Two folks at work are both expecting baby girls in just a few weeks. Still experiencing the joy of a little baby myself, I wanted to make some nice cupcakes for their baby shower.
My volunteered helper was still my 7-year-old. I was surprised that she can do all the mixing, blending and scooping all by herself now! So, the best tool in the kitchen is really one's daughter!
Baking the cakes is only half of the work, decorating would be also critical to make sure they catch people's eyes. My original design was a tower structure with some French macaroons on top, but I quickly realized that the look is different from what I had in mind. Looking at the messy and chaotic 24 cakes, I was pretty sure my reputation as a good decorator would be ruined. Fortunately, another better design came to life after staring at the cakes for a good 30 minutes. I think they actually came out better than I planned!
At the end of the day, there is no need to panic in any situation :)
Here is how I made them.
Cakes - Vanilla cake with bourbon
Butter 1 stick (room temperature)
Sugar 3/4 cup
Eggs 2 (room temperature)
Cake Flour 1 1/2 cups
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Baking Powder 1 1/2 teaspoons
Milk 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
Bourbon 2 table spoon
Filling - caramel cheesecake
Cream Cheese 8 ounce
Crème Fraiche 4 ounce
Whipped Cream 1/4 cup
caramel 1/2 cup plus 1 cup as topping
Bourbon 1/4 cup for brushing
Frosting - light whipped cream
First, bake the cakes. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Stir into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, stir in the vanilla.
fill the baking cups half full and bake until the tops spring back when touched lightly, about 20 minutes. Let cool down completely before add filling.
Next, make the fillings. mix the cream cheese, crème fraiche and caramel using the electric mixer until smooth. mix in the whipped cream using a spatula. If want sweeter, you can add more caramel or brown sugar.
Then, assemble. scoop out a portion of the cakes in the middle, about the size of a thumb. Pipe in the cheese filling. Brush on some Bourbon and then top with one tablespoon of caramel. Cover with a big tablespoon of whipped cream and scrape the surface flat to take out any excess. You can now put on whatever you want for decorating.
I used a baby carriage made with fondant and a few pieces of chocolate dots. My final touch was a dust of gold sugar, it really brightened up the cakes.
There you have it!