Let’s Be Pen Pals

Good morning Lovelies.

How are you going? Hooray for the weekend.

I have had quite a productive week. A few cake and cupcake orders and big news (drum roll please) Mama Bear is now baking for a local cafe (woo hoo!) These might seem like small achievements, but are really stepping stones to my dreams.

As I sat at my second market stall last week, basking in the fruition of a long held dream, I was reminded of a few of my ‘cupcaking idols’ who started out selling cupcakes at local markets. One in particular has just published a book and the little green instagram monster inside me felt a twang of jealousy over her ‘success’. As I reflected on her journey, however, I reminded myself that we all have to start somewhere and must never despise the day of small beginnings. 

Being a hopelessly ungrounded dreamer, I have literally filled many, many journals with my creative longings. I found another one the other day and blushed to myself as I flicked through page after page of detailed wishes and dreams. They all literally burst out of my heart and onto the page. I’m not sure if it’s normal, but I honestly can’t help myself.

 

 

Okay, now that confession is over, let’s talk about  these adorable cupcakes.

I was inspired to make these by my market cupcake predecessor who was known for her delicious, lolly or ice cream flavoured cupcakes. Having a love hate relationship with my sweet tooth, I knew I had to adapt her Frosty Fruit Tingle cupcake recipe. The idea of putting these timeless tingly tingles into a cupcake was too hard to resist. They have got to be one of the best childhood lollies ever.

The secret ingredient, an idea that I can thank Nerolie for, is putting a packet of orange jelly crystals into the cupcake batter.  This simple addition infuses another layer of subtle tingle, reminiscent of all of your childhood birthday parties.

After my success with musk buttercream I knew it wouldn’t be a huge stretch to make fruit tingles just as fabulous. By processing them into a super fine powder and adding it into the swiss meringue buttercream, you recreate that divine tingle.

Fruit Tingle Cupcakes


These cupcakes will make all of you lolly dreams come true. A zesty orange cupcake with that real fruity tingle buttercream topping.
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 packet orange jelly crystals
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups castor sugar
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 packet fruit tingles, crushed

Fruit Tingle swiss meringue buttercream

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups castor sugar
  • 300 grams butter
  • 3 packets fruit tingles
  • food colouring gel paste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180 celcius
  • Line two muffin trays with 16 cupcake liners
  • In a medium bowl, hand whisk together eggs, oil, sour cream, vanilla bean paste and water.
  • In a separate bowl, sift flour, bicarb soda and baking powder. Whisk until well combined.
  • Put castor sugar into bowl and rub orange zest into it until fragrant. Whisk into other dry ingredients.
  • Carefully pour wet mix into dry ingredients. Hand whisk until well combined.
  • Add jelly crystals and whisk until well combined.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner until 2/3 full.
  • Bake in a moderate oven for 18 minutes, or until firm to touch.
  • Cool on wire rack. When cold, use a spatula to spread each cupcake with a thin layer of frosting, sprinkle with crushed fruit tingles, then pipe fruit tingle frosting on top.

Fruit Tingle Swiss meringue buttercream

  • Use a Nutri bullet or food processor to crush fruit tingles into a very fine powder. The smoother the better.
  • Put egg whites and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer.
  • put bowl on top of a saucepan filled with an inch of water (or a double boiler).Place on medium heat on the stove.
  • Whisk every few minutes until mixture is thick and milky and all sugar is completely dissolved. Check by rubbing mixture between your fingers.
  • Put bowl back onto electric mixer and whisk on high until stiff meringue peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  • Turn mixer onto low and change to paddle attachment (optional).
  • Add butter 3 pieces at a time. When all butter is added mixture will deflate and possibly curdle. These are the normal stages of swiss meringue buttercream. Just keep (swimming) mixing. It will eventually come together.
  • When the buttercream is looking delicious, carefully add the processed fruit tingles, a little at a time. Mix for another 30 seconds until fully combined.
  • Colour buttercream if desired and pipe onto cupcakes.

I think one of the reasons I have so many creative dreams is to distract myself from a house full of teenage girls. I know they are nice human beings in theory, but boy! some days I wonder how I’m going to make it through another four rounds of female hormones raging in our home.

As mothers, we go through so many stages, from being worshipped by our wee babes and cute little kiddies, who literally cling to us for dear life (good for the mama ego), to becoming the object of absolute disdain, not even worthy of speaking to, as they grumble at us with irritation (how dare we ask them a question!) with their backs turned to us (not so good for the mama ego). 

The older I get, the more I realise that if my sense of self is wrapped up in my dear offspring, then that will be one heck of a rollercoaster ride that quite frankly I would rather not be on. While I appreciate all that my darling young adults are going through, and the concept of unconditional love is the unwavering foundation of my mothering, I cannot be tossed wildly, continually knocked about by their stretching wings.  

I think as a stay at home mum in particular, the temptation is to make the children the centre of our world, the sole keepers of our identity, purpose and existence. This may work while they are young and naturally fulfil our needs for love and affection, but for me, the day has come where I can see the shortfall of placing all my value and worth on such precarious recipients, who should never have been bearers of my misplaced burden. 

And so, now that my wee babes aren’t so wee, I am able to put legs onto some of those ideas that filled pages and pages of my journals. Again, sitting behind my gorgeous cupcake counter last weekend, I could not hide the peace and joy I felt at having something that was for me, something that was mine. It wasn’t for the children, it wasn’t for my husband, (and yet I am so appreciative of their help and support!) it was an idea that was birthed in my own heart, an avenue of expression for my own gifts and talents. As the day went on, I felt an indistinguishable exhale that breathed out mother and inhaled Anna. And it was such a nice feeling.

Until next week,

Love Anna xx

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