What do you do when one of your kiddos will be leaving for camp on her birthday?
You make birthday cupcakes for sharing with her friends of course.
Randa, our lovely middle daughter went off to camp this weekend and thanks to the brilliant suggestions by Anitra and Lenetta (who, after seeing my sugar fireworks, thought that the technique would work well for making flowers) I did just that.
It took me two tries to get these because, once again, I didn't cook it long enough and they were droopy. People, when will I learn my lessons? My guess is never.
Jeff (who is by far the best baker in the family) whipped up a batch of banana cupcakes and then dipped them in a dark chocolate ganache. I piped little spirals of vanilla buttercream on top because it seemed to make the leaves stand out more.
Also, hello, piping instead of frosting cupcakes... awesome and wonderful. I may never frost another cupcake again.
When it comes to making these guys, luckily I remembered to add about an inch of stem below the leaves, which helped to anchor them when I shoved them in the cupcakes.
They remind me of little kids' drawings of flowers. Since you can't control exactly where the sugar's going to fall, there's a messy simplicity that is really fun and sweet.
(In case you're interested in the specific recipes... the cupcakes and ganache recipes came from Cake Love and the vanilla buttercream from Baking Illustrated which, I think, is the easiest and also the tastiest buttercream recipe out there.)
Fireworks Cake Toppers
Cooked Sugar Christmas Trees