July 31, 2012

Skinny Olympic Torch Cupcakes

Celebrate the London Olympics by making these gorgeous Olympic Torch Cupcakes, inspired by Stasy.com. These cupcakes have been modified to be healthier versions of the original recipe but still as pretty. If you have been watching Masterchef lately, you may feel a little more confident than usual to tackle the sugar shards. Confident or not, give this trick a go because the impressive sugar shards make all the difference to create the 'fire' effect and all your friends will deem you uber-talented. Let your creativity run wild!

Lemon Cupcakes
  •  175g of self raising flour, sieved
  •  80g of light margarine
  •  110g of castor sugar
  •  2 eggs and 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  •  1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  •  grated rind of 1 lemon
  •  Ice cream cones (for use after cooking)
Line a muffin tin with small bun cases. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  The old fashioned paper cupcake cases work best as they are small enough to fit in a store bought sugar cone. You can also cook the cake batter directly in the cones, and this will work equally well. However, this does mean you are getting a lot of cake for one cupcake.
Place all the ingredients in an electric mixer and blend until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the bun cases. This mixture will be the right amount for 12/13 small cases.  Place the cupcakes in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until just golden and cooked through. Leave to cool in the tin for about ten minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack.

Sugar Shards
*Note you will need a candy thermometer to make this correctly.
  • 2 dessert spoons of vodka - I used gold flaked vodka for a special gold touch to the shards
  • A few drops of red food colouring
  • A few drops of orange food colouring
  • A few drops of black food colouring, less than the red and orange
  • 125ml of water
  • 150g of granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of golden syrup / corn syrup
Begin by crumpling up a large sheet of parchment paper. Then smooth out the parchment paper and place it on a large baking sheet. Drop the vodka in random spots on the parchment paper.  I applied the colouring using the back of a spoon. You could also use a silicone brush. I placed the colour in lines on the parchment paper i.e. a line of red, a line of orange. I applied the black with a toothpick as I didn’t want there to be too much black.
Heat the sugar, water and golden syrup over a medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has melted, turn the heat up and cook on a high heat. Continue to cook the sugar without stirring until it reaches 155 degrees Celsius. Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature is correct.  Carefully pour the molten sugar syrup onto the prepared parchment paper. Once it is safely on the parchment paper, you can use a toothpick to create swirls between the colours.
Leave to harden for a few hours; try placing in the freezer for an hour before cracking the hardened sugar into shards.

Lemon Butter Icing
  • 6 tablespoons of Natvia sweetener
  • 100 grams of low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 4 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 2/3 drops of yellow food colouring
Place the softened cream cheese in a large bowl and soften, by mixing with a wooden spoon, or beating with an electric mixer. Once you have softened the butter add the Natvia a little at time and beat well between each addition. As soon as you have combined the butter and the sweetener, add the lemon juice and colouring and beat well.

When the cupcakes have fully cooled, carefully take the paper case from the bun, and place the buns firmly into ice cream cones. Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a medoum sized nozzle. Pipe the icing on top of the buns.  Carefully place three sugar shards into the centre of the bun and serve.

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