Last Sunday I decided to make a return to the Ironcupcake:Leeds competition. I haven’t been for about 8 months sadly due to one thing and another but I decided I needed to get myself out there again….I have previously entered 3 times and won the last 2 times I entered, which gives me a 66.6% success rate…But could I do it again?? I have been keeping an eye on the competition over the past few months, and I have to admit, the competition is fierce!
(Cut to a Rocky training montage, but instead of drinking raw eggs and running up and down stairs think of me eating cake batter and chasing a cat out of the kitchen with a wooden spoon…)
For those who don’t know what Iron Cupcake is, it’s actually a global competition that was started over in the US (Milwaukee to be exact). It usually happens monthly and each competition has a theme and the bakers have to create a cupcake which ties in with said theme. To my knowledge there are 3 Ironcupcake cities in the UK – London (which is unfortunately taking a bit of a hiatus at the moment), Leeds and Northampton. Those who attend are either “bakers” or “eaters” the eaters also do the judging and score each cake for taste and presentation. For more info on the Leeds competition, which is held at the lovely Adelphi pub, please visit the site.
So March’s theme was Chocolate Bars – I was racking my brain to think of a cake inspired by chocolate bars. I’ve done Malteser cupcakes before and I’ve also done Dime Bar ones too and I didn’t want to just go with something I was comfortable with! Lunch hours have been spent staring at the chocolate aisle in the supermarket, looking for inspiration, when the thought of Cadbury’s Creme Egg came to me after a conversation with my friend Heather and also whilst passing the Easter eggs in said supermarket… Creme egg cupcake it was to be, but how would I do it?
|Mmmm Creme Eggs…|
I had various ideas on how to create my cake – I thought about just filling a chocolate cupcake with a creme egg filling and topping with chocolate ganache, but I just thought that visually, it would just look like a chocolate cake and I wanted it to look fun, like the eggs themselves!
So I settled on incorporating the Creme Egg fondant filling within the icing, using a chocolate cake as a base. Because the fondant is so sweet, I thought a devil’s food cake base would work well and also use a cream cheese icing to further cut back on the sweetness. I wanted to top the cake with a mini creme egg, but rather than just plonk a whole one on top of the cake, I wanted the icing to look like it was actually coming out of the egg, so I decided to “crack” the Creme egg open.
|Creamy Eggy Chocolaty Goodness!|
As part of the competition rules, bakers are asked to provide 12 cakes, with 9 of them chopped into quarters for tasting. My issue with this from previous experience in other competitions is that it’s difficult and messy to chop them up at the event. I’ve also tried chopping the cakes up prior to arriving but the sponge seems to dry out. I thought it would be a good idea to make up 3 standard sized ones and then make up 36 minis – meaning all the eaters get their own cake and presentation wise, it means the cakes still look good!
Overall I was happy with the cake, but if I’m honest I didn’t think it was a winner – I’m not sure why, maybe I’m just too hard on myself! The Eaters seemed to really like it so that’s all that matters – so much so that I came first place!Yay! Success rate is now 75% – not that I’m counting.
I had a taste of a few and I really liked Zoe’s Toffee Crisp. For more pictures of the other cakes, check out the Ironcupcake Leeds site and also Em’s blog, All the Small Things – she entered with a lovely Bounty cupcake and also was the evening’s photographer. See if you can spot the hilarious picture of me grinning like an idiot, looking like a Chinese Janet Street Porter…
|Some of the other cakes – yellow number 2 was my fave, Toffee Crisp!|
|More of the other cakes – some of the detail on some of them must have taken forever! Check out the characters on yellow 7 – Fruit and nuts!|
April’s theme is Nuts and Seeds…best get my thinking cap on!
Creme Egg Cupcakes
For the cakes, see my Devil’s Food Cake Recipe
Cream cheese frosting
500g icing sugar
125g cream cheese
125g soft unsalted butter
Creme Egg Fondant Filling
170g golden syrup
60g butter, room temperature
375g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Yellow food colouring (I use gel colouring as the liquid stuff tends to water everything down)
3 x bags of Mini Cadbury’s Creme Eggs
Preheat the oven to to Gas Mark 4 / 160C (fan) / 180C.
To make the sponges, make up the devils food cake batter and divide into cupcake tins – cook for 20-25 mins for the standards sized cakes and about 10-12 minutes for the minis. Test with a cake tester – if it come out clean, they’re ready. Leave for a couple of minutes in the tines and then take out the cakes and leave to cool on a rack.
To make the fondant filling mix the butter, syrup and vanilla in a bowl – ideally you want to do with with an electric mixer, or it will take forever! Gradually add the icing sugar, then the food colouring and carry on beating until smooth. Cover and set to one side.
|YUM! Cream egg yolk!!|
Make the cream cheese icing – again, beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract and then gradually add the icing sugar continue beating until smooth and thick. Use immediately or if not, cover and store in the fridge.
Once the cakes are cool, you can start to decorate.
To get the two-tone swirled effect, place some of the fondant down one side of a piping bag and add the cream cheese down the other side – try not to combine / mix them up too much. you want a1/3 – 2/3 ratio of fondant to cream cheese icing.
Pipe out the frosting on a plate until the two tone effect comes through and then ice the cakes. To decorate, I used 1 mini egg per standard sized cake and a 1/4 of a mini egg per mini. Allow the fondant centre from the eggs to spill over the top of the cake…
Feel free to eat in whatever way you wish!