Photo credit: http://www.cakejournal.com
The answer is poured fondant. Unlike rolled fondant, which is generally used to cover large cakes and also cupcakes, poured fondant is quick, relatively easy and if done properly looks lovely. When icing cupcakes with poured fondant it is best to ice them the day you intend to use them as you can't refrigerate them or keep them airtight otherwise the fondant will melt or turn rock hard. Until you use them just store them safely in a container like a cardboard cake box.
To make poured fondant cupcakes you will need a few things to get you started:
- A packet of white icing, which is also called ready to roll fondant. You can buy it in the supermarket next to icing sugar or from cake supply stores
- Some cupcakes - you should cover 20-24 with 500g of fondant if you do a double dip, less if you triple dip.
- A heatproof bowl for microwaving. As my cupcakes are gluten free they don't have a very rounded top, you should use a bowl that will comfortably accommodate your cupcake's top half.
- Some boiling water and a tea spoon of jam, apricot works best. Dissolve the jam in the boiling water. Mine is in the little chinese tea cup, you don't need much.
- A pastry brush
- Food colouring if desired. My cupcakes have some mango in them so I'm going with a yellow icing to match.
What to do:
- Place your fondant in to your heatproof bowl and microwave on high for approximately one minute. If you use less than the whole packet of fondant you may only need 45 seconds initially. Take it out and give it a really good stir around with a metal spoon. At this point you may like to add one or two table spoons of water to thin your icing out a little. Keep stirring and if you find that if you still have some lumps simply pop it back in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Once you have reached your desired consistency, runny but still with substance, a little like warm honey you may like to stir in a few drops of food colouring. It should look like this:
2. Using your pastry brush, dip it into the jam and hot water mixture and glide it across the top of your cupcakes. The reason for this is that the cupcakes very quickly dry out under the fondant. This helps to keep your cupcakes moist
3: By now your fondant should have cooled a little bit and thickened slightly to a consistency much like room temperature honey, this is good! Just give it a good stir using your metal spoon. Grab one of your cupcakes by the patty pan and hold it upside down. Slowly lower it into your fondant icing just to the edges of your patty pan or cupcake wrapper. Bring it out slowly while giving it a bit of twist while you allow the excess icing to drip off. This is important to do otherwise it will drip down the sides, which doesn't always look that bad but it dependent on how you want to present your cupcakes. Quickly pop any air bubbles with a sharp toothpick.
You will need to double dip your cupcakes for a more opaque finish. I would recommend dipping all your cupcakes once, coming back around 5-10 minutes later and dipping them again. If your fondant has become too hard, simply pop it back in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. Once it has set, around 30-45 minutes later you can push some adornments such as flowers etc into the top or even pipe some decorations with royal icing.
Here are my finished products. Keep in mind that my cupcakes started with flat tops. If yours have round tops they will look different and hopefully a little better. Practice makes perfect and you will find that you perfect your technique with each cake.
Place a dozen of these beautiful cupcakes on a cake stand or cake plate when friends come over for tea and they will be a real hit. Not only are they relatively quick and easy to ice, they look good too.
Play around with colours flavours and adornments to create truly unique cupcakes! Most of all, enjoy devouring them with a lovely cup of tea!