Saturday, May 28, 2011

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea


Cancer has affected all of our lives in some way, and one way in which we can help is to raise money for the Australian Cancer Council. And what better way to do that than to host a Biggest Morning Tea. I'll bring cupcakes of course!

I was so excited that my workplace hosted a Biggest Morning Tea this year. The Australian Cancer Council is a fantastic organisation that aims to reduce the impact of cancer through prevention, treatment and support. They help fund research, provide support services such as the cancer council helpline (13 11 20) and provide information to health professional, patients and the community. Morning Tea's held all over Australia during the month of May are aiming to raise funds so that the cancer council can continue on with its great work. So show your support by holding a morning tea, donating to one or by donating online here - it's still May!

Blue and yellow are the theme colours for The Biggest Morning Tea and as such I created vanilla cupcakes swirled with either blue buttercream with yellow blossoms or yellow buttercream decorated with blue teacups. I think they're just so cute. Here are a few of my workmates creations - I really love the candy teacups with saucers.

Vanilla Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes

170g unsalted butter, room temperature
1⅔ cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2⅔ cups plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
 ¼ tsp salt
 ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp (207ml) milk
 2 tsp vanilla extract
 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

1.   Preheat oven to 175°C. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
2.   Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
3.   Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
4.   Measure out the milk and vanillas and stir to combine.
5.   Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat to combine. Add about half of the milk and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
6.   Spoon batter into cupcake papers about ⅔ full (don't over fill). Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Chocolate Eclare's Decorators Buttercream
(makes enough to pipe big swirls on 24 cupcakes with leftovers, so you may only need ½ a recipe otherwise - leftovers can be frozen)

1kg icing sugar
180g shortening (such as copha), room temperature
180g butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup to 3/4 cup water

1.   Beat shortening and butter until really light and fluffy, add 1/4 cup water and vanilla and beat again.
2.   With mixer on low, slowly stream in icing mixture until combined. Then turn up mixer and beat until smooth.
3.   If the mix is looking dry, add more water until you get the consistency required. The amount of water needed can vary greatly with temperature and humidity (I used ½ cup water).

This time I piped swirls on with my large Loyal star tip, it's bigger than the Wilton 1M. The blossoms were made using a cutter and the teacups I made by printing out the biggest morning tea logo, cutting it out and using it as a template on blue fondant. I marked around the teacup with an edible pen, then carefully cut it out using a small knife and topped them with a small yellow blossom.

The vanilla cupcakes were really tasty, but I am looking for a recipe that makes softer, lighter cupcakes. I might try this one from exclusively food next. Please let me know if you have a good vanilla cupcake recipe - I would love to try it.

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