Spring has well and truly sprung in Perth and I sure didn’t need a calendar to work that out! Mother Nature sent me a personal memo by setting the many rose bushes at our new rental home into full bloom. Opening a nearby window invites the most amazing fragrance into our lounge.
An abundance of roses gave me some inspiration for spring baking. I recently received a Bakers Secret Giant Cupcake Pan courtesy of Kitchenware Superstore and had some fun trying different recipes to work with this endearing cake pan (who can resist a big a$# cupcake?). I have to admit that I initially wondered if the pan and concept was a bit of a fad but with some Googling and mucking around, I discovered that you can do a lot of fun, out-of-the-box things with it. Like make a Giant Cupcake Trifle!
I firstly made a regular cake using the accompanying recipe (similar to this at The Pink Whisk) and I do encourage anyone looking at buying this pan to have a test run first. It’s not really that hard though and as long as you fill both top and bottom sides correctly, you should end up with two simultaneously well baked cakes. If in doubt, I was advised to simply bake the two sides separately. If the cake has risen above the cake pan, it’s just a simple matter of sawing off what you don’t need. Off-cuts are great for snacking on or re-purposing (see later below).
I found that you can generally use any cake recipe for one side of the pan, and just double the ingredients to have enough cake batter for both pans. I was also concerned that the cakes would be hard to remove from the pan but I need not have worried. The Bakers Secret pan has a very good non-stick coating and I used a good amount of cooking spray as well.
So is the giant cupcake pan just good for making a truckload of cake? I did wonder but then I saw a blog post featuring a chocolate shell made with the bottom part of the giant cupcake pan and realised there’s so much more you can do with it. Sarah made a lovely shell and filled it with chocolate cake also made with the pan, but I had other ideas…
For my spring creation, I made a white chocolate mud cake (this recipe was perfect for the top side, though I halved the amount of sugar with no ill effect) and finished it with vanilla buttercream icing. I usually like to make my own icing, particularly with Wilton’s recipe but on this occasion I used Wilton’s icing mix which is seriously addictive. I don’t even want to know what’s in it but it’s perfect for emergencies and the time-poor.
On the bottom, I made a chocolate shell using Cadbury’s white chocolate for cooking and tinted pink with an oil based colour. Please do not use a water-based colour with chocolate as it’ll seize. A fair bit of time and effort is needed to make such a big shell but it’s worth it. The shell can be made well in advance and stored in the fridge and if you make a mistake, you can either remelt the chocolate and start again, or patch things up with extra melted chocolate.
Sarah mentioned that the shell would pop out of the pan easily and I’m ashamed to have doubted her. The chocolate didn’t seem firm enough (not being tempered) but with a sharp tap, the shell came out. Once freed, I filled the chocolate shell with a basic trifle mix of custard, whipped cream, passion fruit jelly, fruit and off-cuts of the cake soaked in fruit syrup.
I’m not terribly great with the ole piping bag so I let Mother Nature come to the rescue. My roses have not had any pesticide or fertiliser applied to them so I simply gave some buds and flowers a good rinse and shake before decorating my cake with them. Simple but rather pretty, no? It’s an impressive dessert that will feed at least eight adults.
I really had fun making the chocolate shell so don’t be surprised if I roll out another big cupcake creation soon :)