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Crowned with beauty

Cakes fit for a Princess. With frosting to match. Turning four is no easy feat and we celebrated by having a kid’s version of our street party. I decided to make loads of pink cupcakes, frosted with  Chocolate cream and decorated with hagelslag.

This post is all about the frosting…. my amazing Creme Fraiche frosting.  Tasty, glossy and immediately spreadable – where else can you find such? I call it my no-cook ganache.

I love dark-coloured frosting… but I don’t like dark chocolate. I have a sweet tooth, don’t mind me. Anyway I planned on getting some chocolate from the stores the very day we tidied up our store and suprise, suprise what did we find? 5 packs of chocolate chips – 3 plain, 2 milk. I knew I was in business, especially when I looked at the expiry date. I decided that to get the balance right between the colour and the taste, I needed to mix equal amounts of dark and milk chocolate.

Packets of choccie chips Expires soon...Melting choccies Partially melted chocolate

And so I got a-baking, I made the some fancy-shaped cakes with my silicone cupcake holders the night before and let them cool down. Then I covered them with clingfilm and hid them away (if we were going to have any for the party, it was the only choice I had).  Because I had had some recent disasters with keeping frosted cakes in the fridge, I decided to make the frosting just before I served up the cakes.

Cupcake galore

Of course things had to go a bit awry, didn’t they? Thankfully it wasn’t a situation that was beyond salvaging. So I tossed the chocolate in a bowl – which maybe wasn’t so dry. That may have caused the chocolate to seize up a bit when I started the journey of melting it in the microwave. So if you didn’t know, water and melted chocolate don’t go. I could have rescued it but… I didn’t want to.

While the microwave was spinning round and round, I got out that which I love… so much – Creme Fraiche. What my life would be without it, I know not. What would I do with my pancakes, waffles, my soups and sauces, my dessert toppings and to think it all began with my husband….

Last year, I asked him to get some cream from the shops for me – he came back with 4 tubs of Creme Fraiche. So I learned to use it all up and I tell you, that’s one faux I’m mighty glad for.

So I empty out some Creme Fraiche into a bowl, flavour it with some home-made vanilla extract and whisk it all together

Creme Fraiche tubs Creme FraicheCreme Fraiche Creme Fraiche and Vanilla extract

To this mixture, I add some icing sugar, tip the melted chocolate in and voila – you end up with a nice, dark and glossy frosting. A bit speckled (all my fault) but overall shiny, smooth and incredibly tasty.

Icing sugar for Frosting Chocolate and Creme Fraiche - a match made in heavenFrosting... in the making Frosting ready

Talk about star frostings.

Star Frosting

I love this frosting because

1) It is easy to make. Did I say that already?

2) It makes a glossy and tasty frosting

3) It is instantly spreadable or ‘dip-inable’

Once the frosting is ready, I set up the conveyor belt – on one side, I have the cupcakes – unfrosted and ready to go and on the other side I have a plate or tray ready to receive the frosted cakes. In between I have the frosting in a bowl and the sprinkles in a plate.

I dip the cupcakes in the frosting and let it drip well. Then I turn the cake, frosted side down into the sprinkles (in a trick I learned the hard way). And that’s it. The cakes are ready. To be eaten and enjoyed.

Dipped in frosting Let chocolate dripFrosted Hagelslag - choco sprinklesFrosted and dipped in sprinkles Hand held...

Ready to party

Of course you can then take it up a notch by adding a crowning heart

IMG_8900

Or even some happy feet.

Magic slipper

You’ll have empty plates. Popular with parents and kids alike.

No cakes left

Tips

When adding the sugar to the flour, whisk it in so as not to knock out all the air from the sieved flour.

Measure out the oil first before the yoghurt. This way, the oil greases the measuring cup and makes it super easy for the yoghurt to come out.

Cakes can be made a day ahead. If you want to do this, ensure that cakes cool down properly then wrap with cling film and keep at room temperature till ready to use.

To make the cakes

You will need

230 g of plain white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
A pinch of salt
180g of granulated sugar
120g oil  (corn, sunflower, rice bran but not olive oil – except you want a savoury cake)
150g of Yoghurt (preferably plain)
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
3 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade ( about 350 degrees Fahrenheit)

Prepare and set up cupcake holders or baking tin on oven tray.

Set up the tray

Making the cake

Basically, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl and then stir together.

Dry ingredients: In a bowl, mix the white flour, baking powder and the pinch of salt.

Then sieve mixture to incorporate air.

Add the sugar into the flour mixture and whisk together.

Sieve flour Make a well

Wet ingredients: Put the oil, yogurt and vanilla extract into a bowl. Add the eggs and whisk together.

Measure oil Yoghurt in Oil

Then make a well in the centre of the bowl with the flour mixture. Put the yoghurt mixture in the centre and using a spatula, mix well, from the outside in. Ensure that you scoop the bottom up as well so you don’t end up with lumps of unmixed flour.

Whisk wet ingredients Add yoghurt mix inYoghurt mix in flour well Mix from the outside in

When well combined,  using a tablespoon or an icecream scoop, fill each cupcake holder till 2/3rds full. Put into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Bring out of the oven and let cool for half an hour to an hour and then get set to frost.

For my star frosting, you will need

200g of Creme Fraiche
1 tablespoon of Vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of Icing sugar
200 g of Chocolate Chips

Put Creme Fraiche in a bowl.

Melt chocolate by putting in a clean, dry bowl and microwaving on medium to high heat for 40 seconds. Stir and check.

Chocolate is not likely to be melted then, so keep microwaving in 30-40 seconds intervals till just melted.

When melted, add to Creme Fraiche mixture and stir very well with a whisk. Frosting is ready.

If frosting cup cakes, it is far easier to dip the cakes into the frosting.

If frosting a larger cake, pour frosting in centre of cake, being careful to put it on slowly so  frosting doesn’t run away… then using a spatula or a palette knife , spread it on and leave plain or top. When I used this on a cake, I frosted only the top because I didn’t want to have to wait for the frosting to thicken. If you want to frost a whole cake – sides and all, then keep in fridge for about 1/2 an hour till thicker and spreadable… (but I haven’t tried that yet.)

If you have frosting left over, put it in a bowl and keep it in the fridge if you’ll use immediately or freeze.

Frosting to keep Frosting leftover

It doesn’t freeze solid – After a couple of days it is firm but not rock solid. If using from frozen, bring out of freezer and leave to thaw out at room temperature- a couple of hours or defrost in the microwave (defrost settings) for a few minutes till spreadable.

After 2 days in the freezer Glorious chocolate frosting

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