Saturday, October 30, 2010

Brain Cupcakes

Happy Halloween!
My mom put me it charge of figuring out what to bake for our Halloween Party this year. I came across this super adorable (freaky?) Brain Cupcakes on Annie's Eats.

those cupcakes had strawberry jam in the middle. So it oozed out when you bit in it. Vampire-ish?

But I had no jam. Zilch, nada.
Okay, so maybe i did have Fig Jam, but it wasn't bloody looking.

So i had to improvise (again), and coloured the cupcake batter pink in some bits so it looked body-ish.

i am really no good at descriptions, am i?

Look at that. Mama is proud. I had my fingers crossed the whole time these babies were in the oven because i had a feeling i loaded too much batter in each cup and it was going to overflow (been there, done that).

But they were perfect. Perfect!

Next up, Brain-coloured butter cream icing.
I just put in a tad bit of red food colouring and got the brainiest brain colour ever.

Piping the brains is another story altogether. I am generally okay with piping. And when i say okay, i mean i do not squirt large, uneven amounts of icing onto the cupcake top while screaming and scraping cream off the piping bag.

For brains, you need to draw a circle around the cupcake, then two lines down the center--dividing the circle.

That part is pretty simple.

Then you need to take your piping bag and fill in your semi-circles with zig-zag, squiggly lines.
(This is where my mother got invited unknowingly into the kitchen, and a piping bag full of brain-coloured butter cream got shoved into her hands. While her teenage daughter ran screaming from the kitchen. I can't take it anymore!!!)

We went a step further, and released our inner mad-scientists.
We got really, really, really red icing and used a really, really, really small piping nozzle to pipe blood vessels (gasp!) in the brains.

Pretty freaky, huh?

It looks pretty on the inside, anyhow.
Even though i was aiming for gory.

Here is my cupcake recipe. It's the basic vanilla flavoured one.
If you want to get fancy with the colours like i did, simply divide the batter in half before baking, colour seperately, then scoop alternately into cupcake liners.

Basic Vanilla Cupcakes
225g unsalted butter, soft
225g sugar
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

Cream butter and sugar together till pale yellow. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine all the dry ingredients and add it to the beaten butter mixture together with the vanilla essence.

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C and line a cupcake tray. Sppon batter into liners and bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in tin before removing to place on a wire rack.

225g unsalted butter, soft
375g icing sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp of flavouring (optional)
Dash of colouring (optional)

cream butter until it is soft and very pale in colour. while whisking, add the sifted icing sugar a spoonful at a time. Make sure the icing sugar is well combined. Lastly add flavouring and colouring (optional)


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