One of the ladies at work is having her birthday tomorrow and we’ll both be working on the weekend, so I decided it would be nice to whip up some vanilla birthday-themed muffins tonight to serve at morning tea. This was a first, as I’ve never made a cake for a colleague before, and also never made icing that was any good before (let alone figure out how to use a piping bag without destroying it!!).
I used the same ingredients and method from the blueberry muffin recipe I made last week, but omitted the blueberries, and added about 2-3 times the amount of vanilla essence. I also added a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup to the mix. I topped them with two icings – one made from butter, icing sugar, vanilla essence, lemon juice and a few drops of chocolate essence, and the other from butter, icing sugar, vanilla essence, lemon juice, and the tiniest drop of almond essence.
I iced half the muffins with the chocolate, half with the almond, sprinkled them with some 100s & 1000s, and then piped details on them with the opposing colour icing. The result? A beautifully fluffy, creamily vanilla, and scrumptiously buttery muffin. I’ve arranged them all in a container, with a little extra icing piped on the centre muffin and a ‘Happy Birthday’ flag added for decoration. Lined up like this it looks a bit like a birthday cake in itself, but all portioned up neatly ahead of time!
To make the flag, cut a small piece of paper and fold it in half. Write the greeting on the front. Open up and brush the inside lightly with PVA glue. Line up a toothpick in the crease, and close the paper over it. Press to seal. This dries quickly & can be used pretty much immediately.