For the opening night of ‘The Witches’, I thought I would make a pick-me-up and calm-me-down batch of cupcakes for the cast, crew and company. Obviously, to commemorate such an occasion, I wanted to attempt to make a few cakes that relate to the show and that Roald would be proud of. I also experimented with a few new flavours too!
I baked these the morning of opening night and used my basic vanilla sponge recipe for the base. Once measured out into cupcake papers in my baking tin, I placed a miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in the centre of half of them, making sure it was completely covered by the mixture.
Once baked and cooled, I cored the plain cakes. At first I attempted to use a specifically designed cupcake corer, but it seemed to just wreck the cakes, so I then tried a small circular cutter, which had the same effect, so ended up using a knife. By using a sharp knife, I did gain more control, but it wasn’t nearly as neat! Once finished I filled them with a thick, salted caramel sauce.
To decorated my now completely filled batch of cupcakes I split the two fillings into two designs. The chocolate/peanut butter fillings would have a circle of fondant icing on top and the salted caramel filled cakes would have a vanilla butter cream top.
The decorating was what I antagonised over the most. I wanted to add a hint of magic to the cakes, making them fun to eat, whilst still making them relate to the show. That is why I opted for little chocolate mice, sticking their heads out of the icing and a little shard of chocolate atop the fondant. For those that are not familiar with Roald Dahl’s tale, the evil witches inject a magic formula into chocolate which turns anyone who eats it into a mouse!
In our production, the potion bottles were all blue, hence the blue sprinkles on top of the icing the mice are peeking out from, as if potion has been poured on them. There was a thin layer of salted caramel sauce between the cake and icing, and I then used a star nozzle to pipe the buttercream into a swirl. With a sharp knife I chopped the heads off of a pot of chocolate mice and placed it snuggly into the buttercream once I was satisfied with the icing.
The piece of chocolate atop the others I dusted with some edible shimmer, the glitter in it coarser than the silver shimmer powder I used to highlight the printed words surrounding it. I wanted these pieces of chocolate to look a little less ordinary and laced with magic. To achieve the lettering I used a set of small plastic letters designed to print each figure individually, almost like a stamp. Each cupcake topper is hand printed.
To adhere the fondant and chocolate, there was only one thing that could be used. Of course, it was Nutella!