Friday, 27 July 2012

Engagement cupcakes

Engagement cupcakes? What on earth are engagement cupcakes? Well, this is my take on an engagement cupcake.

I wanted to celebrate four engagements over the last week. (Four!) What better way than with cupcakes, especially when only one couple lives in the same city as me! Congratulations to those four happy couples, I'm so pleased for you! These cupcakes are for you.

Nothing says romance better than chocolate, so I made a delicious chocolate cupcake from the Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Book (I admired this cookbook here). The recipe has a tablespoon of instant coffee in it - I'm a real fan of coffee in chocolate cake/cupcakes, it really brings out the intensity of the chocolate. You can't taste the coffee at all - believe me, I think coffee is yuck, so I wouldn't put it in there if you could taste it.

Anyway, the star of these cupcakes was the icing. Sticking with my theme, the icing needed to be something special, not your ordinary icing. With that in mind, I decided to do a bit of experimenting. A while ago I purchased some Fresh As freeze-dried powdered raspberries, and I have been thinking about different ways to use it. (It's amazing mixed with a chocolate ganache to make truffles).

There are lots of different yummy flavours - blackcurrant, mango, passionfruit, pineapple, plum, strawberry; as well as freeze-dried chunks of feijoa, lychee, mandarin, pineapple and blueberry. Yummo. In Wellington you can buy it from Moore Wilson; outside Wellington from the Kiwicakes website. (Kiwicakes is Whangarei-based, therefore close to my heart. I totally recommend you check out the website, you could spend hours trawling through all the goodies).

Back to my icing. I made a standard buttercream icing and added a couple of spoonfuls of the raspberry powder. This gave my buttercream an incredibly intense, zingy, wonderful raspberry flavour. As well as a beautiful pink colour. This icing was delicious, I was so pleased with how it turned out.

But, I'm biased, so I needed an independent opinion. Or 24. I took the cupcakes to work for taste-testing (one half of one of the four happy couples is my workmate, so it was only fitting). Unfortunately my workmate was away (should have checked that!) Not to worry, everyone else happily obliged!

Apparently the cupcakes were a winner, the icing especially!! A touch of glitter topped off the cupcakes. I'm off to Moore Wilson this weekend to buy some more flavours!

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