No this is not going to be a post about the movie by the same name, and in fact the story behind this blog bears no resemblance at all to the title - but I couldn't think what else to call it! A day in the life of the Test Kitchen!! Nup - the above title seemed much better!
My best friend is getting married next weekend, doing a low key, casual exchange of vows on a beach thing. She had mentioned to me before that she wanted to do a high tea, with cup cakes and sandwiches. I had not heard much progress on the cup cake part of the wedding feast, and spurred on by recent post by Insatiable Munchies about all the cup cakes she made for her mother in law's birthday, I volunteered to make her a cup cake wedding cake! The only thing I didn't know going into this was how many people were possibly going to be there. A quick SMS confirmed my darkest fears - 100 people would be there to witness the nuptials!!!
Panic started to set in. I am not a huge baker (there is a long story behind that - one that is sure to unwind sometime in the future) - so 100 cup cakes is a big stretch for me. I had better have a test run.
First of all I need to find a good recipe, one that a) won't break the budget making 100 cakes, and b) one that is relatively easy to prepare. I haven't even thought of the logistics of transportation yet - that is next week's nervous breakdown!
So yesterday afternoon I embarked on my first test run!
100 (don't count - cos there weren't - I had to see how many a batch would make!) Cup Cakes
200g butter, softened
1 3/4 cups vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups self raising flour, sifted
1 cup milk
200g butter, softened
6 cups icing sugar mixture
1/2 cup milk
food colouring of choice
sprinkles of choice
Preheat oven to 180C.
Line muffin tins with patty cases. I used a combination of regular sized and mini. This batter actually yielded 12 regular sized and 48 mini sized.
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until just combined. Add the flour and milk in alternate batches, on slow speed, until just combined.
Spoon the mixture evenly among the patty pans. Now this is a tip I read the other day (which I failed to follow - do not over fill the patty cases - if you do this the batter has no place to go but up and over!!!) This resulted in me having to trim the tops of the cakes to make them all perfect (which led to another dilemma - had to cover the cut sides with frosting!!!) Live and learn!!!
Now to the baking - bake the regular sized cakes for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes clean. The mini sized ones were in the 10-15 minute mark.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (on a wire rack!)
For the frosting:
Use the electric mixer to cream the butter until very pale. Gradually add the icing sugar while beating. Add the milk and beat until well combined.
If you are doing several colours divide the frosting into bowls, and colour as desired.
Using a palette knife, or a round-bladed knife spread the frosting over the cakes. Tip here: Don't wait to add any sprinkles until you have finished frosting all the cakes - the frosting will have set enough and the sprinkles just roll off!!
All in all I think my first effort was not too bad.
I have decided for the event next week I will make a single heart shaped cake for the top tier, and then fill the bottom four tiers with the cup cakes.
I just have to now figure out how I am going to get them to the beach (a 1 hour drive!) in one piece!
Wish me luck Dear Readers!!!
ps. Thank goodness it is school holidays - I was able to offload most of these this afternoon when I picked up the kids from their day of sport!!!