Last year I baked several things that I took into work. This year I’ve taken nothing. We seem to keep piling people onto our floor (for good reason). Last count, we have 33 people on our floor. That’s a lot of people to bake for.
Mr Fussy has taken about 3 lots of baking in for his team. A sensible 14 people.
I’d told my manager a couple of weeks ago I planned to make something for work for Easter. And this is what I came up with.
I’d been working on the fondant Easter bunnies over a few weeks (not actually spending long on them each time). One week using the mould, the next week the pink lustre dust ears and feet (which were buried) and then on Saturday I used edible pens to colour the carrots and bows. I realised the lustre dust I had was the wrong shades of green and orange. Yes, I know the grass also looks wrong. Mr Fussy said it’s like Astroturf, one of the guys today said it was perfect for Hockey. For fun, Saturday night I decided to use the really cheap fondant cutters that arrived while I was in Nelson, and make the little flowers which I then added non perils and cachous. I seem to have a problem with knowing when to stop. But really it’s just a chance to try something new.
My Wilton tip that makes the grass was misbehaving. I realised after a while of making messy nests and trying to use a pin to unclog it, that a rinse out sorted the problem for around 5-6 mini cupcakes before needing to be rinsed again.
Here’s some close up of the mini cupcakes.
The speckled eggs were purchased from the supermarket about a month ago. They’re candy covered chocolate eggs. Actually I’ve not seen them in recent weeks. They’re not one of the well-known brands of chocolate, I can’t recall whose brand they are.
I had in mind which recipe I’d use for the cupcakes. I’d found my way to Laura’s Sweet Spot via a post Averie had on her site. Laura had done a bit of testing for the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe. I opted for Laura’s number one choice. It’s a recipe I’d come across myself in the past and it’s adapted from Ina Garten’s Coconut cupcake recipe. I halved the recipe and got 40 minis and 6 full sized cupcakes.
Vanilla Cupcake via Laura’s Sweet Spot
- ¾ pound (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 extra-large eggs (or 6 large eggs), room temperature
- 1 Tb pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
- In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
- In the bowl of a mixer cream the butter and sugar.
- Scrape the bowl down and add in the vanilla extract along with an egg. Beat on medium until the egg is fully incorporated. Continue to scrape the bowl down between adding in each egg, one at a time.
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix on low until the dry ingredients are almost mixed in.
- Add 1/2 of the butter milk and mix on low until the liquid is mixed in.
- Repeat with another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and then the remaining buttermilk, ending with the last 1/3 of dry ingredients. Mix until the flour mixture is just incorporated.
- The batter will be quite thick.
- Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners and spoon the batter to fill around 2/3 of the cupcake liner.
- Bake for between 16-18 minutes (around 11-13 minutes for mini cupcakes) until the tops spring back or a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Turn the tin half way through for even baking.
- Leave the cupcakes in the tin for around 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
- Once the cupcakes are completely cold, frost as desired.
The full sized cupcakes are for Mr Fussy’s lunch. I used cupcake liners I purchased from Etsy and are greaselined. There’s two things I noticed, the cupcake liner actually starts to peel off the cupcake and the colours remain true. The minis were baked in Wilton mini liners that were yellow, green and pink. Only the yellow looks anything like the original colour, but that’s because the batter is the same colour.
So that’s it for Easter baking. We’re heading away to Queenstown for Easter, mostly because it’s Mr Fussy’s birthday on Good Friday, and Queenstown is his favourite NZ place to chill out. Talking of which, baking is something I enjoy, and I don’t relax very well sitting doing nothing. My idea of “chilling out” is at the opposite spectrum to Mr Fussy’s. One of us is going to love the idle time and casual pace. The other will be jittery and looking for something to fill in the time.
I’m a little anxious about not having a weekend of baking. Mr Fussy is excited to whip me away from the kitchen. Most of all I will love having time with him, just the two of us. And after another week of work in Nelson, having the chance to do nothing but catch up on life with Mr Fussy will be a blessing.
Enjoy the long weekend. I’ll be back in the kitchen soon enough. In the meantime I get to enjoy food someone else has cooked and not have to think about cleaning up the kitchen.
P.S the work crew were very appreciative of the cupcakes (and RI sugar cookies) and loved the decorations. And they said they tasted great. Just as important to me as the presentation.