Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Perfume Bottle Cupcakes

It really is true that inspiration can come from anywhere, as I was wandering through my local department store recently, I saw this lovely perfume bottle and my first thought that would make a lovely cupcake. Now, it maybe that this says something about my current state of mind and looking back it seems that a more appropriate thought might have been, "I wonder what that smells like" Obsessed? Me? I have since been back for a sniff and unsurprisingly it smells, erm, floral.

These cupcakes also let me get some more practice with my fondant domes. I have always had trouble getting these to look right, but I found a little something at Cake International (a sugar craft exhibition) at this year's NEC that seems to have sorted them out for me. I'll be sharing this little secret later.

I was originally going to decorate these with a seal (the sort that they used to put on deeds and letters, not the one that barks) made with a flower cookie cutter and a letter embosser, but the letters I had to hand, made the resultant seal way, way to big for a cupcake. Might make an interesting bigger cake one day though.

These are vanilla cupcakes with a vanilla cream cheese frosting and a fondant top. For this decoration I used


Vanilla cupcakes and buttercream / frosting
Fondant (Regal Ice Shell Pink)
Black Petal Paste / Sugar Flower Paste / Gum Paste. I got some ready coloured from my local sugar craft shop.


A Rose Mould (I used the rose mould above from Alphabet Moulds.) 
Small rolling pin
A ribbon strip cutter (optional)
Round Cookie Cuuters
A little vegetable fat / shortening (Trex/Crisco)
Edible Glue
Confectioners Glaze*

* Don't ever buy confectioners glaze without buying confectioners glaze remover or dipping solution. It is impossible to wash the glaze off your paintbrush without it.

Moulding the Rose

Knead a hazelnut size piece of the black petal paste until it is soft and pliable. Rub a little Trex between you palms and then roll the ball of petal paste between your palms so that it is lightly covered in the Trex. Push the ball of petal paste firmly in to the mould. I like to remove any excess petal paste using a cocktail stick and rolling it outwards from the middle, one way and then the other way. Then use you finger to smooth any rough areas around the edges. Once you have done the first one you can probably dispense with the Trex for the second one as there will be enough left in the mould.
You can get away with moulding these with regular fondant, if you are lucky, they may just pop out, otherwise put the mould with the fondant in, in the freezer for 10 or 15 minutes before un moulding. This is the rose freshly popped out of the mould. This is a great mould to use, the rose turns out with a lovely petal "footprint".
Paint the rose using a paint brush and confectioners glaze to give it a super glossy look. Amazing what a difference a little glaze makes?

The Secret of the Dome

I have always had trouble with my fondant domes, despite practising, I could never quite get them to look right. As mentioned, at this year's Cake International at Birmingham NEC, I discovered these purple balls. There was actually a bit of a scrum (massive understatement) on the Purple Cupcakes stand and I think I was lucky to secure one of the last packs. You can get hold of some from their website here.

If you want to have a go at hand moulding the domes (without the ball), check out Carina's Cupcakes picture tutorial here

The Company that sells these balls recommends that you cut them in half for use. I prefer to balance mine on a cookie cutter, I don't know why, just like to be different, I suppose.

Making the Domes

  1. Roll out the fondant using a little vegetable fat underneath to stop it sticking
  2. Cut out the fondant (you may need to experiment to get the right size cutter - usually one size bigger than you think) and gently drape it over the mould.
  3. Use the palm of your hand to gently cup the fondant and shape it over the dome.
  4. Leave it there for a while whilst you make some ribbons

Make the Ribbon

  1. Roll out some black petal paste very thin using vegetable fat to stop it sticking to your work surface
  2. Cut into strips using a knife or a ribbon cutter

  1. Lay and arrange the ribbon strips over the dome, sticking them down with a little edible glue.
  2. After attaching the ribbon strips carefully paint on some edible glaze
  3. Position the rose on top too using a little edible glue

You now need to fill your fondant dome with buttercream or whatever frosting or topping you want to use. You can either pip or spoon it onto the cake or pipe or spoon it into the dome. I usually spoon it in to the dome. You need a little less that you think.
Then carefully invert the dome over the cupcake and gently press the sides down to meet the cake
Don't press on the top of the dome.

Ta da!

One of the things that I have discovered on my journey through sugar land, is that whilst people love the look of the fondant domes, they tend to prefer to eat a buttercream topped cupcake. With this in mind, I developed the version below, with a visible buttercream swirl

I really like this cupcake, I think it looks quite sophisticated. One of the things that I love about sugar craft, well, all crafts really, is that just changing something as simple as the colour can result in something that has a completely different look and feel. As you can see in the picture of the soft green and pink version of this cake.

In my show them to the world tests, the green and pink version seems to be more popular, which do you like best?

That is it for today. Thanks for popping by, please call again soon

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