Monday, 20 May 2013

Peppa Pig!

Apologies for my quietness over this last month.  When I first started this blog, I intended to post once a week, however, this last month has been filled with particularly crazy shifts which meant that blogging has had to take a back seat! However, I'm back, and I'm back with a bang! This month, I was set a seemingly simple task of baking cakes for a little girl's Peppa Pig themed fourth birthday party.  Simple enough right? Wrong! The order was for one birthday cake, forty cake pops, and forty cupcakes. As soon as I read the words forty, twice, I knew I was going to need to plan this down to the last second.  My problem was that I wanted every thing to be as fresh as possible. I knew I could bake the cake pops a couple of days in advance because the cake would be insulated by the chocolate, so I set about making these two days before the party.

Pig Cake Pops:
These are relatively simple to make but they take a steady hand.  Start off with a regular cake ball that has been rolled and put on a stick.  If you're unsure how to get to this point, read my post: Cake POPs! I then, took two tic tacs, dipped them half way into melted chocolate and stuck them half-way into the tops of the cake pops, forming ears.  They were then left to set.  Once set I coated the cake pops in pink candy melts, just the same as you would an ordinary cake pop.  Whilst the chocolate was still wet I stuck a pink M&M onto the front, this was my "snout".  I drew two dots onto the M&Ms with an edible marker to form nostrils.  Once all forty cake pops were coated and had M&Ms stuck to them, I left them to dry overnight.  The next morning, using a tooth pick and some gel food dye, I painted two dots on the cake pops to form eyes.  And hey presto! I had my forty cake pops!!

The next day, I tackled the big birthday cake!  
Peppa Pig Birthday Cake:
I had pre prepared my fondant Peppa Pig family a week in advance, to allow the fondant to harden. If you don't have the time to prepare a week before, you can use sugar paste, which sets hard very quickly.  The disadvantage is that it is quite a lot more expensive than fondant!
The Peppa Pig family all have pretty much the same structure, with different colour clothes and a few little details to set them apart. So once I had mastered Peppa, the rest were pretty easy to form!
I am aware that if I go into how to make Peppa from fondant, this post will be ridiculously long, so if you want details on how to make her, then you can email or comment me and I will go through it with you!
So, I started off my morning, baking a simple three layered vanilla sponge, sandwich with vanilla buttercream... yummy!! I covered the cake in blue fondant and stuck on white fondant clouds to make the sky. To make the hill, I rolled out green fondant in, wait for it, a hill shape and stuck it onto the front of the cake. Then all that is left to do is to stick on some fondant flowers and place your Peppa Pig family onto the top of the cake.

I left the cupcakes until the morning of the party so that they would be fresh and moist and yummy!! The order was for twenty vanilla cupcakes, and twenty chocolate cupcakes. I have blogged about vanilla cupcakes plenty of times so I will just tell you how to make chocolate cupcakes.
for twenty-four cupcakes.
190g plain flour
300g caster sugar
60g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tspn baking powder
1 1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tspn corn flour
160mls buttermilk
180mls coffee
90mls vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 tspn vanilla extract

The recipe is really simple! Just combine all the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and whisk for two minutes.  Whack in the oven for fifteen minutes and you'll have your chocolate cupcakes!!

Now for the frosting.
You need 4 large egg whites, 8 tablespoons golden syrup, 200g caster sugar, half a teaspoon cream of tartar.  Whisk the mixture, over a bain marie, until the mixture hold stiff peaks.  It will take around five minutes.  Once done, take off the heat, add two teaspoons vanilla extract and continue to mix until the frosting is at room temperature. I added a tiny bit of pink gel food dye to give me a piggy colour!!

To make the pig faces, I first piped a dome of frosting onto the cupcake. For the snout, I used half a pink marshmallow and placed it in the centre of the cupcake and then I used small white chocolate buttons with stuck on chocolate drops, for the eyes and stuck them into the frosting on an angle.

 It was a long three days, with a night shift in between, and so this project was a bit of a labour of love! I so pleased with the results and I hope the little girl enjoyed the treats too!!

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