July 15, 2013
If there’s one thing that I’ve realised, it’s just how hard it is to make men enthusiastic about cupcakes. I can spend hours baking and decorating the most beautiful cakes, only for the men in my life to chomp them down in one bite. If they taste good that’s all that matters, and no amount of carefully crafted icing is ever going to change that… or is it?
It all started ahead of the birthday of one of my favourite men in the whole world. While I know that he loves anything I make, I don’t expect a grown-ass man to get excited about pretty, sparkly cakes. I needed to think of something that would really impress him and then it hit me – these cakes didn’t need to be “pretty” to be awesome.
I started thinking about the movies that he likes, and I soon came up with four different cupcake ideas: Django Unchained, Snatch, Scarface and Pulp Fiction. Some ideas would be loosely based on the movies, whereas others would be taken straight out of the film.
This got me thinking about other ways I could make my men excited about my cupcakes, and while I toyed with the idea of flavouring them with different kinds of alcohol, my main goal was to make them visually impressive and then it hit me… bacon.
Below is a step by step guide to decorating each “manly” cupcake. All you’ll need are your ready baked cupcakes, a few basic ingredients and a couple of things you’ll be able to get from any well-stocked supermarket.
Django Unchained Cupcakes/ Mini White Cakes
It’s hard not to love the hit Quentin Tarantino movie Django Unchained, and the fact that they eat cake in the movie made it an obvious choice for cupcakes. So what makes my mini white cakes specifically Django white cakes? The blood-splatter, of course. Use a sharp knife to take the top off your cupcake, creating a flat top, and then slice it in half horizontally – it’s probably best to only have one layer of butter cream in the middle because these cakes are small as it is and trying to slice them three times will make them too delicate. To keep your frosting nice and white, whip up a basic butter cream recipe and mix in some melted white chocolate. Spread the butter cream between the layers and sandwich back together, then cover the entire cupcake in butter cream. To complete the Django look, splatter the cake with a little red food colouring so it looks like a post-shoot-out, bloody mess.
Snatch Themed Cupcakes
These beautiful creations require the most imagination. My Snatch themed cupcakes are loosely inspired by the hit crime comedy, which opens with a diamond heist and features the beautiful stones all the way through the movie.
You can make these cupcakes any flavour you want (I opted for caramel flavoured cake with a caramel butter cream, salted-caramel drizzle and caramel chunks to decorate), the key to making them Snatch-y involves edible diamonds and a little amateur arts and crafts. Decorate your cakes with a few edible diamonds (which you’ll find in most supermarkets) and to make it crystal clear they’re Snatch themed, you can print out your own cupcake case covers with the movie logo on. You’ll find a net that will do the job perfectly here, just add on the design of your choice, print a few copies, cut them out, stick them and pop your cupcakes inside.
Scarface Themed Cupcakes
The key to my Scarface cupcakes is this: cocaine. It’s all about the cocaine. Ok, so not actual cocaine, but believe me you haven’t lived until you’ve strolled around Sainsbury’s trying to find foods that resemble the class A drug. Again, the flavour of the cupcakes is entirely up to you. I opted for chocolate cupcakes with chocolate butter cream, and I decorated one third of the top of the cake with white chocolate chips to create a black/white look that is not too dissimilar to the cover art for the movie. For my lines of cocaine I bought some ready-made meringue nests and chopped and crushed one into a fine powder, channelling the skills of Tony Montana himself. Sprinkle the white powder on top of your cakes in three or four neat little lines, print out a few more cupcake case covers with the Tony Montana logo on the front and there you have it. Cocaine-covered Scarface cupcakes.
Pulp Fiction “Big Kahuna” Burger Cupcakes
Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast, or more specifically, Big Kahuna Burgers. These Pulp Fiction inspired cupcakes were my favourites to make. Simply whip up a batch of vanilla cupcakes and when they’re done, slice them in half horizontally. Using a little butter cream as glue, place a double chocolate cookie on top of the bottom piece of cake – that will be your meat. For the lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, pick up some ready to roll coloured icing (Dr Oetker do a pack of five colours, available in most supermarkets) and take your time to roll and shape the the different colours into the shapes you need. Layer them on top, pop the lid on and for the finishing touch, simply dip your finger in a little water and dab a little on the top of your cupcakes, before sprinkling on a few sesame seeds. Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger.
Maple Syrup Cupcakes with bacon sprinkles
And finally, they’re not movie themed but they’re so “manly” it hurts, because what could possibly make cupcakes more masculine that whacking a little meat on top. Adding bacon to cupcakes is a move that is met by many with pure disgust, but it’s not really that different to having pancakes with bacon and maple syrup so stop looking at me like I’m Dr. Frankenstein. I mixed up a batch of vanilla cupcakes, then I whipped up some vanilla butter cream, adding a dash of red food colouring to make it a pretty pink colour (probably not the manliest colour in the world, but bacon is pink too). Mix in a little maple syrup (as much or as little as you like depending on your preference) before smearing it all over your cakes. To make the bacon sprinkles, the easiest way is to buy a packet of pre-cooked crispy bacon and snip it up into sprinkles using (clean!) scissors. Sprinkle them on top and prepare to blow your men away.
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