We're very much looking forward to tomorrow as we've been invited to our new future in-laws for lunch. Apparently it's an Italian custom for the bride's parents to have the parents of the groom over for a meal to celebrate the engagement. We've already met Vittoria's parents a couple of times but this will be the first time we've sampled Carmela's cooking, which Nick tells us is wonderful. I thought I could contribute to the day by taking some special cupcakes - what else?
I wanted the cupcakes to look a bit "dressier" than my usual roughly iced ones, so I used shop-bought soft icing which I rolled out and imprinted with a lace pattern. The downside to using this product is that it doesn't taste as nice as homemade glace icing. So I needed a recipe for a cake that would taste good on its own in case the icing turned out to be inedible. I used this one which I've made succesfully a few times in the past. It's based on Sweet Violet Cakes from The Australian Women's Weekly cupcakes :
All ingredients should be at room temperature.
90g cream cheese
2tspns finely grated lemon rind
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup SR flour
1/2 cup plain flour
Preheat oven to 180C. Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs singly, beating well after each addition. Fold in sifted dry ingredients. Dollop evenly into paper-lined muffin tins and bake 22-25 mins or till skewer comes out clean. Cool 5 mins in tins before removing to cool on a rack. Makes 12.
I got the idea for the icing from a picture in the same book of some pretty lacy wedding cupcakes. To make the patterned icing the recipe says to use a filigree textured plate. So this week I went to 3 cake-baking equipment shops, but none of them had heard of such a thing. So I cut the lace border off an old doily and pressed that into the icing to make a pattern.
Yesterday the postman brought my new Wilton Cake Caddy, so the cupcakes should travel safely.