May 31, 2010
Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
The big day is here again. Yes, my baby is growing up. At my own birthday recently, littlej wrote in my card 'mum, now you're xx,(none of your business readers!) wow that's old!' BigJ tried to explain his theory of time/age relativity to her. eg that at 10, one year is only 10% of your life as a whole, and so seems to stretch out forever.(remember when the Christmas holidays seemed to last an age?) But at, say, 40, (and no, I'm not 40 yet) one 12 month period represents 1/40th of your life so far. A much smaller period of time. This explains why time seems to go quicker and quicker the older you get. Does that make sense to you?
Anyway, cupcakes are still allowed at our school for birthdays. This idea is a fun alternative to the same old, same old.
I used a basic buttercake for the base, any one will do. You could probably even get away with a packet mix- but don't tell anyone I said that!- and an Italian Meringue for the frosting. This frosting is dairy free and of course g-free. Almost toasted marshmallow tasting with a smooth luciousness.
I was a bit worried that the cake would be dry, uncovered as it would be for a couple of hours at school, so I added a small teaspoon of jam on top of each cone before piping the frosting. This may not add moisture, but it would add interest and another dimension of flavour.
If you don't have a special tin, just do regular cupcakes with this frosting on top.
This is my tried and true Italian Meringue recipe that I use every week. The eggwhite is actually cooked by the boiling syrup, not left raw, and will keep for as long as the cake will stay fresh.
this is enough for 1 or 2 dozen cupcakes depending on level of swirliness.
2 1/2 cups castor sugar
2/3 cup water
good pinch of cream of tartar
1. Place sugar and water in a saucepan- make sure there are no crystals stuck to the side as they can cause crystallization
2. Add cream of tartar and slowly bring to the boil, allowing time for the sugar to dissolve
3. Do not stir! At all! I know you're tempted!
4. Boil rapidly for about 2 minutes
5. Place eggwhites in bowl of mixer fitted with a whisk attachment
6. Whisk slightly to aerate. Not to more than loose bubble stage
7. While motor is running on low, drizzle in boiling syrup
8. Crank up motor to high and whisk until only slightly warm and very thick and creamy
9. Use immediately or outside of meringue will start to cool and form a 'skin'
10. Use a blowtorch to toast outside of meringue- go gradually so not to torch meringue. And make sure there is nothing flammable around!
I used a large star nozzle for piping as there are more edges to scorch, but a round end will be fine.
Eat and enjoy!
So readers, does time really seem to fly when you're having fun?