27 May, 2012

Cup for 'Cap

For some absurd reason, Photobucket has decided it does not want to watermark my photo.  I'm not about to go about galavanting trying to work out how to use a new photo editing programme, so I've just uploaded it as it is. If you wanna steal it, go ahead. Make my day.

This was the first time I got to use my silicone giant cupcake mould. And I did not like it. I hate the feel of silicone. For this reason, I will never get fake boobies. Aside from that, it never feels clean - always greasy. And this particular mould had many nooks and crannys that were just ridiculous to grease beforehand, so I used Dr Oetker Cake Release Spray. I do tend to use this from time to time, if I'm in a lazy mood and don't want to line a tin. It works wonders on mini cake pans, too. More on that later, though. Also, lining a tin helps give your sponge some protection from the heat, so it's always good to use greaseproof paper in your tins. But like I say, it really wasn't feasable in this cake. So good old me, I pour in my vanilla sponge mix to about 2cm below the top of the mould. This allowed for the cake to rise as necessary, but still be able to level it off to a standard worthy of cupcake proportions. I covered the moulds (incase you haven't seen them, they come in two halves - the 'case' and the 'swirl.') in tin foil and baked until a skewer came out clean. I think this was about 45 minutes - 1 hour. Bear in mind that these moulds are DEEP so you want to ensure your sponge is THOROGHLY cooked through.

I haven't even told you this cake's history yet. I used to work in a retail concession within a food store (weird, I know. I think we were the only one in the country.) and word was soon spreading among the supermarket staff that I could make cakes. I was approached by the duty manager one day who asked if I'd like to donate a cake that they could raffle off for Mencap, which is that store's chosen charity to raise money for each year. I always liked getting stuck into charity gigs at work, whether it's fancy dress, hula-hooping (yup) or - you guessed it - baking cupcakes. (Buns.) So, of course I obliged. Now I know everyone is super crazy about cupcakes so I chose this design, plus I wanted to use the mould that my friend Jodie had so generously given me after she attempted a diabolical version for her daughter's first birthday. Needless to say, I did her second birthday cake :)

I really didn't like how this cake turned out. Even a co-worker said it wasn't my best work. Wow, that was like a smack to the face, but I knew it was true. I haphazardly covered the 'case' half of the cake in white icing, prettied it up with a bow, then covered the topping half with store-bought (slap to the wrist) chocolate fudge buttercream. I applied it with a flat-bladed knife, as I knew that if I tried to pipe it on exactly as you would a real cupcake in a swirl, it would just look like a massive poo. Sorry to be so blunt!

Icing on the Cake:
  • For design purposes, it is aesthetically pleasing. Smarties works well for 'sprinkles,' and if I went too far with the decorations it would have looked rubbish and OTT.
  • It was for charity. I earned no money on this cake, and was told later that about a half a booklet of raffle tickets were sold from people wanting to win the cake. You know how thick those books come, so I'm pleased.
  • The guy that won it was on a diet, he just wanted to donate some money somehow so bought a ticket. The entire supermarket staff got to devour the cake in the staff canteen later. Win!
Burnt Bits:
  • It wasn't my best work, and I'll put my hands up to that. I can see a little dent underneath the "swirl" and I have no idea how it got there.
  • I was in such a rush that I smeared chocolate buttercream on the 'case' slightly. You can't see it, but I know it's there. I just wiped it off with kitchen roll, but if I took my time I know I could have gone to work on it with a clean piece and some vodka, bringing the white icing back to it's brilliance again.
  • The silicone mould is horrible. I DO NOT recommend it. The edges of the cake felt slightly crispy from where the sponge pretty much "fried" against the cake release spray. I'm not really sure how that ended up tasting but I did smother the thing in buttercream before covering in icing so I'm hoping that it wasn't too bad. I hope :(
  • Again, if I took my time over it, I could have really gone to town on the 'case.' I saw a technique on Ace of Cakes once, where they made an oyster cake. To get the ridges of the shell, they covered the sponge in the first layer of icing, like normal, then used a sugarcraft gun (godsend) to pipe long tubes of icing at intervals across the shell. They then covered it in the second layer of icing, and lo and behold - there were the little ridges across the shell! I could have SO done this on the cupcake wrapper to give that ridge effect. Maybe next time :(
At the end of the day, I know this cake wasn't my best work. I'm not saying it was my worst, either. You've seen my worst. But it was for charity, so it ultimately has a happy ending :)

Happy Baking x

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