Sparkling Cupcakes

Sparkling Cupcakes
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Poured Fondant
  1. See recipes for Fondant and Poured Fondant
  2. Dark Pink Food Color
  3. Violet Food Color
Batter
  1. ¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  2. ¾ cup hot water
  3. ½ cup cold water
  4. 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  5. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  10. 1 cup granulated sugar
  11. 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  12. 4 large eggs
Topping
  1. Red or pink and purple Sanding Sugars
  2. Red and purple Edible glitters
Batter
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the cocoa powder and hot water. Stir until smooth, and then blend in the cold water. Add vanilla; stir until thoroughly blended and smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the granulated sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 5 minutes to add all of the sugar, then add the brown sugar, taking an additional 3 to 4 minutes, beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugars, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the cocoa mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and cocoa mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended.
  6. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. Fill ⅔ full, using about ¼ cup of batter per cup. Tip: Avoid over-filling the liners which may cause the batter to run-over the sides when baking. It is better to bake any remaining batter separately after the first pan of cupcakes has finished baking.
  7. Bake: Bake, rotating pan halfway through, 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cakes are just firm and spring back when gently pressed, and a toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly in cupcake pan, and turn out of pan when cool enough to handle. Repeat process with any remaining batter. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire cooling rack before frosting.
Poured Fondant
  1. Dip cooled cupcakes into prepared poured fondant. The easiest way to cover cupcakes is to dip them in the fondant. Hold the cupcake upside down and dip the top of the cupcake into the bowl of fondant up to the paper liner. Lift the cupcake up and continue to hold upside down for 3 to 5 seconds to allow some of the excess fondant to drip off, swipe a spatula about one inch under the cake to cut the drip off, then turn the cupcake upright and allow the drip to settle on top of the cake.
  2. Gently re-stir the fondant in the bowl before each cupcake is dipped as the fondant quickly forms a crust as it sits.
Topping
  1. As soon as each cupcake has been dipped in the poured fondant, sprinkle with a little sanding sugar and edible glitters. The fondant icing sets quickly so complete each cupcake before doing the next.
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