You know how life takes it’s twists and turns and after a few fast paced yet manageable weeks, you suddenly have one that stands out from the calendar, screaming at you for attention and you can’t quite see how you’re going to get everything done that needs to be done in that specific 7-day period. Asking “How” or “Why” just ends up being a waste of time and you pop your “big girl” shoes on, plan the lists or timetable and hope that you haven’t forgotten something which could ultimately upset the apple cart. Well, this week, I forgot the one very big thing that upset my apple cart…or rather Chocolate Goose’s apple cart.
I overlooked the renewal of my domain!! Aaaarrrgghhh! By last night I plonked myself on the couch and thought it must be too good to be true that I actually made it, the well oiled machine that was the past seven days actually worked, but alas, it wasn’t to be. I logged on today and horror of horrors, my beautiful creation was nowhere to be found. Nothing quite gets the heart pounding and the sweat glands pumping than the panic which threatens to engulf you when you try to log in and it’s just not there. But thankfully, after a few minutes of investigation and self recrimination, we’re back up and running and have the most gorgeous cupcakes to share with you.
Having kids is an awesome adventure. We’ve been through many phases and each phase brings with it new adventures, fun times and wonderful family memories. We’ve enjoyed Barney, Noddy, Thomas the Tank Engine, Lightning McQueen, racing cars, trucks, diggers and dumpers of every shape, sort and variety, Ben 10, Star Wars and Army vehicles. Most recently our home has been filled with the sounds and sights of Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 characters, most notably the Minions.
When my little one asked to take cupcakes to school the other day, I discovered his heart was set on Minions – mine skipped a beat. Luckily I enjoy baking and creating Novelty cakes, but his faith in my abilities always astounds me. We eventually settled on these cute creations and he diligently assisted (or should I say “supervised”) every step of the process.
Needless to say they were a hit with his class mates and the best part was I got to spend a fun afternoon with him in the kitchen. Normally my family is happy for me to be ferreting away on my own in the kitchen, and for the most part, I’m pretty happy with the status quo. They see their roles more as the ones to devour the fruits of my labour and offer honest opinions.
Anyway, with regard to my earlier comments about my manic week, this was of course the week the cupcakes had to be made too. Oh well, it all starts again tomorrow, being Monday, but I wouldn’t have it any other way… I love my life and I love my family. Who can ask for more than that?
This is a plain vanilla cupcake recipe, one of my all time favourites. I used standard cupcake/muffin tins (NOT the big Texan muffin ones) and got 33 cupcakes out of it. I only filled each cupcake wrapper between 1/3 and 1/2 full as I didn’t want big domed cupcakes. When decorating cupcakes with fondant icing, I think it’s better to have a flat top to work on. The recipe normally makes about 24 normal/decent sized cupcakes.
250 g unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 cup milk
¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C conventional, or 160°C fan-forced.
- Prepare the cupcake/muffin trays by lining with paper cupcake cases.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar salt and vanilla until it is light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add half the sifted flour and half the milk and stir until combined.
- Using two spoons, transfer the mixture into each cupcake case, filling only about 1/3 to 1/2 capacity.
- Bake for 20 minutes (mine were ready at 18 minutes, so I would suggest checking a little earlier). They are cooked with a toothpick or cake tester is inserted into the cupcake and comes out clean.
- Set aside for a few minutes to cool and settle, then transfer each cupcake to a cooling rack.
Vanilla Buttercream Icing (a very tiny amount) – once all fondant shapes have been cut out, apply a very thin layer of buttercream to each cooled cupcake. This helps the yellow face discs to adhere to the cupcakes.
yellow, white, blue, orange (or red) and black fondant
various shapes for cutting out the different elements
icing sugar or cornflour, sifted lightly
- Roll the yellow fondant onto a cool flat surface, using a thin layer of icing sugar or cornflour to stop it from sticking to the rolling pin and the bench top.
- Cut out the round discs to be used as the Minion’s faces.
- Seal any left over fondant into plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out. It can be used again when the creative bug strikes again.
- Roll the white fondant out and cut out enough smaller circle shapes for the eyes. Repeat step 3.
- Combine a little of the black with some white and manipulate quickly with your fingertips, combining the colours until you have a grey suitable for the goggles.
- Repeat step 4, followed by step 3.
- Roll out plain black fondant and cut out strips for the goggle straps. Repeat step 3.
- Either form tiny balls of orange fondant for the eyes, or combine small amounts of red and yellow. Repeat step 3.
- Roll out plain blue fondant and cut out shapes to make the dungarees. I just used an inverted glass and cookie cutters to snip away the edges but if you have the tool, by all means, rely on free hand. Repeat step 3.
- By now you should have lots of odd shapes waiting to be formed into Minions.
- Layer them up, creating expressions with the eyes and different shape mouths. Use a drop of water behind each shape to stick it to the other fondant.
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