I made these cupcakes for my sorority sister, who served them at a bridal shower for her biological sister. The cupcakes for the attendees were really simple, with just swirls of frosting topped with teal dots the same color as the groom-cake's boutonniere.
The (human) bride's favorite kind of cake is caramel cake, so after experimenting all week with recipes, I found a delicious combination of vanilla and caramel for the cakes and paired it with a caramel meringue buttercream. The cakes were basically white cake, but some of the liquid was replaced with homemade caramel syrup (recipe follows):
1. Combine 1/4 cup water with 1/4 cup sugar.
2. Stir constantly till it is boiling.
3. Continue stirring until light amber in color. Remove from heat and immediately add 1/4 cup water.
4. Stir until the mixture becomes a liquid again.
The resulting flavor of the cakes wasn't overwhelmingly caramel-y, but the syrup did add an interesting dimension. The frosting was another story. Meringue buttercream is labor intensive, involving heating egg whites and sugar over a double-boiler, whipping them for 10 minutes, and then adding butter in tiny increments so as not to deflate the meringue. To make caramel meringue buttercream, you must first make caramel sauce:
1. Repeat steps 1-3 above, substituting 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water for previous increments.
2. At the end, add 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream instead of 1/4 cup water and continue as instructed.
Once the buttercream is made, you can slowly add the caramel sauce. This can be tricky because the sauce must be slightly warm to mix and pour easily, but too warm and it will melt the buttercream and ruin the texture. Like I said, it's labor intensive, but the taste is so worth it.
The bride-cake (made for the bride) was caramel, her groom-cake (do I need to say it?) was devil's food with dark chocolate frosting, and they were decorated with fondant, pearl shimmer, and these pretty pearl sprinkles I found. To make the tuxedo, I made a jacket, shirt with pearly buttons, lapels, bow-tie, and boutonnière. Then, I covered all of the above with white pearl dust.
I felt more like a stylist than a baker when I was making them. I think groom-cake looked fabulous in his glitter tuxedo.