Saint Nicholas has only just left or - yes - we are already thinking about Christmas! Ok, honestly: we don't celebrate Sinterklaas at home, so we are actually here from December 1 in Christmas moods. We always put the tree on that day. And we are already starting to think carefully about Christmas dinner. In this case we threw ourselves on the sweets: Christmas cupcakes!
Crafting with fondant
If you've been following us for a while, you know that we don't have many recipes on the website and in the books that include fondant. If I'm being honest, I'd rather leave the sculpting of figures and making a cake-in-Dora-shape to the professionals. A cake that looks like a cake, that is more 'my thing'.
It was even more fun when we were challenged by Brand New Cake a while ago to do something with their fondant. And preferably in a Christmas theme.
No sooner said than done… but as you can see I played it 'safe': cupcakes are of course much easier to cover with fondant than an entire cake. You have to take into account that it is super-tight with buttercream or ganache. When you fold the fondant around the cake, it is important that you work very accurately. You will see every extra fold in the end result.
This is a lot safer with cupcakes: you mainly work flat (2D). Of course you can also go crazy modeling dolls, Christmas trees or other things, but… to be honest: fondant is the best when you use a small amount of it. Dolls may look beautiful, but to have to eat such a whole sugar confection in one sitting is something else.
I made the cupcakes with the cupcake mix from Brand New Cake. I smuggled a bit here, by the way: the recipe is in fact “500g cupcake mix, 250g eggs and 300g butter". That way I had tried them before and that made them really delicious. Just as a good cupcake with butter should taste. This time, however, I replaced the butter with 1/3 sunflower oil and 2/3 Greek yogurt. I like a little acidity in the cupcakes and you get it this way through the yogurt. The cakes also become even lighter than they normally are. As. A. Cloud. So. Soft ;)
Do you prefer to make cupcakes 'from scratch'? Then you can with our basic recipe for cupcakes.
Paste fondant on cupcakes
So I chose to decorate the cupcakes 2D with the roll fondant. Maarre: how do you stick that on? You can lay it loose on the cupcakes, but especially when the fondant dries (and thus hardens), you run the risk of it sliding. On the other hand, everything that contains moisture is also disastrous for the end result. Whipped cream, sugar glue or icing ensure (due to the moisture) that the fondant dissolves. Of course we don't want that either!
The solution: something based on fat. That may sound strange, but of course I mean 'just' a solid buttercream or melted chocolate. Because both the cupcakes and the fondant have a neutral taste, I chose to stick the decorations with melted chocolate. For this I used the dark chocolate callets. These are extremely suitable for melting. Of course it is also possible to 'just' use a bar of chocolate from the supermarket.
Once melted, you can spread the chocolate on the cupcake with a brush and 'glue' the decorations on top. Fun, tasty… and you can't see it!
Fondant of Brand New Cake
De fondant of Brand New Cake was a bit different than I was used to: some brands of fondant have the consistency of new fimo clay - rock hard! This fondant came straight out of the package and could be processed immediately. It really had the right strength to roll out or sculpt with. Wonderful to be able to work so quickly, without all kinds of extra preparations.
My package contained 3 colors of fondant: red, white and light blue. In hindsight I also needed green, orange, yellow and pink. No problem of course: with a single drop of Brand New Cake colorant (gel) you can color the fondant to the color of your choice.
Making the decorations
To make the decorations, I first dusted my work surface with some powdered sugar. This is important, because otherwise the fondant will stick to the tray and you will no longer be able to detach the decoration.
For each decoration I have assumed a round cookie shape, which is about the same size as the top of the cupcake. I always rolled a very thin piece of fondant and cut out a circle with the biscuit shape. On top of that I put one or two layers of fondant to make the figures.
Tip: Do not put too many layers on top of each other, a thin layer of fondant always tastes better than a thick one!
How do you make the figures?
To make the figures you can proceed as follows:
Roll out a piece of pink fondant and cut out a circle. Then roll out a piece of red fondant and cut out a circle. Cut this circle in half to make the hat. Make the white accents with your hands (brim of the hat, mustache, ball on the hat) - The mustache can be cut out with a knife. In the brim of the hat you make stripes with the back of a knife.
Stick the pieces of fondant together with a very small smear of melted chocolate. It's best if you don't see the chocolate afterwards. Now a nose of orange fondant and Santa is almost ready
Coat the cupcake with melted chocolate and place the compound decoration on top. Fold a mini piping bag out of parchment paper and spray a drop of melted chocolate over Santa's eyes and mouth.
Roll out a piece of white fondant and cut out a circle. Then roll out a piece of light blue fondant and cut out a circle. Cut the circle in half to make the hat and stick it on the snowman with some chocolate.
Decorate the hat with a border of white fondant, where you make stripes with the back of a knife. You can glue this edge to the 'hat' with a little bit of melted chocolate.
Finish the snowman with a ball of white fondant on the hat, a 'carrot' of orange fondant and possibly some nice sprinkles on the hat. Fold a mini piping bag out of parchment paper and spray a drop of melted chocolate over the snowman's eyes and mouth.
Roll out a piece of brown fondant and cut out a circle. Roll out a piece of white fondant and cut out a circle here as well. Cut the bottom of the circle to 'drops' with a knife and stick it on the brown fondant with some melted chocolate.
Now make some dents in the brown circle with a chopstick. Then model the leaves of green fontant and roll 'berries' of red fondant. Stick it on the decoration with a tiny drop of melted chocolate.
Brush the cupcake with melted chocolate and stick the decoration on top.
Roll out a piece of white fondant and cut out a circle. Brush the cupcake with melted chocolate and stick the white circle on top. Now make a ball of white fondant and cut a mouth into it. Stick this in the center of the circle with some melted chocolate - this will be the polar bear's face.
Roll two smaller balls of white fondant and make a hollow with your little finger. Stick these 'shells' at the top of the cupcake. These are the ears of the polar bear.
Fold a mini piping bag from parchment paper and spray a drop of melted chocolate over the eyes and nose of the polar bear.
Roll out a piece of light blue fondant and cut out a circle. Stick this circle with melted chocolate on the cupcake. Roll out a piece of red fondant and cut out a square. Stick this in the middle of the cupcake with some melted chocolate.
Then roll out a piece of yellow fondant and cut into strips. Stick the strips on top of the 'present', so that it looks like a bow. Finish the cupcake with some nice sprinkles.
Cupcake papers with snow motif
Brand New Cake cupcake mix
Brand New Cake fondant in white, blue and red
Brand New Cake gel food coloring
Dark chocolate callets
Brand New Cake sprinkles: snowflakes
Brand New Cake sprinkles: large silver pearls
Do you have our new website SOULFOOD.NL seen already? There you will find many more delicious recipes that not all come from the Antillean kitchen!
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