Monday, 3 September 2012

Olympic Rings Cupcakes
I really meant to post these a couple of weeks ago but the time just got away from me, however, the Paralympics are still in full flow so I may not have completely missed my chance.  This batch ended up with my son's kindergarten to celebrate their own Olympic extravaganza.  Judging by the number of times we've had to re-create an arena, watch races, hand out medals and sing the national anthem in the garden since then...I'd say it made a big impact on him!  Now, since each cupcake has just one ring on the top, it's much better if they're shared with friends so they can put the emblem together.  In any event, these are for my little medallist at "jumping in the sand pit" (I think that was the long jump) and elite athlete in training!
For the cupcakes:
  1. This uses a 2 egg mix from the cake mix matrix - which can be found here .
  2. This will make 12 full sized cupcakes or 25-30 minis.  Since you need multiples of 5 cakes to make the complete set (as in the picture) you could either: have 2 left over for yourself once the kids have gone to bed, use a 3 egg mix instead, or use smaller cupcake cases.  The choice is yours.  If you decide to make minis, they only need to bake for around 10-12 minutes.
For the icing:
50g / 2oz unsalted butter softened
100g / 4oz icing or confectioners sugar sifted
1 drop vanilla exract
  1. Beat all the ingredients together for about 3 minutes until pale and fluffy.  
  2. Spread a little icing on each cupcake with an offset spatula or palette knife.  You only need to use enough icing to provide a flat surface for the topper.
For the coloured ring toppers:
100g fondant icing
Food colouring pastes **
2 small round cookie cutters - the sizes will depend on the size of cupcake you made
A pair of disposable plastic or latex gloves is recommended but not compulsory!
  1. Divide the ball of fondant into 5 equal pieces.  Add one drop of colouring to the first ball and knead it thoroughly until the colour is evenly distributed.  If you find the fondant gets sticky, dust your hands with a little cornflour then continue kneading.  Cover this piece of fondant with cling wrap then continue with the remaining fondant balls until you have all 5 colours.
  2. ** I must make a confession here: I haven't coloured fondant red or black in years, it is almost impossible to get a good intensity of colour without making the fondant mushy and impossible to use.  I bought the red and black in the photo above pre-coloured from a local cake decorating shop.  Now, if you're not going to need black or red fondant for anything else, I recommend that you leave the rings white then paint them with Wilton No-Taste Red or Americolor Tulip Red...similarly with the black.  However, Christmas is only a few months away and you could wrap any extra red or black fondant tightly in cling wrap (at least 2 layers) and keep it for Santa cookies...just an idea!
  3. Now, dust the benchtop with a little cornflour and roll out each piece of fondant in turn.  Cut the require number of circles from each piece with the larger of your 2 cookie cutters.  Then cut out a disc from the centre of each circle with your smaller cookie now have rings! 
  4. Allow the rings to dry for 10-15 minutes before placing them on top of the cupcakes.