas smell amazing.
They are my favorite flowers.  Can you tell?
It was something my grandmother and I planted each year. 
She liked to plant her seeds early September in the So-Cal desert
but I liked to wait until the end of September (sometimes October!)
on the Coast, otherwise mine bloomed in February - too early 
for spring. Seeing these Sweet Peas made me very happy.
I had plans to make cherry cupcakes and these Sweet Peas
colors tied right into the color-scheme - perfectly.
 I found this recipe for a Cherry Flower Power Cake and
Cherry-Almond Butter Frosting on the Better Homes and 
Gardens website here.  Both the cake and the frosting
get their flavor and color from maraschino cherry juice.
I decorated them with fondant flowers, cut-out 
and painted with edible luster dust.  Check back here in 
another day or two and I will show you what I used
to make these fondant flowers.
I decided to pipe my frosting using a large star 
tip, making it look like ice cream on an ice cream cone.
I could taste the maraschino cherry juice in both the
cake and the frosting and it is a nice flavor surprise!

Here is their recipe.  Remember, I made cupcakes instead of the cake
and used fondant instead of their Candy Clay.

Cherry Flower Power Cake
Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens
Makes 24 servings.

3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks)
6 egg whites
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 recipe Cherry Frosting
1 recipe Candy Clay (optional)

1. Allow butter and egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 mins. Meanwhile, grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with butter; line bottom of pan with parchment. Grease paper. flour pan with all-purpose flour; set aside. In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In 2-cup glass measuring cup, combine buttermilk and cherry juice; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 35 degrees F. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add sugar, vanilla, and almond extract; beat until combined.  Add egg whites a little at a time, beating well after each addition  Alternately, add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beating on low after each addition until combined.
3. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 mins. or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 mins. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Cherry-Almond Butter Frosting
Courtesy Better Homes and Gardens
Yield: 4 1/2 cups.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
8 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice or milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Additional maraschino cherry juice

In a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter with mixer on medium until smooth. Gradually beat in 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Slowly beat in cherry juice or milk and almond extract. Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar. If necessary, beat in additional juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach spreading consistency.
Tip: If milk is used instead of cherry juice, use red food coloring to tint the frosting pink.

Happy Spring, Happy Easter, and Enjoy!

This week I will be joining

Thank you for visiting!


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