As Valentine's Day is nearly here, I thought I'd like to borrow and try out my friend R's heart-shaped cake tin. I also fancied trying a new recipe, to add to my repertoire (hopefully) so picked Caramel Cupcakes, using Dulce de Leche (mmmm). It's basically a really thick caramel that you can spread over things, add to things or, should you really wish, eat direct from the tin with a spoon! I was being restrained and decided to add it to the cupcakes (also made with two types of brown sugar, for added caramel-ness).
I followed the baking time for the cupcakes so I would know for future reference, but wasn't sure how long for the heart-shaped cake and the smaller heart-shaped cupcakes (I bought a silicone tray last year), so you can see the holes where I poked it with my test stick, to see if it was done.
Then it was on to the ganache for the icing. This was fun - break up the dark chocolate, heat the cream to nearly boiling then pour it onto the broken chocolate and wait a bit.
Then start stirring et voila! Chocolate ganache.
Then you kinda just smear it nicely on top of your cake, I think. I'm sure there's an actual technique involved, but I didn't either a) know about it or b) care that much. I just smoothed on the luscious thick creamy chocolate sauce and hoped for the best.
As you can see, only 3 of the heart-shaped cupcakes came successfully out of my greased silicone tray, gggrrrr. What a sham that tray is! I've since bought Cake Release spray and will use it next time I do a shaped tin of any sort (after my also-disaster with the bundt tin). Anyway, after the ganache and some gold edible glitter, I added the final touch - blue mini-Smarties in the shape of a number 2. Why? Because today should have been the 2nd birthday of our son, Mini-3. Unfortunately he died before he was born, and so we never got to meet our little boy. The girls know of and love their little brother, and we think of him as our own personal Guardian Angel. You do what it takes to get by, really.
P.S. The cake tasted great!