Category Archives: Fondant and Icing

Deep-Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes and a Special Birthday

See this little angel?

This is my oldest child when she was a year and a half.  Look at those big blue eyes staring so innocently at me.  Time goes by too fast when you’re a parent.  I remember cuddling at bedtime with this little girl and reading her favourite stories over and over and over…..  She turns 13 today and I wanted the day to be special for her.  You only officially become a teenager once!

At lunch I took her out to have her hair done and for a bite to eat.  Just me and her.  It was awesome to spend time with her like that.  When we came home all of her friends and family were waiting to surprise her.

We always write the kids a poem for their birthday.  They moan and groan when it comes out, but you can tell that they love reading the things we have written about them.  We poke fun at some of their idiosyncrasies and tell them how proud we are of some of their accomplishments.  She’s a good girl with a big heart and I’m proud of the lady she is becoming.

She wanted Criminal Minds cupcakes for her birthday because she loves that show.  I had these cute paper toppers made by Angie over at Etsy.  So cute once glued on to popsicle sticks!  Then I made some other toppers out of Marshmallow Fondant.   The cakes are Deep-Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes.  I iced them with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream and I used Chocolate Ganache as a ripple in the icing.   I also made a few with Dulce de Leche rippled through the icing.

I could quite simply just eat a bowl of icing and not think twice about it.  Amazing.

Sorry about the bad photos, but the light was terrible in that room!

It is very difficult to make crime scene cupcakes look pretty!  Thank goodness the taste makes up for it!

Deep-Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

*from Food and Drink

  • 4 ounces (120 g) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chips
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350°

  1. Line 18 standard muffin cups with papers . Over low heat, melt chocolate and butter together in a large saucepan, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, then eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla.
  2. Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Stir into chocolate mixture along with chocolate and nuts.  Divide among cups. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or just until cupcake centre is raised and feels slightly firm when touched. Do not over-bake. Cool
    completely on rack.

Chocolate Ganache

*this makes enough to frost all of the cupcakes.  I only made 1/2 of this recipe to use as a ripple in the icing.

  • 1 cup chopped-into-bits semi-sweet chocolate or chips, about 175 g (6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Melt chocolate and whipping cream over very low heat in a small saucepan.  When almost smooth, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature and dip or frost cupcakes.  Icing will set in an hour at room temperature.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites

1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar

3 sticks unsalted butter, very soft

1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with a few inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites, sugar and salt just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 140 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch.

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

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A Retirement Party and Nautical Cupcakes

My dad is officially retiring at the end of the month.  And it’s his birthday on Tuesday too.  We had a surprise gathering and picnic lunch for him today.  All the kids and grandkids arrived at the party wearing matching t-shirts with the name of his boat on them…”Knot Done.”  So named because he is retiring and turning 65 and there are lots of things he still wants to do with his life.  Genius.

You can say a lot of things about my dad but you could never say he wasn’t a hard worker and a dedicated employee.   He is the true definition of giving 200% to a task.  I know he is very well-respected by his colleagues.  He is a problem solver.  He is a leader.  He is a teacher.  His kids think he’s pretty awesome too!

This picture is an oldie.  Taken from an old employer.

My dad does woodworking as a hobby too.  He’s meticulous and accurate and he’s taught me a thing or two about working in the shop!  Even as an adult I get very excited when dad and I are working on a project together.  I cherish those times that he’s teaching me something.

For a good part of my life, dad has had a boat.  He comes from Nova Scotia so being on the water is second nature to him.    I decided to use a nautical theme for his retirement/birthday party cupcakes.

Thank you dad for teaching me the value of hard work and dedication.   You are one of the most influential people in my life.  I hope you enjoyed your party!

These are Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  The fondant is Homemade Marshmallow Fondant that I made here.  I did add some Gum-Tex to the fondant before working with it because I wanted the decorations to dry harder than they normally do.  Fondant is so easy to work with and colour.  You just need the imagination!  Give yourself lots of time however, as I made these a week in advance so they would have lots of time to set up.

Vanilla Bean Cupcake recipe to come shortly!!

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Apple Spice Cupcakes with Apple Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Well fall is definitely upon us!  I was at the market this morning and was instantly drawn to crates and crates of local apples.  This is one of my favourite seasons to be baking, and apples are by far one of my favourite fruits!

I also bought a huge jar of homemade apple butter and decided to use it to flavour the icing.   Anyone who has been following SweetRevelations knows how much I adore my yummy Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing!

The cakes were really good.  I love any cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice combo.  And the icing was pretty yummy too!  Great apple flavour that screams fall and Thanksgiving dinners.  I thought the cakes were so good that I left some un-iced (the horror!) and packed them in the freezer for lunch treats.

The Pastry Case is where I found this yummy recipe and I have no doubt that the cakes would taste awesome with the Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream that she has on her site.  Or, you could make the Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream that I made here (delish).

Apple Spice Cupcakes

from The Pastry Case

yield: 30 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light molasses
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream
  • 3 tart baking apples, peeled and shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

1.  Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula then beat in the molasses. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each addition.

2.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground spices to blend.

3.  Add the flour mixture and sour cream alternately to the batter, starting and ending with the flour mixture. After each addition, beat on low-speed just to combine the ingredients. Stir in the shredded apples and vanilla.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes until the cupcakes spring back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Apple Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of apple butter or more to taste

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the sugar just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes!).

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring, a pinch of salt and apple butter and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

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Milk Dud Cupcakes

Remember this?

I posted these back in August with the promise of a recipe!  I have received a few e-mails wondering where that recipe might be….sorry I keep forgetting!

Have you ever had a Milk Dud?  Chewy, stick in your teeth caramel covered in milk chocolate.  One of my favourite combinations (one of my dentists favs too I’m sure…)  I’m eating some as I type as a matter of fact.  It’s really the icing (again) that is the star here.  Take some smooth and creamy Swiss Meringue Buttercream, my absolute favourite, and beat in some homemade Salted Caramel Sauce.  Screaming your name yet??

Honestly, I could’ve bathed in this icing it’s that yummy.  Don’t judge me, it really is that good.

I really apologize for the lack of photo’s but these literally went like hotcakes and I didn’t have a chance to take any extra’s.

I was left with one giant box of Milk Duds that I have been hiding in the back of the pantry for a month.  I have a teenager who is more obsessed with chocolate than me (if that’s possible) and often my goodies just “disappear.”

Since the caramel really is the star here, I will be posting the recipe for the icing only.  My advice is to use your best rich chocolate cake recipe.

Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

*adapted from Sweetapolita

1 3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup heavy cream

pinch of sea salt

2 cups unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature

5 large egg whites

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Making Salted Caramel Sauce:

*make this first to set aside to cool while you make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

1. Place  1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the
water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Stop stirring and cook until caramel is amber, gently swirling the pan from time to time. Remove from heat, and slowly add cream, whisking by hand until smooth. It
will be splatter, so be careful. Whisk in sea salt. Let cool.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the rest of the sugar just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes!).

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring, a pinch of salt and salted caramel sauce (to taste) and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

Garnish with a Milk Dud

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Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes with Rum and Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Phew!  That is a mouthful!  But worth every last syllable I guarantee you.

This is actually a recipe for a bundt cake that I found a few years ago.  And I have made it as a bundt cake with some Rum Syrup brushed on top many times and it is fantastic!  Today we are going to a BBQ so I opted to make these as cupcakes and add my favourite Swiss Meringue Buttercream, using the Rum Syrup as flavouring.

I love fall baking.  I know that it’s still technically summer, but markets are starting to display beautiful little pie pumpkins just shouting my name.  Who doesn’t love a good pumpkin dessert (my mom makes the best pumpkin pie hands down).  I roasted a few pumpkins the other day to use for this recipe and froze the rest for later use.

Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes

  • 3/4 chopped pecans
  •  1-2/3 cups packed brown sugar
  •  1/4 cup softened butter
  •  3 eggs , room temperature
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  •  2 cups roasted pumpkin purée
  •  2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 tsp baking powder
  •  1-3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  •  1 tsp baking soda
  •  1 tsp ground ginger
  •  3/4 tsp salt
  •  1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  •  1/4 tsp ground allspice

 

Syrup

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum

Line 2 muffin tins with liners or grease and flour a  10″ bundt pan.

1.  On baking sheet, toast pecans in 350°F (180°C) oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes; let cool.

2.  In small bowl, stir pecans with 2 tbsp of the brown sugar and sprinkle over the bottom of each cupcake liner (about 1/2 tsp).  Or, if using a bundt pan sprinkle around the bottom of greased and floured 10″ pan.

3.  In large bowl, beat remaining sugar with butter and beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in oil until fluffy. Beat in pumpkin until
smooth.

4.  In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, salt, nutmeg and allspice; stir into egg mixture, just until mixed.   Fill liners or pan.

5.  Bake in 350°F oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 24 minutes for cupcakes and 50 minutes for bundt cake.   I removed cupcakes immediately to a rack to cool.  Let bundt cool on rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan and transfer to rack.

Syrup: In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.   Stir in sugar and 3 tbsp water.  Boil until dissolved and thickened,
about 3 minutes. Stir in rum and boil for 1 minute. Brush over cakes.  * I brushed some syrup on top of the cupcakes as they were cooling and used the rest in my buttercream.

Rum and Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites

pinch of salt

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

4 sticks unsalted butter, very soft

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup rum syrup (above)

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with a few inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites, sugar and salt just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch.

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring and rum syrup (to taste) and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

Garnish with toasted pecans.

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Easy Homemade Fondant

I decided this week-end I would give fondant a go.  Homemade that is.  It’s super easy, although a little messy, and there’s oodles of video’s online, like this one,  about how to make your own.  It basically has 4 ingredients; water, marshmallows, shortening and icing sugar.  I flavoured mine with a bit of almond extract too.  It keeps well at room temperature for a few weeks and tastes way better than store bought.

Amanda at I Am Baker (amazing cakes!) made these cute cupcakes with fondant and fruit.  And it was so cute I totally stole the idea.  So although it makes me look super creative…I’m not…..

I have very few pictures to show you because..well, uh errr…we ate them as we were photographing them.  We voted and we liked the raspberry and chocolate best.  The chocolate cupcakes are absolutely amazing!  Recipe to follow soon….

A delicious surprise inside!  Even if you’re not crazy about fondant (you”ll like this one I promise!), you can still enjoy the berries and cake!

I added some raspberry preserves to the last one before topping with berries.  Yum!

Well we had to eat these anyway…they were all cut up!  We couldn’t let them go to waste!

And finally…playing with gel colours and attempting to decorate a mini cake (it’s actually 2 cupcakes).  My friend is getting married and I was trying to use her wedding colours on it.  Key word here is trying (she’s probably horrified).  It looks like a glorified Hostess Cupcake.  I was just playing!

This belongs on the boo boo plate, which is a plate that I throw all my mistakes on.  The kids hover over the boo boo plate like vultures.  I’ve never had people so eager to watch me make a mistake!  My son (bless him) carried this down to his buddies house and they were going to eat it anyway.  Love that boy!

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