Cupcake, Macaron

The best gift for my parents for Christmas. Congratulations to my sister! (a simple macaron tower with hand made mini cupcakes)

How wonderful to see my sister getting married to her loved one. And even better it is just before Christmas! This is certainly the best gift for my dear parents. My dad, despite fighting against a rare illness and a quiet gentleman, he was over the moon. I cannot put into words how happy we were as a family. It was truly an amazing day and many memorable moments.

To celebrate this big day for my lovely sister and brother in law, I had a lot of help from my in laws. As a team we made 80 Lemon Drizzle & Poppy Seeds Cupcakes, 80 Ginger & Cinnamon Cupcakes and close to 300 Macarons of combinations of Rum, Rose and Orange Chocolate.   And yes all these were created in my kitchen and in less than 3 days. That was really a lot of work from putting together the flowers for the macaron tower to the last minute assembly of the dessert table. Well, at least for us amateurs it was a challenge.

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It was my father in law who made the cupcakes. I am no expert in cupcakes, and in fact I have probably only made a few dozens in my cooking life. We followed a very simple recipe from the BBC website. The magic for the lemon poppy seeds was to inject drops of lemon syrup into the warm cupcakes (use a small knife to make a small cut in each of the cupcakes to soak in the drizzle). And of course a good amount of lemon juice and lemon rind into the frosting. You cannot skip the lemon rind. The oil from the rind is the core of the amazing lemon aroma and flavour. I use 1 part butter, 1 part icing sugar, and very generous amount of fresh lemon juice and rind. Do taste it as you go along and get to the taste that you like.

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Th ginger ones were basically of the same recipe, but this time we added candied ginger and a pinch of cinnamon in it.

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Now moving onto the macarons, I thought it would be good to use a macaron display shelf instead of making a tower with a polystyrene cone (see my post on how to make a macaron tower). I was a little worried that people might mistaken a cone as backdrop and not eating the macarons. Silly thought it might be, the display shelf has been proved to be an excellent idea! I got mine from http://www.aliexpress.com and I think I paid around USD 30 for one.

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The assembly was very smooth and it only took minutes to set the whole thing up. I highly recommend this macaron display shelf for any home bakers. Excellent way to show your macarons with minimum effort.

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It worked really well!

Okay shall I share one filling’s recipe with you? Shall we see how I made the Rum Macaron Filling?

Here you go:

100g 35% or above White Chocolate (buttons or chopped into small pieces)

100g Whipping Cream

10g Dark Rum (I think I used more than this …..)

Step 1 – Bring the cream to boil and then pour into the white chocolate. Set aside for a minute or two, and then stir it slowly to melt all the white chocolate.

Step 2 – Add the rum a few drops at a time and gently fold into the ganache. Taste it until you get the strength of the rum you like. Remember to do this very slowly or the ganache would curdle.

Step 3 – Once cooled, put that into the fridge overnight.

Step 4 – Next day, use an electric mixer to whisk the ganache until fluffy and light. This is now ready for piping!

Once again, congratulations to my sister and my brother in law! And big thanks to my in laws for all of your help!

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