Whenever my kids are faced with a task that seems just too monumental to complete, I tell them to break it down into baby steps. Taking my own advice, here are the baby steps I took to complete this month's Martha Stewart Cupcake Club Challenge - Fruitcakes with Meringue Mushrooms!
DAY 1 - The Fruitcake
OK, let's be honest. I've never been a big fan of the fruitcake. This fruitcake however, was filled with high quality, delicious ingredients like Medjool Dates, Turkish Apricots and Turkish Smyrna Figs. Since I AM a big fan of the Fig Newton, I knew we were off to a good start!
It also called for lots of hazelnuts and Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur. And since I'm also a big fan of Nutella, I knew these ingredients would be a plus as well. When all was assembled, the add-ins and the batter were of approximately equal proportion.
The recipe stated that this batter would make 12 cupcakes. I ended up making 18. (OK, so maybe I didn't fill them full enough!
DAY 2 - The Meringue
I used my mom's tried and true Seven-Minute Frosting Recipe for the mushrooms, which seemed to work out fine. I mean, is there really such a thing as a perfect mushroom? To make the tops, pipe a circle onto some parchment and press down the pointy tips with a wet finger. To make the stems, pipe and pull up. Don't worry. They are suppose to look like that! Bake in a 175 degree oven for about 45 minutes.
Due to time constraints, these cupcakes went to the church luncheon without mushroom toppers.
I thought they still looked pretty!
DAY 3 - The Mushrooms
The mushrooms were actually fun to make and looked real, despite my feeble efforts!
- Step 1: Melt dark chocolate and spread on the underside of the mushroom caps.
- Step 2: Spread melted white chocolate on top of that.
- Step 3: Use a toothpicks to create gills. Use the same toothpick to make a hole in the center.
- Step 4: Using white chocolate as glue, insert the pointy side of the stem into the mushroom hole.
A dusting of cocoa powder and VOILA! Cute little mushrooms!
These little cupcakes make a big statement and hold their own any against fruitcake naysayer. While the kids would only pick off and eat the meringue mushrooms, I thought the cake itself was a delicious treat! (Which would explain why I secretly ate the cake they left behind!) Thanks to Rebecca at Beurrista for today's selection and encouraging us to rise to the challenge!