IT HAS ALL GONE A BIT HEART-SHAPED AT CAKEABRATION. IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO SWEETEN UP YOUR SPECIAL SOMEONE WITH A JUST-FOR-YOU BAKE, TRY OUT SOME OF THESE BAKING IDEAS – WITH A ROMANTIC TWIST!
Make your Valentine go all gooey with cupcakes that have a hidden centre. Filled cupcake sponges are a doddle to make and for the more adventurous baker they can allow the imagination to run wild with endless flavour combinations.
To fill a cupcake, you need to allow the sponge to cool before taking a sharp, small-ended knife to remove a small section of the sponge.
With your chosen filling at the ready, fill the cupcake with a piping bag before replacing the small sponge lid. You can use a paring knife, an apple corer or a specialist cupcake coring tool – whichever works best for you.
Don’t throw this extra piece of sponge away – you can trim it down and use it as a lid once the filling has been piped in.
Frost the top of the cupcakes to finish.
A few cupcake fillings to try:
Fruit jam, marmalade and curd
Hazelnut chocolate spread
Everything turns heart-shaped around Valentine’s Day – and cakes are no exception! If you have a heart-shaped baking tin you’d like to try out, you can adapt your recipes with a little practice to work in your new tin.
If you’re working from a recipe, it’s worth remembering that changing the dimensions of the tin will alter the cooking times and thus your sponge may need more or less time depending on the size you want the cake to be.
As a guideline, only fill your cake tin two-thirds full to leave rising room and test that the centre of the sponge is cooked through with a metal skewer – if it comes out cleanly it is ready.
An oven thermometer will help you to check you are baking at the correct temperature.
Experiment with a few attempts to get the timing right, especially if the cake is for a special occasion. Even Cakeabration recipe developers need a few goes to get their bakes right!
Write a message
Add a romantic finishing touch to your beautiful baking with a handwritten message.
There’s a wide range of ready-to-use writing icings, but you can also use a piping bag with a thin nozzle filled with icing or coloured buttercream if you’d like to make your own.
Make sure you use a metal or plastic nozzle, rather than cutting the end off a piping bag, as this makes it much harder to achieve a neat line.
A sheet of baking parchment makes the perfect canvas for a few practise attempts, so give your message a few goes before icing your romantic note. It’s worth checking the spelling is right too!
If cake decorating isn’t your forte, roll out some fondant icing and use alphabet cutters to spell out your message – this looks especially good if you want to write a letter-by-letter message across individual cupcakes.
Happy baking and Happy Valentine’s Day! x