How to decorate cupcakes
Expert baker Peggy Porschen explains how to make the most of dipped cupcakes. This recipe makes 20–24. This recipe makes 20–24.
Small microwaveable bowls
Small palette knife
1. Warm the jam and brush a thin layer over each cupcake to seal it.
2. Put the fondant in a large microwaveable bowl and gently heat in the microwave at medium for 1 minute. Stir in the glucose and heat again for 20 seconds at a time, until warm and runny. (Or heat in a pan over very low heat, stirring. Do not allow the fondant to boil, or it will lose its shine.) If necessary, add a little sugar syrup to make it more liquid - you are looking for a thick pouring consistency.
3. If you would like to mix the fondant with different colours, divide it between some bowls and add a few drops of colour at a time until you get the desired shades.
4. Dip all the cupcakes of one colour first into the fondant, shake off excess and let set before moving on to the next colour. By the time you have dipped the last cakes, the icing of the first will have set and you can begin with the second coat of icing, as before. Dipping each cake twice will ensure a beautifully smooth and shiny surface.
5. Leftover fondant can be stored in a bowl wrapped with clingfilm. Before using again, pour hot water over the top to soften the hardened top and let soak for 15 minutes, pour off the water and heat as usual.
Tips: Start by mixing lighter fondant shades first and then add more fondant and colour as required. An economic trick is to mix different coloured icings to achieve a new colour. Say, to make yellow, blue and green icing, start with yellow in one bowl and blue in another. Then mix these together to make green icing.
Taken from Peggy's Favourite Cakes & Cookies, published by Quadrille, Photos © Georgia Glynn Smith