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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Giant Cupcake

Well our first craft session was good but I managed to make absolutely nothing :(

Having two friends completely new to sewing meant that my time was spent helping them with everything.  I naively didn't realise that this was going to be the case and just presumed we would all be able to sit at the dining table crafting in unison!  They both picked things up really quickly and I am sure that it won't be long until they are teaching me!

The naughty bunting was a success!  My friend used a big fat quarter of Kath Kidston style fabric and just made plain triangles.  Perhaps stating 'just made plain triangles' detracts from the effort that was involved.  The template was a doddle but achieving nice straight lines with a crisp point on the triangle was near impossible.

I think she is very pleased with her efforts as this has pride of place hanging above her mantle!  This taught me many great things about bunting, the most import being that using a no fray piece of material or even felt would not only be a million times easier but also look a lot better as it would lay flat and have a crisper finish.

My other friend made a very cute large patchwork pillow, the zip insert could have been a little more polished but as I had never attempted one before it was a little bit of the blind leading the blind!  My friend was so impressed with her accomplishment that a few days after our crafting session she went out and spent a small fortune on a sewing machine and equipment!  Sadly due to heavy work load at the moment I have been unable to make a repeat performance but we have made plenty of plans for our next creations!

It is my Mother in Laws birthday today and she is one of the sweetest women I have ever had the pleasure of being 'related' to.  Having sons she has never been spoilt by her offspring with the girly birthday touches and I vowed to make her an amazing birthday cake.

My MIL is as much as a chocoholic as I am and many hours have been whiled away hotly discussing this topic.  With that in mind I knew I had to have something distinctly girly with a heavy chocolate twist, what is cuter then an over-sized cupcake?

My own Mother is obsessed with giant cupcakes and owns a few silicone moulds.  She usually uses the moulds but then tries to attempt none cupcake creations such as a Christmas tree, a witch and a few other interesting looking designs.  I personally love cupcakes and believe if you are going to use a cupcake mould then it is a crime to try and make it look like something it isn't.

After a lot of research I came across an amazing channel on youtube called MyCupcakeAddiction where there were a few in-depth tutorials related to giant cupcakes.  I am personally not a fan of rolled icing to cover cakes as I find my OCD kicks in and I hate the way it highlights every single uneven edge and blemish.  MyCupcakeAddiction had the novel idea of making a chocolate 'case' with the lower half of the cupcake mould.  Not only did this give a clear, sharp and defined look to the case it was also made of chocolate!

After scrutinising the videos I decided to make a vanilla sponge cake layered with chocolate ganache and then iced with yet more chocolate and a final layer of vanilla butter-cream.  Despite owning several my Mother was not keen to give me one of her giant cupcake moulds but she did agree to me borrowing one.
The one used was called a big top Giant Cupcake mould;

I am pleased to report that these can be purchased for under £5 on ebay and I will definitely be investing after the success of my first attempt.

During my research the main issue that people kept complaining about was having a cake recipe that was successful most of the time.  I decided to bite the bullet and use a recipe from GoodtoKnow as it had been rated by over 800 people and had achieved an average of 3/5.  Not perfect but the highest rated (en masse) that I could find.  This recipe was specifically made for the wilton metal cake tins and I knew it was a gamble but was running out of more time to research.  I used the recipe for both the cake and the buttercream icing and found that I had enough batter left over for 20 normal sized cupcakes - perfect for my next trial of cake truffles!  To see the recipe simply follow the GoodtoKnow link above and have a look. 

Here is the finished article;

My Mother in law was in love with it and I felt especially touched when she told that no-one had ever made her a birthday cake themselves before!  I didn't sample it myself as we had just got in from a lovely meal but my Brother in law had seconds and said it was good.

I have been asked to make some little Wedding Cakes for after a wedding ceremony in August and am very nervous about the prospect!  Lots of research and trialling is going to be needed for which I can't wait!

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