Birthday Cupcakes For Angelin

I received an order from my cousin Winnie to make 30 mini chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for her sister (also my cousin of course) Angelin’s birthday.

We had all been invited to a family friend’s place for pre-Christmas celebrations. Angelin’s birthday fell on that same weekend so Winnie decided to make it a joint celebration.

I wanted to make these cupcakes girly and pretty as well as sweet as Angelin who is one of the loveliest people I know. What do you think?

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

I love the Waitrose sprinkles and these pink pearls I found! They are so pretty! It’s back-breaking work decorating 30 cupcakes but I did it! I love my decorating tweezers! It’s definitely one of my best buys and one of my treasured cupcake-making aides.

Angelin & her adorable daughter Amelia blowing out the candles.

The cupcakes were a hit! It was adorable seeing the little children at the gathering carrying them around and licking the frosting.

Pink Is The Colour Of Passion

Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent and sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward.”  Terri Guillemets

While I have never thought of strawberries as “the angels of the earth…”, I do love them. I love all berries. Unfortunately, berries do not grow in SingSing. We have our berries flown in from America, Australia, Korea, Japan, New Zealand and maybe some other places. Which means they are insanely expensive and always somehow bashed up. Ms OCD here will literally go through every single box of cherries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries to get the one or two boxes that are the closest thing to perfect. Yes, closest thing to perfect… I had to make concessions when I finally realised I will never find perfect berries here. Failing which, I would rather go without.

There was an order placed to make cupcakes for a little girl’s birthday. PINK immediately sprang to mind! Pink meant strawberries! The perfect strawberry cupcake! I set about researching and America’s Sprinkles strawberry cupcake kept appearing in everything I read. It was apparently really good. I wanted to create a strawberry cupcake that would make people gush the way Sprinkles’ strawberry cupcake did. Sprinkles’ Candace Nelson had shared her recipe on Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey but the reviews I read were mostly complaints. It seems Candace Nelson had either left out ingredients or given wrong measurements. That’s not very nice Candace Nelson…

Sprinkles' Strawberry Cupcake

I set about creating my own recipe. It took me a full day of research and concocting to finally come up with a recipe that looked like it might work. I was also really lucky I managed to find fresh and almost perfect (but very expensive) berries! I happily set about to test my recipe. Let’s not talk about test one…

Test two got me doing a happy dance! Here’s something to note when you are baking; if the batter tastes good, the cake will too. Test two’s batter tasted like strawberry ice cream!

Doesn't this look like strawberry ice cream?

Baking strawberry ice cream?

Fresh out of the oven!

Test cupcake! So PINK!

I was so happy with test two I asked my friend Elaine, my first customer and very supportive friend, if I could interest her in buying a box. The SMS I received after she had one of my strawberry cupcakes, put a smile on my face I could not get rid of for at least an hour after. Her SMS said, “OMG! Gg! We totally love this! My colleagues and I love love love it!”. By the way, I topped each strawberry cupcake with cream cheese frosting, homemade strawberry preserve and a raspberry. Her colleague ordered a box of my strawberry cupcakes that very night for the next day.

Cream cheese frosting and strawberry preserve. But it looked like it needed something more...

With cream cheese frosting, strawberry preserve and a raspberry! Now it's perfect!

Isn't it pretty...

I gave one to my Sayang and she liked it plenty too. She kept repeating, “Very nice. Very nice.” with each bite she took.

I’ve named my strawberry cupcake Pinklicious! I also made a lovely strawberry buttercream frosting to go with Pinkalicious. It’s lush, sweet, bursting with strawberry flavour as it has lots of my homemade strawberry sauce (which flavoured the cupcakes) and is such a pretty pink. If you love strawberries, my Pinkalicious cupcake with Pinkalicious frosting will tickle you PINK! It took great restraint to not lick the bowl…

Pinkalicious frosting!

Frosted! So pretty!

I decorated the birthday cupcakes with Japanese treats and mini marshmallows. I wanted strawberry chocolate Hello Kitties but was not able to find any sort of Hello Kitty-shaped chocolates or soft candies; only the biscuit variety which would have turned soggy on the frosting. I’d bought a pair of decorating tweezers and they are a God-send! Without them I would have taken a lot longer to accomplish Pinkalicious Candyland!

Japanese sweets for decorating

Pinkalicious Candyland!

Pinkalicious Candyland!

Pinkalicious Candyland!

By the way, my DCM says this is the best cupcake I’ve made and even said it’s his favourite! That’s huge!

Two cupcakes flavours perfected, so many more to go! I know what I want to do next and I cannot wait to try it out! Can you tell I’m excited!?

The Perfect Chocolate Cupcake

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Charles M. Schulz

Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food.” Michael Levine

Chocolate is not only a pleasant of taste, but it is also a veritable balm of the mouth, for the maintaining of all glands and humours in a good state of health. Thus it is, that all who drink it, possess a sweet breath.” Stephani Blancardi

Chocolate, of course, is the stuff of which fantasies are made. Rich, dark, velvety-smooth fantasies that envelop the senses and stir the passions. Chocolate is madness; chocolate is delight.” Judith Olney

There sure is a lot of love out there for chocolate. If you’ve read In Search Of The Perfect Chocolate Cupcake , you will know I do not share such sentiments. I am, however, very particular when I get a random craving for chocolate cake. I know exactly what I want and how it should taste. Sadly, I have never come across the amazing chocolate cake that metamorphosises in my head when such cravings strike. Therefore, when I was asked to make a chocolate cupcake, I knew I had to breathe life into that chocolate cake in my head. I have expounded on what I deem the perfect chocolate cupcake in Still Searching For The Perfect Chocolate Cupcake and I was determined to make it happen.

I did. I experimented and tweaked recipes and baked and threw away many failed chocolate cakes, until I achieved a cupcake that was crumbly, fluffy, melt in your mouth, moist and intensely chocolatey. To say any food is better than sex (unless you have really bad sex) is a crime. That term was probably coined by someone who had such bad sex all the time he or she had to resort to eating to take away the pain… What I will say is, if you’re a chocoholic, my chocolate cupcakes are as good as good sex! Giving someone some of these babies might even lead to sex (chocolate has aphrodisiac qualities)!

Fresh out of the oven!

Test cupcake. Crumbly, moist and soft

Cynics out there will say, “Of course she thinks they are great. She made them.”. That is true. But I am not the only one. Cynics will now say that my friends and family will say they are good because they do not want to hurt my feelings. That bit is not true. My DCM, not a sugar lover, likes them. My parents, not the pandering type, especially the Mumsy when it comes to cooking, think my chocolate cupcakes are good.

Gg's As Good As Good Sex Chocolate Cupcakes

My Auntie Maria and Uncle Dee are chocoholics, foodies and two of the nicest people I know. They always give constructive criticism. They seemed to really like the batch of my chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting I made as part of Uncle Dee’s belated birthday present. Auntie Maria gave one of my chocolate cupcakes to her mother (I call her Por Por)  who has been in poor health lately. I was told she finished an entire chocolate cupcake as compared to the usual half portion of cake  Auntie Maria brings home for her. That put a huge smile on my face.

As Good As Good Sex Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, a Blueberry & Milk Chocolate Shavings
As Good As Good Sex Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, a Blueberry & Milk Chocolate Shavings
The father says they look like breasts…

For the chocolate extremist, I’ve also made a version with chocolate chips. You will love. I can keep rambling but like they say, the truth is in the pudding.