Saturday, March 10, 2012

Angry Birds

I received my very first order for a dozen cupcakes a few days ago. I bake a lot just for the love of it but I always give most of it away to my colleagues. They are my tasters and  critics. Often, the girls encourage me to start a small home-based business and sell cupcakes and other baked goods but I've never really had the confidence. Until now. I used to tell myself, "Not yet, I'm not ready yet...not until I've perfected a recipe and I'm truly happy with the results." I suppose I'm a little bit of a perfectionist. Selling your baked goods to other people seems very intimidating. There is no room for mistakes because these people are expecting a product that's worthy of their money. Besides, I want to sell something that not only looks good but tastes even better. I want to make people happy and to see the look of satisfaction on their faces.

One of my colleagues ordered these cupcakes for a 5 year old birthday girl who totally adores Angry Birds. Moist and soft chocolate cupcakes are filled with creamy peanut butter, topped with a giant swirl of frosting, some fun, colorful sprinkles and of course, the Angry Birds toppers.  I tell you, your kids will love them! 

It's too bad I couldn't slice a cupcake to show you what it looks inside with the peanut butter filling. I'll let you in on a little secret too. I cheated - I didn't actually make the toppers myself but bought them at a baking store. 

cupcake recipe adapted from Chef Chloe and frosting recipe adapted from Pastry Pal

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp instant coffee powder
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk until combined. 

Stir the coffee into the milk. Whisk the milk, canola oil, vinegar and vanilla extract together in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Whisk until just combined. Do not overmix.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few crumbs sticking to it. Remove cupcakes from the pan immediately and cool completely on a wire rack before filling and frosting.

For the Peanut Butter Filling
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tsp milk

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Adjust the amount of milk and sugar needed for the consistency. 
Transfer frosting to a ziplock bag. Cut off a small size opening in the corner of the bag with some scissors. Set aside. This will make filling the cupcakes easier.

To fill the cupcakes:
Take a small knife with a narrow blade. Cut a circular cone by inserting the knife into the cupcake at an angle halfway between the center of the cupcake and the outside edge. The knife should go into the cupcake about an inch or so. Remove the cut out part (the cone) from the cupcake and cut off the pointy edge, leaving only a flat circular top. Fill the holes in the cupcakes with the creamy peanut butter. Seal the filling by putting the flat circular part back on top of the cupcake. Chill in the fridge while you make the frosting.

For the Cooked Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk, cold
3 tbsp all purpose flour

colorful sprinkles
12 pieces edible Angry Birds toppers (royal icing or fondant will do)

Combine the milk and flour in a saucepan. Whisk until the flour is dissolved. Bring to a  boil, whisking constantly.Cook for about 7 minutes while whisking until it is thick, bubbly and gurgly. Remove from the heat and transfer to a container to cool and come to room temperature. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

Beat the butter in a bowl on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, one  cup at a time, beating well after each addition. It will be pale, light, creamy and airy. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. Add the cooled flour/milk mixture by 2 tsps at a time, continuously beating until all the mixture have been incorporated. Whip for about 3 minutes on high until snowy white and fluffy. 

Pipe the frosting on top of cooled and filled cupcakes using a round tip. Top with colorful sprinkles and the Angry Birds toppers.

Here they are, all packed and ready to go! 
Don't you just love that green piggy?!