Introduction: Poison Apple Ale Cupcakes & Gum Paste Ghosts and Jack-O-Lanterns
Steps 1 is my recipe for Poison apple ale cupcakes and 2 through 7 are all about gumpaste, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns
These gum paste decorations are great for decorating cupcakes or making a haunted pumpkin patch on a full sized cake.
The recipe used is one from Nicholas Lodge's craftsy class "The Ultimate Sugar Rose"
Step 1: Poison Apple Ale Cupcakes
These cupcakes are amazing, and one of the most moist cakes I have ever made. The beer, fresh shredded apples along with the cinnamon and maple syrup frosting just taste like fall and to make it Halloweeny I decided to make it all bright poison apple green.
green food coloring (optional)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 c. sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. shredded apples
1/4 c. milk
1 c. Redd's Apple Ale
green food coloring (optional)
1 cup Butter, room temp
7 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
6-8 Tbsp Milk
4 Tbsp Maple syrup
2 tsp Cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
- In the bowl of your stand mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time and scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition to make sure that they are well incorporated.
- sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, slowly add to the egg mixture
- Now add the vanilla extract, milk, and very slowly, pour in the beer while the mixer is still blending.
- Once you shred the apples, place the apple shreds inside a clean kitchen towel and wring out the juice
- Fold the shredded apples into the cupcake batter.
- Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners and use an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter into each cupcake liner.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.
- Allow to cool before icing.
- Place butter in a large bowl
- beat on low for a minute
- add sugar one cup at a time, beating after each addition
- add cinnamon, maple syrup, and 6 Tbsp milk
- beat on medium high for a minute
- if frosting is too thick add more milk if frosting is too thin add more powdered sugar or a table spoon of cornstarch until desired consistency is reached.
This is an adaptation of a recipe I found here
Step 2: for Gumpaste Gather Your Ingredients
Whenever I bake or work in the kitchen I always like to get my "Mise en place" together first. In case you don't know what that means it is a fancy french phrase which basically means to get everything you need together before you begin, instead of having to stop what I'm doing to run to my pantry and find and ingredient.
125 grams Egg whites
725 grams Powdered sugar
30 grams Tylose Powder
Note on the measurements:
The recipe I use calls for the above exact measurements that rely on weight rather than volume. while I was measuring them out I took note on the volume as well and have included those measurements, but could vary because we aren't going to have the exact same eggs in our house or the same brand of powdered sugar so these are estimated measures.you may have to play around to find the right balance.
about 5 large eggs
4 3/4 cup Powdered sugar
3 Tbsp & 2 tsp Tylose powder
Note on Tylose Powder:
Carboxymethycellulose (CMC), a non-toxic, harmless chemical; when mixed into rolled fondant, marzipan or royal icing, forms a strong modelling paste which dries hard. Tylose Powder can be used to make edible glue by mixing it with a bit of water.
I bought my Tylose from HERE
Step 3: Begin Mixing Gumpaste
- Place your egg whites in your stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment. Beat on high for about 10 seconds to break up the egg whites
- Turn your mixer to its lowest setting and slowly add in powdered sugar until it reaches the consistency of royal icing
- Turn the speed up to 3 or 4 for about 2 minutes or until it reaches the "Soft Peak" stage. At this point it should be shiny like a meringue and the peaks should fall over
- If you are coloring the entire batch now would be when you add your coloring. You will want to make sure you dye it a shade darker than what you want it to end up being as the color fades slightly as it drys.
- Turn your mixer to its lowest speed and slowly sprinkle in the tylose powder
- Turn the mixer to high for a couple seconds as this will thicken the gum paste
Step 4: Turning That Sticky Mess to Gum Paste
The next step in making gum paste is to get it from the sticky blob in your mixer to a non-sticky blob of workable medium.
- Dust your work surface with powdered sugar
- Scrape out the mixture from the bowl on to your work surface
- Place some Crisco/shortening on your hands
- Knead the paste adding powdered sugar to form a soft but not sticky dough
You will be able to tell when you're finished when you can pinch the dough and your fingers come away clean
After you have finished the above steps it is recommended to let your gum paste mature for 24 hours in your refrigerator, but if you're in a rush you could use it right away.
When you're maturing/storing your gum paste its best to double bag it to prevent any air getting into the gum paste.
Step 5: Making Ghosts
When a mommy ghost and a daddy ghost love each other very much they perform a séance together and summon a baby ghost to rise from beyond, this step is kinda like that, but not really.
What You'll Need:
- White gum paste
- Rolling pin
- Styrofoam block
- Circle cutter
- Polystyrene Rose Cones
- Foam Flower Pad
- Balling tool
- Get a portion of your gumpaste and put the rest up in a sealed bag
- Prep your gumpaste by kneading it with shortening on your hands and a little bit of cornstarch sprinkled on your work surface. Work it until its lost its stiffness and is a workable dough, if its sticky add a little more cornstarch
- Sprinkle a little bit more cornstarch on top of your gumpaste to ensure it doesn't stick to your rolling pin and start rolling it until it its a medium thin sheet. I find this works better with thinner gumpaste, but you don't want it so thin its transparent
- Find the right circumference circle cutter for you, the smaller your circle the shorter the ghost, and cut out as many circle as you can from what you rolled out
- at this point I usually ball up the leftover scraps and put it into the bag with the rest of the paste
- (Optional) To add an ethereal quality I take the cut circle place it on the foam flower pad and lightly drag the smaller end of my balling tool around the edge to add frills, which in the end will give the ghost an appearance of floating above your cake
- Take one of the polystyrene rose cones turn it upside down on a toothpick
- Place your gumpaste circle on top of the inverted cone and using your thumb and forefinger gently pull the gumpaste down forming the ghost
- After the ghost has reached your desired look place the toothpick into your Styrofoam block to dry
- You can either let your ghost completely dry on the cone or wait until it firmed up enough to hold its own shape. I usually leave my ghosts on the cone for about 10 minutes and then gently remove them and place them on a flat surface to dry completely
Step 6: Making Pumpkins
To make Pumpkins I use orange and brown gumpaste. Since I made my orange gumpaste earlier I didn't have to worry about that, but I at the time didn't have brown. So I had to turn a bit of white into brown and normally its an easy task of just adding a little brown food coloring and kneading it in, but I also had no brown food coloring so I became creative and found that if you add 7 different colors together you can achieve the brown desired. Hand tinting you gumpaste this way is an easy task if you just need a small amount of one color, or you could use this method to tint your entire batch as long as you don't mind tinting your hands as well, but any way here is how I made my pumpkins.
What You'll Need:
- Orange Gumpaste
- Brown Gumpaste
- Veining Tool
- Serrated Cone Tool
- Edible Glue
- Fine Tipped Paintbrush
- Take a small portion of your orange gumpaste and form it into a ball rolling it between your hands
- Pinch the sides gently to make your ball into an oblong shape
- Use the serrated cone to make an indentation into the center of the top of your gumpaste
- Using the lines left by the serrated cone as guides use your veining tool to form the ridges in the pumpkin going all the way down the sides
- Take a tiny bit of brown gumpaste and form it into a log shape
- It will help to keep the stem attached if one of the ends is tapered to be thin enough to fit into the indentation left by the cone tool
- Using your paintbrush put a little glue inside the indentation on top and insert the stem into the pumpkin
- (Optional) Insert a toothpick into the bottom of the pumpkin
Step 7: Turning Your Pumpkins to Jack-O-Lanterns and Giving Some Spirit to Your Ghosts
Pumpkins are nice and can be used for the entire fall season, and people will be able to recognize those white shapes as ghosts, But since this is Halloween we want to turn the pumpkins to Jack-o-Lanterns and give each ghost it own unique charisma.
What You'll Need:
- Food coloring
- Fine Tipped Paintbrush
- Pour yourself a shot (a small shot will do, don't want to waste vodka)
- Add food coloring to vodka to achieve desired shade, you can test it out on some left over gumpaste.
- Use your imagination and your handy dandy paintbrush to create scary jack-o-lanterns and haunting ghosts
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