The occasion: a Disney-loving colleague’s 50th Birthday. Cheerfully, I volunteered to make a cake and started eagerly researching Disney cakes on Flickr. A little more research online and I discovered a local shop (www.thesugarstore.co.uk) that hired out tins, including a Wilton castle-shaped tin:
|Wilton Enchanted Castle cake tin|
This sparked my imagination and I was quickly envisaging a beautiful Disney castle with fireworks exploding overhead and Mickey and Minnie sat in front:
The Wilton website (www.wilton.com/idea/Enchanted-Castle-Cake) suggested a two-layer cake would be suitable for this tin and, after a search through the recipe books for something more exciting than a basic sponge, I decided on an orange sponge with orange blossom icing – a variation on the Primrose Bakery Lemon Layer Cake with lemon buttercream that I made not long ago (highly recommended – it’s delicious!).
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be: the cake just refused to come out of the tin cleanly.
Not sure quite where it went wrong, could have been any of the following:
- Tin not greased enough / correctly – I followed the Wilton website’s instructions to use a vegetable oil spray and dust with flour but maybe this wasn’t enough?
- Oven temperature too high – the cake is clearly cooked on the outside but perhaps not quite done on the inside.
- Uneven cooking in oven?
- Cake too moist for this type of tin?
- Tin a bit old and very well-used – may have lost non-stick ability?
As you can see – parts of the cake did turn out well but the rest was a bit of a disaster.
Disappointed, there was no choice but to start again. By this time, it was rather late on a Sunday evening and I didn’t want to take a risk and try again – so back to what I know best – cupcakes!
Having already made up the batch of orange blossom buttercream, I decided to make up a double batch of Primrose Bakery Orange Cupcakes, with a Minnie Mouse theme:
Orange cupcakes with orange blossom buttercream
Ingredients (single batch of 12 cupcakes)
- 110g butter, at room temperature
- 225g golden castor sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 150g self-raising flour, sifted
- 125g plain flour, sifted
- 90ml semi-skimmed milk
- 2 tblsp orange juice
- Grated zest of 2 oranges
- 115g butter, at room temperature
- 500g icing sugar, sifted
- 4 tblsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tsp orange blossom water
- Red food colouring (preferably a paste rather than a liquid)
- Preheat oven to 160C/350F/GM4.
- Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy this will take at least 5 minutes with an electric hand mixer – don’t rush this stage).
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition. It should result in a lovely light mousse-like mixture.
- Combine the two flours in a separate bowl.
- Combine the milk and orange juice in a jug.
- Add one third of the flours to the creamed mixture and stir gently to combine.
- Pour in one third of the milk mixture and stir gently.
- Continue to add flours and then milk mixture alternately, stirring gently after each addition, until all have been added.
- Gently stir in orange zest.
- Spoon mixture into the cupcake cases, filling to about 2/3 full.
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until lightly golden brown. The cakes will spring back lightly when touched, if cooked.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in tin for about 10 minutes, before carefully placing on a wire rack to finish cooling.
While the cakes are in the oven, make up the buttercream:
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, juice and half of the icing sugar until smooth.
- Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Add 1 tsp of orange blossom water and mix well.
- Taste the icing to check flavour – add more orange blossom water as desired.
- Divide buttercream into two bowls. Colour one lot with red food colouring.
Once cakes are fully cool, place buttercream into an icing bag with a star shaped nozzle (I use the Wilton 1M nozzle). Swirl onto cupcakes. Use a different icing bag and clean nozzle for second coloured batch of icing. (Blog on buttercream swirls to follow - I promise!)
Minnie Mouse Decorations:
- Ready coloured black, red and white ready-to-roll icing
- Red and white writing icing
- Roll out black icing to approx 2-3mm thick. Stamp out 2cm circles (I used the back of a piping nozzle). Lay out to dry.
- Roll out red icing to approx 2-3mm thick. Stamp out small hearts using plunger cutter.
- Use red writing icing to join together two hearts at the tip to create Minnie bows. Once firm, use white writing icing to add dots.
- Roll out white icing to approx 1-2mm thick. Stamp out small stars using plunger cutter.
- Allow all decorations to dry and firm. Allow buttercream on cakes to dry and firm before pushing decorations into icing swirls.
So, not the beautiful Disney castle and fireworks that I had envisioned, but most importantly - the Birthday Girl was delighted and the cakes tasted good!
The disastrous orange cake? When I eventually turned it out of the tin, it tasted pretty good so I decided to break it up and freeze it. The plan is to use it to have a go at making cake pops. I've never attempted these but have a book (given to me by a friend) and it seems a good way to use up this leftover cake - blog to follow ...