(Family Features) These, though, are happy showers filled with good wishes, gifts and a celebration of events to come, like weddings or babies.
Such special occasions deserve special food, says Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs and public relations at Wilton. She suggests cupcakes for dessert, but not just any cupcake. These are unique - shower-ready, decorated theme-appropriately with umbrellas.
They can be prepared from a mix or from scratch and baked and served in color-coordinated silicone baking cups. Siler suggests incorporating a grouping of cupcakes as part of the shower décor. Use them as the table centerpiece, arranged on a tray, or a tiered cupcake stand. Or if it's a sit-down meal, place a cupcake at each setting.
Construct the umbrella decorations from ready-to-use fondant that is tinted in the colors selected for the occasion. Step-by-step instructions ensure foolproof results, plus they can be made several days in advance, so on party day there's no last-minute mad rush. Cupcakes can be baked, iced and sprinkled a day in advance. Place the umbrellas on the mini cakes the day of the party.
Umbrellas in place, let the showers begin!
For additional shower and party ideas, baking and decorating tips or to order supplies, visit www.wilton.com.
Ready for Showers
Each serves 1
- 1 package (24 ounces) White Ready-To-Use Rolled Fondant
Rose, Royal Blue, Lemon Yellow Icing Color
Round Fondant Cut-Outs
- 1 package (about 18 ounces) cake mix, any flavor
Water, vegetable oil and eggs to prepare cake mix
- 1 can (16 ounces) White Decorator Icing
Heart Drops Sprinkles
- Several days in advance, tint fondant rose, blue and yellow; roll out 1/8-inch thick. Cut circles using largest Round Cut-Out; cut across circle, slightly more than halfway. Using smallest Round Cut-Out, cut scalloped edge; with spatula, score umbrella rib lines. Let dry on waxed paper covered cake boards. Reserve remaining tinted fondant. Attach dried fondant pieces to lollipop sticks with Fondant Adhesive. Roll a 1/4-inch ball of matching fondant; attach to umbrella top with adhesive. Let dry.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake mix following package instructions; place batter in Pastel Silicone Baking Cups supported by cookie sheet. Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; cool completely. Ice cupcakes smooth with icing; sprinkle with Heart Drops. Insert fondant umbrella. If desired, tie ribbon around stick.
* To make Fondant Adhesive for attaching dried fondant decorations to lollipop sticks, knead 1/4 teaspoon water into 1 ounce (1-1/2-inch ball) rolled fondant until it becomes soft and sticky. Apply to fondant decoration with brush or place in decorating bag and pipe it onto decoration.
Source: Wilton Products
(Family Features) Olive oil is a flavorful and versatile cooking oil that is often trusted in popular cooking methods such as sauteing, stir-frying, dressing, marinating and grilling. It can also earn your trust when it comes to baking.
With seven olive oil varieties to fit almost any need, each Filippo Berio olive oil has its own distinct color, aroma and flavor characteristics. Among those seven, the Extra Light Olive Oil offers a delicate aroma and subtle flavor that can complement your favorite baked goods. Its high smoke point helps keep those goodies moist, and with strong flavors like chocolate, it also lets the sweetness come through.
Additionally, it provides high levels of mono-unsaturated fat (“good” fat) and low levels of saturated fat (“bad” fat), making it a more nutritional choice when compared to butter or margarine. Because you need less olive oil than butter in baking, you’ll save calories as well.
One easy way to incorporate olive oil in your baked goods is during the prep work: where recipes call for buttering or flouring pans, instead brush the pan with olive oil and dust with flour for the same effect as butter.
Avoid Olive Oil Enemies
Maintain olive oil’s flavor and quality by avoiding exposure to heat, light and air. Be sure to store olive oil in a cool, dark place and not over or near the oven.
Explore more tips and recipes using olive oil at filippoberio.com.
Dark Chocolate Souffle
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes
- 1/2 tablespoon Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil, plus additional for coating pan
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for coating pan
- 4 ounces 70 percent cocoa dark chocolate
- 1 ounce 30 percent heavy cream
- 3 egg whites
- 2 egg yolks
- pinch of cream of tartar
- Heat oven to 375° F. Grease two 6-ounce ramekins with olive oil and dust with sugar.
- In double boiler, melt chocolate, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and cream; let cool. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Whisk egg yolks into cooled chocolate mixture; fold in egg whites, 1/4 cup sugar and cream of tartar. Pour into prepared ramekins; bake 15 minutes.
Tips: This recipe can be easily doubled. Garnish with fresh berries, if desired.
Double-Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Salted Chocolate Caramel Icing
Recipe courtesy of Chef Sharon Sanders
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
- 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil, divided, plus additional for coating pan
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup, plus 1/3 cup, mini dark chocolate chips, divided
- 1 cup canned dulce de leche
- flaky sea salt (optional)
- Position rack in center of oven and heat to 350° F. Lightly coat 9-inch round cake pan with olive oil and line bottom with parchment paper. Lightly coat parchment with olive oil.
- In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in half-and-half, 1/2 cup olive oil and vanilla. With electric mixer, beat in egg until well blended. Scrape batter into prepared cake pan and sprinkle top with 1/4 cup mini chips.
- Bake cake 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Place cake on cooling rack 10 minutes then turn cake out onto rack and let cool completely.
- In medium saucepan, heat dulce de leche over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add remaining olive oil and chocolate chips and stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Remove pan from heat.
- Transfer cake to serving plate. Pour icing over cooled cake, sprinkle with flaky salt, if desired, and serve.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil, plus 1 tablespoon for coating pans
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate morsels
- On sheet of waxed paper, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
- Using electric mixer, beat olive oil with sugar until smooth and light. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add milk and vinegar; beat until smooth. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in chocolate morsels with large spoon; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.
- Heat oven to 325° F. Grease two large baking sheets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil each. On lightly floured surface, divide dough into quarters. Roll each piece of dough into log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place logs on baking sheets, leaving space in between. Bake about 30 minutes, or until golden and set. Transfer to rack; let cool 10 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 300° F. On cutting board using serrated knife, cut each log into 3/4-inch-wide slices diagonally. Place slices, cut-side down, on baking sheets. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until toasted. Transfer to racks; let cool.
Source: Filippo Berio
(Family Features) Transform an ordinary cupcake into something extraordinary with a peek-a-boo filling. These simple cupcakes are an easy addition to any spring celebration. You’ll want to serve every variety of these turned up treats for Easter and beyond.
The best part about this party trick? It’s easy. You’ll be digging this one out of your recipe repertoire for every spring soiree.
Hop to Easter
Who said Easter baskets are just for the kids? Treat your holiday guests to take-home cupcakes served in individual cupcake boxes. They’ll be delighted to find a surprise inside these icing-filled cupcakes.
The Garden Party
Spring into the season and host an outdoor party on the patio or in the garden. Your guests will enjoy the fresh air and the sweetly decorated desserts.
Add Fresh Flavor
Shake things up with a refreshing new twist. Try filling your cupcakes with refreshing lemon meringue, raspberry mousse or peanut butter and jelly cupcake fillings.
No matter how you slice it, fill it or serve it, these cupcakes are a party pleaser that’s guaranteed to impress. Find tasty filling recipes, fresh ideas and easy decorating projects at www.wilton.com.
Carrot Garden Easter Cupcakes
Servings: 1 dozen cupcakes
- Favorite chocolate cake mix or recipe
- Creamy Decorator Icing
- Chocolate Decorator Icing
- Leaf Green Icing Color
- Orange Icing Color
- Crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Color Wheel baking cups in standard muffin pan.
- Prepare cake mix following package instructions. Bake in prepared muffin pan 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on cooling grid.
- To decorate, tint small amount of creamy decorator icing green; tint remaining orange. Use spatula and chocolate icing to ice tops of cupcakes smooth. Sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.
- Use knife to cut out center of cupcakes almost to bottom of cupcake. Use tip 2A and orange icing to fill in center of cupcake and pipe about 1/4 inch above cupcake; pat smooth. Use tip 352 and green icing to pipe pull-out leaf carrot tops.