Paul’s brain slug cupcakes

30 Oct

anything between 12 and 20 months ago i made a deal with my friend at work, Paul. he had been fortunate enough to pick up not just one but two (!) freebie Orla Kiely wottles. i however had made my way to said freebie give-a-way location to find none left 😦

so when Paul offered me the chance to bid for his wottle, recalling he had not long previous to this event sent me a link to these cupcakes, i knew i could make him an offer he could not refuse: i would make him brain slug cupcakes… lo and behold a deal was done!

numerous months and reminders from Paul later i had managed to never-quite-find a convenient time to create these sci-fi themed treats, until Paul sent round an email – subject: i’m leaving – and suddenly time was running out!

As a woman of my word, the rest is documented below…

Cupcakes – makes 8

preheat oven to 170c (fan)
weigh 2 eggs (mine were 120g) then weigh out that amount for soft butter, caster sugar and self-raising flour
1-2 tbspn milk
0.5 tspn baking powder
2 tspn vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar, with an electric whisk or in a mixer until pale, fluffy and smooth, beat in the eggs. beat in a dash of milk to thin the mix and add the vanilla, sift in 1/3 the flour and baking powder, gently fold it in, add a dash more milk if you need to, and gently sift in the rest of the flour and gently fold.

spoon even amounts of the mix into 8 cupcake cases in a muffin tin. bake for 18-20mins until mid golden brown, and springy to the touch. cool on a wire rack. Once cool cut a hole in the top, about 1.5cm across and deep, fill with the cooled creme pat. take the end off the bit of sponge you cut out and put the top back on the cupcake.

Brain goo filling
2 egg yolks worth of creme patissiere (alter the quantities found here along with the method) seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod once cool add a few drops of green food colouring

80g soft butter, 160g icing sugar, 160g cream cheese (med fat is ok but light can split), 3 tspn berry jam

beat the butter, icing sugar and jam together. drape a tea towel over the mixer/whisk to stop icing sugar blowing everywhere. then gently stir in the cream cheese – you need to combine but not thin it too much. put it into a freezer/piping bag and in the fridge.

once ready squeeze the icing to the corner of the freezer bag. snip the corner, to create a hole just a few mm across. i think i made my snip a little big. alternatively use a piping bag and small round tip. applying firm, constant pressure to keep the icing moving out the bag, move it over the surface of the cupcake to create a swirly back and forth line. do one ‘hemisphere’ of the ‘brain’, then the other!

Brain slugs
8 blobs of green fondant icing
8 smartie sized bits of white fondant icing
1 square of dark chocolate, melted and let to set a bit
alternative colour fondant for antenae (16 little balls)
thin wire eg floristry, green garden, trimmed freezer ties, jewellery (16 2cm lengths)

flatten the green icing, and then shape into a slug (see pics) over the end of a wooden spoon. flatten the white blob to form an eye and gently stick to the slug body, use a bit of writing icing to stick it.

i had a genius idea for the pupils (my black writing icing was too runny) – so i put a single square of dark choc in the corner of a  freezer bag, then popped in the microwave on med for 2 mins. i then snipped off the tiniest corner or the bag ad hey presto  – i was ready to pipe little eyes.

assemble the antennae and poke into the slugs’ heads, angling in a quirky manner :). let them dry out a bit, then place on on the cupcake. you can position them to hide dodgy bits on the icing 😉

done! eat!


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