Ok, before you read on... this experiment was all in the name of practice! For the easily embarrassed and those looking only for G-rated cupcakes, please check out someone else's blog today!
So my fiance and I were invited to a "toy" party at a friend's house last Saturday night. That's not really our thing, but we don't do a whole lot of socializing with our crew, so we decided to go. I (having been raised by a proper lady who taught me never to show up to a hostess' house empty-handed) asked what I could bring to the party. Wouldn't you know it? The hostess asked for dessert! Cue the cuppycake theme song... this calls for a practice round of filled cupcakes with fondant decorations!
I immediately knew exactly what to make. Call it a moment of frosting inspiration, call it too much coffee. Whatever. I decided to attempt some decadent dark chocolate cupcakes with a raspberry cream filling and pink buttercream frosting and some, ahem, "themed" decorations on the top.
The cupcakes would be easy enough to make, I guessed - I decided to use a boxed cake mix (I know, I know! I promise I will get around to making my own cakes later. But in a hurry, Betty and Duncan will have to do) and then just alter my Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling by substituting raspberry jam for the pumpkin.
So what to do about those decorations? I needed to find a way to cut out some anatomically correct fondant shapes. But 3 party stores and a store called "Condom Sense" later, all I could find were some shaped chocolates, gummy treats, and hard candies. I found one cookie cutter for a bachelorette party, but it was too big (and actually, a little scary) and not at all what I was looking for. What I needed were a couple of small cookie cutters in male and female shapes. After rummaging through my own cookie cutters, I realized I might be able to bend the metal on a couple to make exactly the shapes I needed. A quick trip to a local kitchen store for a heart shape and a dog bone, and I was on my way!
The raspberry filling came out better than I had hoped. I wound up using about 3/4 c. of the raspberry jam instead of the 1/2 c. I initially planned, and used vanilla extract. Next time, I would opt for raspberry flavoring in lieu of the vanilla for a more robust flavor and try to find seedless jam, although the seeds didn't do too much to detract from the texture of the filling. I used a bismarck tip to get the cupcakes really full, and a large open star tip to pipe the tinted pink buttercream. To finish, I dusted the tops of the cupcakes with some hot pink sugar left over from Valentine's day.
Here are some pics of the filled and frosted cuppycakes:
Now for the really fun part - the fondant decorations! I started by tinting some packaged fondant with Wilton copper food coloring gel. When you add copper in small amounts, you get a nice peachy flesh color perfect for body parts. (Did I really just say that?!) For the "male" decorations, I simply rolled out the fondant and cut it into the desired shape using the custom-bent dog bone cookie cutter I purchased. I used the edges of the cutter to add some detailing lines to the shape, and draped each one over a paper towel tube wrapped in plastic wrap to allow the shape to dry with some dimension. Easy enough... on to the "females"!
For the ladies, I used the altered heart-shaped cutter, and cut out shapes using the same peach fondant. For details, I again used the edges of the cookie cutter, then added some brown food coloring to the remaining fondant, rolled it out again, and cut small rounds with a Wilton circle cutter. I brushed the backs of the rounds with a tiny bit of water to make them sticky enough to adhere to the other shape, then placed them in position. For the final details, I added just a touch more brown to the fondant and rolled and cut out the same size rounds as before. Then, I divided each round into quarters using a knife so that the pieces would be of uniform size, and rolled each piece into a tiny ball. A little more water, another paper towel tube for draping, and voila! 12 ladies and 12 men. Perfect!
I must say, I was giggling like a teenager making these decorations. But I am quite proud of the finished product, and they were a huge hit at the party! Here are some pics of the finished product. Enjoy!