Thursday, August 03, 2006

Blue is the colour

Paula over at Momma Pajama has talked me into taking part in Happythings' Year of Color as exercise for the new camera. I looked for sky blue today. There was the sky (blue for sure), the swing (blue, but too bright) and the sprinkles on our cupcakes. Eureka!

The cupcakes got my very first 'cloud frosting' treatment today. Its basically a meringue mixture but you make it with hot sugar syrup instead of granulated sugar. Nice, but I don't think my egg whites were as stiff to begin with as they should have been because the frosting came out a bit too runny. Either that or I did not have the sugar syrup boiling for long enough to reach the correct temp. I must buy a sugar thermometer one of these days. Any advice from cloud frosting experts welcome - especially you Megan because we have the same cupcake cookbook I think.

Still, the consumer panel (Mark, Johnny and Hubby) weren't complaining, even if the sugar rush did leave at least one of them very bouncy.


caroline said...

Those cakes look gorgeous - I love the delicate blue sprinkling on top.

How are you enjoying the new camera? Sounds like you have a fun project lined up to test it out.

Megan said...

Oh cripes, I don't know. I think it would have been the egg whites - you have to have a really clean bowl or they won't whip up nice, 'cause they're temperamental.

Looks delicious though.

Amy said...

Oh yes - We'll give your new camera a color workout for sure. I'm really glad you are taking part!

Don't ask me anything about eggs. I am usless.

Anne Margaret said...

Love the new camera!

Icing advice - make sure the egg whites are stiff and it is essential that the syrup is the right temperature. Get thee to a candy thermometer! And another tip you seldom see: sugar syrup-based lovlies (meringues, candy like divinity, this icing) will have difficulty setting up properly if it is very humid. Even in an air-conditioned house. Go figure!

Momma Pajama said...

Don't ask me, I'm bad with meringue! Oh, sure, Ali, I really needed to TWIST YOUR ARM to get you to join!:)

Candlestring said...

It could be the egg whites, but I thought I'd share: You don't *need* a candy thermometer, though they are nice to have. You can tell when your syrup is hot enough by dropping small spoonfulls into ice-cold water. Do you know this old trick? It's detailed by photo in my Betty Crocker Cookbook. My mom taught me this when I used to watch her make divinity - she would sometimes give me the test bits. I remember having my teeth stuck together several times if it wasn't at the hard crack stage yet- maybe she gave it to me to keep me quiet?! Anyway, I'm guessing cloud frosting is the same as White Mountain frosting, which calls for the "soft ball" stage, which means it forms a ball in the water but when you take it out and squeeze it, it flattens easily. Or try a recipe for Seven Minute frosting; you put the egg whites and sugar together and mix it while it's cooking.