My boyfriend has grown a full blown moustache for MOvember so to really and truly celebrate (those words are all mine) the ceremonious chop, I am making some cakes and biscuits to mark the MOmentous occasion at his work.
These are great for any MOvember events and are also a suitable addition to any suave gentleman’s birthday or, indeed, any other celebrations.
CHOCOLATE GUINNESS CUPCAKES
To make the cupcakes a bit more manly and to show some support to one of my favourite people, I have opted for Nigella’s chocolate Guinness cake recipe. http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/chocolate-guinness-cake-3086 . This is the first time I have made these cakes and I was impressed. Exactly what you expect from Nigella – quick, easy and no messing around. The recipe is for a cake but makes 22 cupcakes. The cupcakes are light and moist. They turn very dark when baked. Don’t worry – they aren’t burnt.
For the icing, Nigella uses a cream cheese icing with double cream. Although that sounds delicious, I don’t think that icing would stand up for long especially in a warm office. I have had great difficulty finding a good cream cheese icing which is the perfect consistency for piping and will hold its shape. I think part of the problem is that cream cheese here contains a lot more water that the American counterpart which makes for a really loose icing. To be on the safe side, I am using my trusted butter icing recipe which is fail safe for piping.
200g butter, at room temperature
400g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 – 2 tbsp milk
Black fondant icing
Moustache template (you can find these online – simply print and then cut out)
For the icing:
- Beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
- Next add the vanilla extract and then gradually add the icing sugar. Once added, check the consistency. If it seems too stiff then add a tablespoon of two of milk
- Spoon the icing into a piping bag using whichever nozzle you choose. I have oped for a large nozzle to give the cupcakes some height and a nice bed to place the moustaches on top. Pipe the icing onto the cooled cakes or simply use a knife to cover the cakes if you don’t want to use a piping bag.
For the moustaches:
I have used different moustaches to give some variety to the cakes.
- Dust your worktop and a rolling pin with some icing sugar and roll out the black fondant icing to approx 2 mm thick. The black fondant icing will appear white because of the icing sugar but don’t worry about this. We will deal with that later.
- Place a moustache template on top of the rolled out icing and cut around the template through the icing using a sharp knife. Removing the icing moustache and the template is a delicate process so take care when doing this.
- Once cut, to get rid of the white icing sugar and to regain the shine of the black fondant icing, take a little water and lightly dab on the moustache with your finger. Leave to dry. If you try to put the moustaches on the cupcakes now, they will either lose their shape or break. Once dry, place a moustache on top of the icing on each cupcake.
- I have also made two “MO” cupcakes!
DOUBLE MILK CHOCOLATE MOUSTACHE BISCUITS
Originally I had only planned to make the cupcakes but while studying one of my new cookbooks, “A Vintage Tea Party,” I came across these double milk chocolate moustache biscuits. How very timely! These were instantly a must not only because they are perfect for the occasion but also because biscuits are so easy to make in bulk so great for a crowd.
The recipe is so straight forward but does invite you to buy moustache cookie cutters from the internet. If you don’t want to buy cookie cutters then you can easily print out or draw larger versions of the templates used for the cupcakes and trace round the template as above.
The useful thing about the cookie cutters is that they have stamps on the face of the cutter which allows you to press on the outline of waves of hair onto the biscuits. If you don’t have cookie cutters, you can use a knife and made a few light scores along each half of the moustache before baking to mimic the waves of the hair. This also gives the biscuits some texture.
The recipe tells you to roll the dough to 5mm. Having made the first batch, I was a little disappointed as the biscuits were very thin and far to crunchy. For the second batch I made them thicker. The biscuits still seem very crunchy and the addition of chocolate chips has meant that the biscuits don’t have the clean finish I was hoping for. A little disappointing in all honesty. Nevertheless, I am sure they will be eaten and boys don’t notice these things. They might not raise much money though!
To finish, I have dusted the biscuits with a little cocoa powder.
That’s my contribution to MOvember. Until next year…