It’s 2am. I’m perched before my computer in the shadows, my face illuminated only by the sickly glow of the monitor. My eyes, heavy like a million suns, desperately struggle to remain alert. Amongst piles of notes, papers (and at least 40 tabs open in Safari) sits a solitary tub of Nutella. From my mouth hangs a chocolate-stained spoon. Sanity in a jar. Sweet, hazelnutty stress relief.
Okay, I’m not the most poetic of writers so I’ll just draw the scene for you instead.
So amongst the chaos that have been the past three weeks (taking photos, essay writing, picture editing, interning, event snapping, illustrating, etc etc!) my dad asked yesterday if I could make something for his fundraising morning tea at work for tomorrow. WHERE WILL I FIND THE TIME TO DO THIS?! Oh dad, it’s lucky this is for a charity event and there’s no way I could possibly say no to you, lord knows how much I love to bake for a good cause and help you out.
I remember seeing this style of decorating around the internet, I’m sure if you google “apple cupcakes” some similar looking treats will appear. I just winged it (this is the first time I’ve ever used fondant, ahh) but if anybody knows the original instructions to transforming the humble cupcake into a sparkling faux-apple please let me know so I can link it!
I Instagramed this earlier today as I didn’t think I’d have the time (or daylight, rather) to photograph + blog which explains why I have no detailed/photographed instructions re: the assembly so I drew something stupid for your viewing pleasure instead. This recipe makes 12 adorable cupcakes.
Apple Caramel Cupcakes
(an original recipe)
1 large apple, chopped into small pieces
30g brown sugar
100g butter, room temperature
100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
30g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
170g (1 1/2 cups) flour
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
150g butter, room temperature
350g (3 cups) icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs milk
Red and green food colouring (I used gel)
Red and green sanding sugar
Green food colouring
For the caramel apple
1. In a small frying pan melt butter and sugar over medium heat. Add chopped apples and stir until sauce has reduced and caramelised nicely. The apples should just be beginning to tender. Remove from heat and place in a heatproof bowl to cool.
For the cake batter
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Beat butter until it begins to cream and pale. Add the sugars and continue to beat until combined and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating and incorporating well after each addition. Add the flour, milk, baking powder and cinnamon and once again beat until completely combined. Stir in the caramel apple pieces.
3. Spoon batter into a prepared cupcake tin with liners. Place in oven and bake for aound 15-20 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the buttercream
1. Beat butter until it begins to cream and pale. Add icing sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until fluffy. Add milk until an ideal consistency is reached; it should be firm yet spreadable. Divide buttercream in half and add red colouring to one portion and green to the other.
For the assembly
1. Prepare fondant with green food colouring. Take a small piece and roll into a ball in the palm of your hand. Flatten into an oval shape and, with the back of a knife, score the piece vertically down the middle. Add a few additional, horizontal scores. Curl the leaf slightly, pinch its edges and allow to sit to return to room temperature.
2. Ice your cupcakes ensuring its entire surface is covered. Dip cupcakes into a bowl of sanding sugar ensuring the buttercream can no longer be seen. Gently break up the flake bar and insert a pice into each cupcake as the twig. Add the fondant leaves with a little buttercream to ensure they will stay put.
Okay, that was a nice distraction, I must now to finish this essay by midnight and it’s not going to write itself. Wish me luck!!