Little Birdie Cakes

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Little Birdie Cakes
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Difficulty:
moderate
Difficulty
Preparation:
3 h. 15 min.
Preparation
ready in 4 h. 15 min.
Ready in

Ingredients

for
12
For the cupcakes
½ cup
½ cup
superfine caster sugar
2
eggs (beaten)
1 ¼ cups
1 teaspoon
½ cup
1 teaspoon
½ cup
For the meringues
2
½ cup
To decorate
1 ⅛ cups
2 ¼ cups
24
Licorice candy (buttons)
2 cups
plain Dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids, chopped)
0.333 cup
How healthy are the main ingredients?
egg

Preparation steps

1.
For the cupcakes: preheat the oven to 190°C (170° fan) 375°F gas 5. Place paper cases in a 12 hole bun tin.
2.
Beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
3.
Gradually beat in the eggs, beating until fully incorporated into the mixture.
4.
Sift in the dry ingredients and gently stir into the mixture. Stir in the milk, vanilla and chocolate chips.
5.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
6.
For the meringues: preheat the oven to 150°C (130° fan) 300°F gas 2. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
7.
Whisk the egg whites and salt with an electric whisk until beginning to form peaks.
8.
Add the sugar, a little at a time, whisking constantly, until all the sugar has been used and the mixture is stiff and glossy.
9.
Spoon rounds or ovals, slightly larger than the diameter of the cakes onto the baking tray.
10.
Put the meringues in the oven and reduce the oven temperature to its lowest setting. Leave the meringues to dry for about 2 hours, until the meringues sound crisp when tapped underneath. Turn the oven off and leave to cool in the oven for a further 1 hour.
11.
Place the meringues on top of the cakes.
12.
To decorate: knead the orange sugarpaste until pliable. Roll about 3/4 of the sugarpaste into thin strips and place on top of the meringues for the 'nests'.
13.
Roll about 2/3 of the yellow sugarpaste into 12 balls for the 'bodies' and 12 smaller balls for the heads. Attach the heads to the bodies with a little water.
14.
Shape the remaining yellow sugarpaste into 24 flat ovals for the wings and attach to the bodies with a little water.
15.
Shape the remaining orange sugarpaste into 'beaks' and attach to the 'heads' with a little water.
16.
Press in the liquorice buttons for the 'eyes'.
17.
Lightly brush the base of the chicks with water and place on top of the 'nests'.
18.
Roll the yellow sugar paste trimmings into small strips and place on top of the 'heads'.
19.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering (not boiling) water. Remove from the heat and stir gently. Set aside to cool a little.
20.
Put the chocolate into a small piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe lines around the chicks and nests.
21.
Scatter with the chocolate flakes and leave to set.