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Yesterday, I dangled the promise of a delicious recipe in front of you, and I’m not about to go back on my word! Whilst I’m not claiming that my idea to swap buttercream with real cream on a butterfly cake is really revolutionary, I have to say it makes a huge difference to these cakes. Okay, they won’t keep as long and they’re not as immune to standing around for hours (days?) not being eaten, as with traditional butterfly cakes (like the one below), but to me, they are a million times nicer, and a special treat of epic proportions. Just right, in other words, for serving at your royal wedding watching party!
This is hardly a ground breaking recipe, but I personally had a hard time trying to sort through the many recipes for butterfly cakes I found online for a good one. There were some interesting variations but not a lot of simple, good old fashioned recipes. So, rest assured that if you want to make plain, no-nonsense butterfly cakes, the sponge recipe below, from Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess, will do you right. Then, you only have to follow the directions for the dulce de leche buttercream and omit the dulce de leche, and you’ll have butterfly cakes the old fashioned way in no time.
But life is short, why not try yours with sweet vanilla cream?!
For plain sponge cakes:
125g softened butter
125g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
125g self-raising flour
2-3 tbsp milk
Icing sugar, for dusting
For the sweet cream and dulce de leche topping:
Small tub of double cream
1 tbsp (or to taste) vanilla caster sugar
Tin of Nestle Carnation dulce de leche
For alternative dulce de leche buttercream
125g icing sugar
2 tbsp dulce de leche
Preheat oven to 200c or gas mark 6.
Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Mix the eggs in one by one, adding a large spoonful of flour in between each addition.
When mixed, add the rest of the flour, then mix to a smooth dropping consistency using the milk.
(Alternatively, if you’re one of these super duper posh types what has a fangled machine, simply add all the ingredients except the milk to a processor or food mixer until blended, then add the milk until it reaches the correct consistency. I’m not bitter or jealous at all, honest.)
Line a 12-bun cake tin with cake cases, and pour in the mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden on top.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
While the cakes are cooling, you can make your sweet vanilla cream! Simply add vanilla sugar (or sugar and a hint of vanilla extract) to your double cream, and whisk until it forms soft peaks. You need it to hold its shape when you spoon it onto your cakes, but be careful you don’t overwhisk – I am the worst at over-enthusiastically churning my cream into a grainy mess, so I can talk…
Once you’ve created your sweet cream, you only have to wait for the cakes to cool before assembling.
To make a butterfly cake, simply cut a round circle in your cake, tipping the knife inwards so you form a circular well inside as you do so. Fill to the top with your dulce de leche. Then, finish with a swirl of sweet cream – you can make a jaunty tip simply by using the end of your spoon and lifting off in the middle. Then, cut the piece of cake you excised in half and turn those pieces into the wings of a butterfly, and finish with a dusting of icing sugar.
Here’s what those beauties will look like inside:
An additional thought – if you reckon dulce de leche is too forrun for a patriotic national celebration such as the wedding of Kate and William, why not turn it into a tribute to a classic Victoria sponge by adding a spoonful of jam to the middle instead of caramel?
My tip for these is that the cream should be still chilled when the guests eat (why? Because it’s DELICIOUS that way, try it!), and that they really should be assembled last minute, just because the cream will wilt and spoil if you leave them sitting around for too long.
But, if you want to make your classic butterfly cakes with buttercream, simply cream your sieved icing sugar and very soft butter together until the mix is creamy and white, then add in dulce de leche until you have a still-stiff yet caramelly topping. Finish as above to make your butterfly wings.
Just one thing though…
Don’t forget your icing sugar!
It is absolutely vital for optimum uh, prettiness…
Also, patriotic napkins are optional. (I got mine from Tesco’s.)
- A right royal treat: butterfly cakes! (distractedgourmet.wordpress.com)
In case you haven’t noticed, around here I’m still gearing up for an epic Royal Wedding Watching Party, which will have an afternoon tea theme. I’m trying to assemble a crack team of really British-themed dishes to go with it, and when it comes to afternoon tea and delicious sweet treats, you can’t get much more nostaglia from your calories than with a butterfly cake.
Butterfly cakes have been sadly neglected in recent years for their more ostentatious American cousin, the cupcake. Alas, I am guilty of this as well – you only have to check out the cupcakes section of this blog to see some towering, buttercream topped monstrosities. But here’s the funny thing about me and cupcakes – I love to make them, but I’m not so crazy about eating them. Here’s a frightening confession. I don’t actually really like buttercream all that much.
You forgive me, right? I hope so. But, after all that, some of you are probably thinking – ‘hey, you idiot, fairy cakes are filled with buttercream! That’s the point!’ To you, I say ‘ah hah, I already thought of that.’ So, stay tuned for something that’s going to curl your hair – my recipe for sweet vanilla cream and dulce de leche butterfly cakes, fit for serving at your very own royal wedding watching party!
- I’m in Cake Stand Heaven! (distractedgourmet.wordpress.com)
For my birthday, I decided I wanted a tea party, complete with cute little cup cakes and triangular sandwiches. Originally I was going to buy the sandwiches, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend £20 on a plate of them when I could make them myself for half the price. So R and I made batches of cream cheese and smoked salmon, rare roast beef with horseradish mayo, Belgian ham salad with dijonnaise and cheddar cheese with red onion chutney. Delicious!
But of course, I had to do something with all my cake decorating goodies!
So R and I dyed some fondant with the Wilton paste colours I bought at Hobbycraft, and rolled it out. Then, we used the set of four blossom plunger cutters from PME to cut out these cute flowers.
I also tried out making a patchwork effect on some of the flowers using a spice brown food colouring pen. What do you reckon?
It worked well using that colour on the pink icing, because it turned a slightly darker pink. I’d like to play around with this idea more on other projects.
One of the things I really wanted to try from Peggy Porschen’s Cake Chic was her anemone flower – if you have the book, you might have seen it on the back on the cover. Everything I needed except the veining tool turned up from Jane Asher, but the anemone cutters were much smaller than I had thought they’d be. But as you can see, the flower still turned out pretty well!
I decided to use ivory lustre powder instead of a pink blossom tint on this, and I think it came out quite well! The only thing is, the petals were very delicate and the whole thing got stuck in my palette when I tried to remove it. Totally tragic! But, I like the effect so much I might try doing the same thing with red petals to make poppies. The only things you can’t eat about this flower are the stamens, which are made of wire.
Here are the flowers sitting in the palette, drying off and getting a bit of shape to them. This is just a cheap plastic artist’s palette from eBay, which only cost a couple of pounds including postage, bonus! The perfect shape for little flowers. Don’t they look sweet? I’d leave them here if I didn’t have a load of cakes to decorate!
And here they are! Peggy Porschen’s cupcake and buttercream recipes. Her cake recipe calls for four eggs for 24 cupcakes, which seems like a lot, but works perfectly. Once you’ve baked them, she asks you to soak them in sugar syrup as well, which seems excessive, but does make a nice moist cake. The buttercream is nice, but I think I’m a bit over how sugary it is. It’s a bit toooo sweet.
Here’s one of my patchwork flowers on the top of a cupcake.
It’s so easy to decorate cupcakes with these – the plungers are really easy to use, and although I curved the petals with a boning tool and set them in a palette, you could skip these steps and they’d still sound great (get me, I sound like I know what I’m talking about!).
I’m still not confident about piping on the buttercream – it never looks as good as other people’s, but luckily I think I’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice!
Here they all are – pretty as a picture! But, please don’t look at my poor little anemone… It broke when I tried to take it out of the palette, and also when I tried to put it on the cupcake. Darn it!
Well, I had a lovely birthday thanks to my family and friends, and a great time trying out sugarcraft properly for the first time… I just wish I knew what to do with rose petal cutters!
It’s October, which means it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That doesn’t just mean raising money for breast cancer – that also means learning about it and spreading the word to others. But fundraising is also a pretty important part. For two weeks we’ll be pink at Distracted Gourmet – but then we’re turning all spooky for Halloween near the end.
One good way you can help Breast Cancer Awareness Month reach even more people is to ram it down their throats. Literally! The slogan for this campaign is Think Pink, and if there’s one thing that goes nicely with baked goods, it’s pink.
Take some pink cupcakes into work and share them with your colleagues. If you want to raise money, why not charge a small amount for each cake and give it directly to charity?
These are love buns, which are made with a recipe by Nigella Lawson, originally intended to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But I think you can make them to celebrate your boobs. Or, if you don’t have any boobs, celebrate someone else’s!
These cupcakes are a basic white cake mix with a meringue-type topping that is kind of marshmallowy. Very unusual! I coloured the topping with Wilton’s pink colouring gel, so as not to lose the thick consistency.
I bought my pink sugary sprinkles and pastel pink and blue cupcake cases from Asda – so cheap compared to some of the prices I’ve seen. The cupcake flag is from Momiji.
If you want to join in Breast Cancer Awareness Month and turn your blog pink for October, go to Pink For October for information and resources. There’s also information on there for turning your Twitter background pink, as well as a Facebook group, and a place to register your site. You can also turn your Flickr pictures into Breast Cancer Awareness posters at Bighugelabs, where you can also find more resources for your blog, including ribbon logos.
For baking-related Breast Cancer Awareness stuff, you can visit The Cakes, Cookies & Crafts Shop (UK) and find Awareness Ribbon cookie cutters, cake cases, oven gloves and more.