June 21, 2010
As the refrains of Happy Birthday concluded and the knife touched the cake, a small voice interrupted the all-important wish.
Wish for a duck, suggested Bargy.
So sincere apologies to Bargy's auntie, who may shortly find herself in the possession of a waterfowl instead of a tropical holiday, sports car or lotto win.
I made these cupcakes to accompany a magnificent birthday cake from Arnold's Swiss Cakes. The kids got the cupcakes; the adults the Sacher Torte. The children are still none the wiser about the injustice.
40th birthday cupcakes
250g (½lb) butter, melted
1 cup caster sugar
4 eggs (I used an egg replacer, which works very successfully)
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons milk
Preheat the oven to 160ºC (325ºF)
Place the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine
Add the butter and process until combined
With the motor running, add the milk
Spoon into 12 large paper patty cases and bake for about 20 minutes
75g (3oz) cocoa, sifted
300g (⅔lb) icing sugar, sifted
1 teapsoon vanilla
125g (4½oz) unsalted butter
125g (4½oz) white shortening*
Beat the butter and shortening until fluffy
Beat in the cocoa, sugar and essence until well combined
Ice cakes (I piped the icing) and decorate
* In Australia, you could try Solite which is a commercial product available from cake decorating stores. Crisco, a shortening produced in the USA, would also work very well.