Thursday, October 21
oh, honey cupcakes with marshmallow icing
Lately, wherever I look I seem to find dreamy, honey inspired sweets. Naomi from hello naomi recently created an absolutely stunning bee hive cake. Linda from Bubble and Sweet made some busy bee cookies, topped with wonderful little bumble bees. And now, Donna Hay's October/November issue is filled with honey inspired desserts, including cookies, panna cotta and bundt cakes. I want in on this action.
I've used a beautiful honey cake recipe to make cupcakes topped with a fluffy, light vanilla marshmallow frosting. I credit my bees to Linda at Bubble and Sweet, though hers are much more inspirational! Don't be put off by the extra work - they are fiddly but so simple, and add so much to the otherwise rather plain looking cupcake.
Ingredients (makes 15)
200 gms unsalted butter, softened
185 gms soft brown sugar
1/3 cup honey, warmed
280 gms self raising flour
3 egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsps glucose syrup
pinch of cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
dash of yellow food colouring
200 gms fondant
yellow food colouring
black food colouring
For the cakes, preheat your oven to 180C. Line two standard muffin tins with 15 paper cases.
Beat the butter and brown sugar until light and cream. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Fold in the honey and flour until combined. The mixture should be beautiful and creamy.
Divide the mixture among 15 cases and bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack immediately and cool completely.
Meanwhile, for your bumble bees, tint roughly 180 gms of fondant yellow to make the bee-bodies. Roll small balls into oval shapes at your desired size. My bees are about 1 - 1.5 cms and this quantity of fondant made about 30 bees. Using either a fine paintbrush or a toothpick, paint stripes, eyes and a smiling mouth on each of your bees. Allow to dry. Using the remaining uncoloured fondant, squish small amounts to form wing shapes. Press two wings onto each bee, using a little water to secure if necessary. Set bees aside to dry and firm up slightly.
The make the marshmallow icing, combine the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar and 100 mls water in a heatproof bowl (preferably the bowl of your electric mixer to save on washing up). Sit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and whisk quite vigorously for five minutes until mixture is light and foamy. Alternatively, if you you have handheld beaters, you could use these - it will save you time and sweat! Remove from heat. Add vanilla and beat with electric mixers on a high speed until stiff peaks form. Add the food colouring until the desired strength of yellow and beat until just combined.
Generously pipe fluffy icing onto each cake using a plain 1cm tip. Top with a bumble bee. I find it better to secure bees with a toothpick, pierced through the the cake, but this is not necessary.
These cakes were a huge hit at work today, with all 16 being scooped up before I left for the night. Perhaps next time I'll fill them with creamed honey, or even a honey infused custard. Custard makes everything better.
Stay tuned for more honey inspired recipes over the weekend!
Recommended baking soundtrack: Ola Podrida - Belly of the Lion.