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If you can't go to the zoo, bring the zoo to you!
Member Name: QueenM
It's Saturday afternoon so I thought I'd treat you all to a little baking surprise! I'm a huge lover of decorating my cupcakes to look like something stead of just dolloping some frosting on top and calling it a day, so today I'll teach you how to make panda cupcakes! I made them yesterday morning and everyone has fallen in love with them, so here goes!
This is not a short recipe, so please stick with me! It's totally worth it.
All cake and frosting recipes have been adapted from recipes found online to provide a better consistency for my liking. I'll source those throughout the recipe.
Note: these cakes do not contain egg.
Here are two I made yesterday - remove the spaces ( https:// fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd .net/hphotos-ak-ash3/578107_ 10150822358390937_ 642685936_ 11710340_330143245_n. jpg)
Yields : 5 pandas
For the cake... - adapted from brettbara.com
6 tablespoons self raising flour
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (eyeball it, it doesn't need to be exact)
A pinch of salt
4 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon & 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Few drops of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
For the chocolate frosting... - adapted from brettbara.com
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2-3 tablespoons confectioners sugar (you can decide for yourself based on how you like the consistency of your frosting)
2 tablespoons double cream
For the white frosting... - adapted from myrecipes.com
1.5 tablespoons softened butter (I use stork instead of butter, it's best for baking and frostings)
Pinch of salt
1.5 cups of confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons double cream
Additional chocolate chips for the nose
Roughly 3 mini oreo snack packs
Black food colouring paste
You'll also need regular fairy cake liners and mini fairy cake liners. Do not use the large cupcake liners or this will dramatically decrease the yield of the recipe and probably make you sick because it'd be huge!
Now onto actually baking the pandas! (There's something I never thought I'd say)
Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. Line a cupcake tin with 5 regular fairy cake liners and 5 tiny ones.
1) Combine all of the dry ingredients for the chocolate cake together.
2) In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients and then slowly add the dry ingredients to that. Mix it all together until fully combined.
3) Stir in the chocolate chips (optional)
4) Fill the regular liners to about 2/3 of the way up and the tiny ones juuuust over halfway.
5) Pop in the oven for 10 minutes, remove the tiny liners and set them to cool. Put the rest back in the oven for a further 8 minutes. (This can vary depending on your oven)
6) Set all cakes to cool.
As the cakes are cooling, you want to open a pack of your mini oreos, separate them scoop out the white filling and dispose of that. Then crush the little biscuits into teeny tiny crumbs - dump them in a bowl. These will be used later.
White frosting (make this one first as this will be used for the heads - little cakes - and they will cool first)
1) Soften the butter and add in the double cream and pinch of salt. Slowly add the confectioners sugar until you get the consistency and taste you like. I prefer to use a little less sugar than recommended as I always find the full amount is too sweet. Keep this in the fridge until use, or if your little cakes are cool, scoop a teaspoon onto them and smooth out ready to draw the faces on.
1) Melt the butter in the microwave before adding in the dry ingredients and the cream. Mix together until smooth. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
As the larger cakes are cooling, I like to decorate the faces. I use Wilton Black Food Colouring paste to do this. It's best to use a toothpick for the detail but I had run out, so I used a stick of spaghetti!
1) Dip the spaghetti/toothpick into the paste and draw a panda smile onto the white frosting.
2) Pop a chocolate chip into the middle of the cake for the nose - this should join into the smile.
3) Take your spaghetti/toothpick again and get a blob of black paste on the end of it, do a kidney bean shaped splodge on both sides of the nose - facing each other. This will be the eyes.
We'll add the ears later.
Gently frost the larger cakes with the chocolate frosting and then roll the cake into the oreo crumbs. This will look a little more like fur.
Take one of the panda heads and pop it onto one of the bodies, the face facing you. The fairy cake paper should be side down into the larger cupcake.
Grab 3 more mini oreos and slice them in half (not like we did earlier, but so they are two half circles). Two half circles can then be pushed into the top of the head for ears.
Two of the half circles can be placed into the body, either side of the head for "paws" whilst the other two can rest just in front of the large cupcake base as the other "paws".
Do this for all of your pandas and watch everyone's face light up as you walk in the room with them!
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