Did you have homemade play-dough when you were little? I can’t remember if I did nor not but I remember making ‘pies’ and other delights, with all manner of found ingredients cooked up in a bucket in the back garden, offered to my stuffed toys, the dog, my next door neighbours and occasionally to my siblings or parents.
My little one, Lola is committed to her play-dough (she uses it every single day) and pretty much exclusively makes food with it – mostly cakes ( I wonder about her influences). I made her up a little birthday cake kit consisting of pipe cleaner candles, a little tin tart mould, some IKEA china plates and knife for cutting slices – we have had birthdays for someone nearly every day since. One cake tin has not been enough and I’ve had to hand over several of my silicone mini-muffin patty pans to allow the baker to expand her production capacity.
Recently she has moved into cake decorating after a chat about her third birthday coming up in about six weeks and the cupcake tree I made for her party last year (family afternoon tea at my parents).
UPDATE – See this later post about the 3rd birthday cake I made.
She insisted that she would make cupcakes ‘with icing’ for this year’s party and proceeded to do so, rolling balls of ‘icing’ and using her little play-dough squeezer to push out various snakes of patterned ‘icing’ to use. These are her creations (with just a little help from me with the rather stiff lever of her play-dough squeezer).
After some thought she decided that she wanted me to make some real cupcakes for her birthday again too.
I’ve never been a fan of fondant icing – it looks fabulous but I think it’s not really made for enjoyable eating – so those I did for Lola’s 2nd birthday were a bit more ‘rustic’ (or is that hopelessly-first-time-ever-trying-anything-like-fancy-icing?). However the flavour and texture were very good.
I did a fair bit of searching for the flavours I decided on and they were both rich and sinful and contrasted with each other well – triple chocolate and orange & poppyseed. I realised from this search for cupcake recipes that the difference between muffins and cupcakes is the unashamed amount of naughtiness in cupcakes (leaving aside the very high levels of fat and sugar in many so-called healthy muffins).
From memory I made one full amount of mixture for each flavour and from this I made eight full sized and about 10 mini sized cupcakes which yielded more than enough to fill the tree and the large platter it stood on. This meant Lola could have one of each and not be overwhelmed by the richness (and the rest of us could fool ourselves we weren’t having much by eating multiple mini ones). It was quite good fun making them (and even icing wasn’t as scary as I expected it to be). The only slight drawback was that the orange icing was rather softer than the chocolate and so spread out rather than staying pertly swirled on top. Still, not bad for our first efforts 🙂