Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Mario Brothers Cupcakes
Recently a friend asked me if I could make cupcakes with a Mario Brothers theme for her son's 8th Birthday. Not a problem....cupcakes are easy (so I thought)! While it is true that cupcakes are easy, making characters to decorate said cupcakes is not always a piece of cake (no pun intended)!
You may be surprised to hear that I have never worked with fondant. I have absolutely no experience with it except for watching Duff work his magic on "Ace of Cakes". Fondant always seemed a little scary to me so I just never even tried using it. Well....those days are over. I bought pre-made fondant (let's tackle one new thing at a time) and gel food coloring and started playing in the kitchen! I found several pictures of Mario cupcakes on the web and used those pictures as a pattern for my designs. SOOOOO much fun and not that hard, once I got the hang of it! I don't have any special tools, I used my rolling pin and small, sharp paring knives for all of the cutting. (sorry no pictures of the process, I was too absorbed in cutting to get the camera out)
I couldn't wait to share all of my cute pictures with my blog friends!
The cupcakes were just plain chocolate and plain white cakes so basically the only actual recipe I have to share with you is the frosting which is to-die-for!! I used Martha Stewart's Swiss Meringue Buttercream which is perfect frosting, not to sweet, easy to color, easy to pipe.
Hope you enjoyed my little "Mario" album! Lesson of the day: don't be afraid to play with fondant....it's like playing with playdough only it's edible!!! ;)
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
2 1/4 cups sugar
10 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of salt
8 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Gel-paste food coloring (optional)
Heat sugar, egg whites, and salt in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisking, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
Return bowl to mixer, and whisk, gradually increasing speed from low to medium-high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Switch to a paddle attachment. Beat until air bubbles are gone, 2 to 3 minutes more.
Beat in food coloring, 1 drop at a time, until desired color is achieved. (If making more than 1 color, divide buttercream and work in batches.)
note: when you begin to add the butter, the frosting will start to resemble cottage cheese. This is normal...don't be afraid....don't throw the batch out....just keep beating. Even if you have to keep beating for another 10 minutes....I promise it will turn out perfect!!