Saturday, December 10, 2011

White Rose Cupcakes

 Using some white chocolate candy melts and light corn syrup, I made these beautiful white rose cupcakes for my last KD meeting ever!
 They take some time, but turn out so beautifully. Who knew it was so easy to make a rose!

 I started off making some chocolate cupcakes.
 With my mini cupcake maker.
 Note: The strange cupcake liners are explained in THIS post, where I talk about how you can make your own homemade cupcake liners using the normal size liners.
 Except a few were under baked and sunk in the middle.
 I guess those are mine to eat!! :)
Now, for the decorations. Can you believe that all you need is candy melts (in whatever color you'd like your rose to be) and corn syrup.
 Put your chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and begin microwaving at 20-30 second intervals. Remember, you can't take it out to stir too often. Once you burn chocolate, there's no going back, so make sure you use short intervals and keep checking it!
 And soon you'll get a nice, glossy, beautiful white chocolate, and man, does it smell delicious! BUT! Before you eat it, (there will be a step that you can eat some later, don't worry) add in the corn syrup. Many recipes say different things but I use 1/3 c. corn syrup to an entire bag of Wilton candy melts.
Honestly, here I just guessed a bit since I didn't know how much chocolate I had melted. Once you add in the corn syrup begin to stir the mixture and very quickly it will seize and become hard, almost to the texture of clay.
 Spoon the mixture out onto a plate.
 And pat it into a nice ball with your hands. Some people like to blot off the excess oil that hasn't incorporated fully, but since mine was so crumbly, I'm glad that I didn't.
 Now here is where I suggest breaking the rules. You're supposed to refrigerate the candy clay (or modeling chocolate as it's sometimes called, although I don't think it's really the consistency of modeling chocolate like professional bakers use) however, it gets ROCK hard. I almost broke this poor plastic knife trying to cut off a chunk to knead and it took me quite a bit of time to saw through. When I made my second batch I just left it out to sit and it still gets very hard but is a bit more manageable.
 Almost magically, as you begin to warm up the candy clay in your hands and begin to try kneading it, it will become very soft and pliable and will have the consistency of play dough. And now is where you get to try it. It seems crazy, and you'd think it wouldn't taste that great, but I could honestly eat the entire batch in about 30 seconds. This stuff is insanely delicious and super addicting.
 Now, if you watch tutorials on making these candy roses, they say to form small balls and then push down on them with your finger, thinning out one end and making perfect rose petals. If this works for you, do it! However, for me, they were terrible and crumbled everywhere and stuck to the plate and even if I had a nice petal, it would break when I tried to bend it at all.
So I tried to make flowers by rolling out little "snakes" like when you were little, playing with play dough, and rolling them into a flower-like shape. And honestly, while they semi-resembled a flower, they just weren't what I wanted. (If you're in a hurry however, these were much simpler to use and if you piped on some green leaves beside them you might be okay to use them)
 So back to the roses. I wasn't going to give up. I added more corn syrup and spent all this time incorporating it and thinking that it might be my problem, but honestly, it didn't help at all. The petals crumbled in my hands. So I decided to just do things my own way. Plan B! I made these centers for my roses just to give myself something for work the petals around. It's okay if these sit out and get hard because you won't have to move them around much, just make sure they don't stick to the plate.
 So instead of making balls, I decided to pull of small pieces of the clay and form them into flat disks in my hands by pinching it between my thumb and forefinger, making it into the shape I wanted for a petal. The tutorials that I watched said to keep the edges very thin to be more realistic, and for mine, I had to keep them VERY thick, otherwise they cracked very easily.
 And just roll the petals around the base of the rose that you made previously. Build up in odd numbered layers, overlapping each new petal with the previous one.
 This was the first rose I did, and you can see how it really cracks everywhere. As you add layers, keep pinching off the excess at the bottom to create a tapered look and so that it sits on top of your cupcake nicely.
 At times they'll look awful and you'll think that you should scrap it.
 But here is that same rose with another layer added to it. I tried to fluff out my petals and it made things much worse. This was the first rose I did and it was pretty cracked. I didn't end up using it. The next roses I did turned out much, much better.

 The smaller sizes also looked much better. I tried making different sizes to see what I liked best, and the second and third were my favorites as far as size. To build up a rose just keep adding as many layers as you'd like in odd numbers until you've reached the size you want.
 The last one is almost too small, and the layers tend to stick together that way. See how it's not as full and looks almost like the swirled ones? That is why more layers helps, you can move them off the center a bit more to flare out the rose petals.
 I also made these KD letters out of the candy clay.
 And I frosted some of the cupcakes green (our colors are green and white) and added the roses on top. You have to push down a bit to get the roses to stay and if you flatten out the bottom of the roses first it will help (this is why we took off the excess and kept it tapered and flat).
 And then I added on the letters. See how much better the roses look once they're actually on a cupcake?
  Even the weird spiraled roses (on the right) look much better than before.
 But after making a few roses I decided I was done. They were frustrating and after trying to many different kinds, I was ready to quit for the day. Now that I know what works best (and so do you) they were much easier and faster and looked better, so don't worry! They're worth it! But now to cheat. I saw these beautiful piped rose cupcakes made with a 1 M tip and I wanted to replicate it.
Now, I don't have a 1 M tip :( so I tried using different star tips to see if they would work. And basically you just want to start off really small in the center of the rose, and swirl the frosting around, applying more pressure as you work towards the edges to build the rose up a bit. The center overlaps really nicely and makes a recognizable rose.
Sorry this is a bit hard to see, but there are the white chocolate roses and the piped white rose cupcake.
My first few tries weren't that great, but from a distance you can definitely see what they are.
 And they're so much faster. Just a little piped swirl and you're finished. And overall, I liked the nice contrast of the colors and the different types of roses.
 But after this I was running super late, so I decided just to put them all on a plate to take them to the meeting.
And while they dont' look that impressive individually, as a whole, from a distance, they really do look fantastic and people will be amazed and wondering how you made them. The trick is just to keep it your own little secret and let them think you're amazing and spent hours slaving away making them. ;) Hope you liked them!

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