A new MovieMunchies-Post: Yesterday, the film Paddington was theatrically released in Austria. Everyone who, just like me, grew up with this sweet little bear from darkest Peru, knows about his love for marmelade. So to honor my bedtime story hero, I created a Double Chocolate Cupcake (chocolate batter and frosting) with Sevilla Orange Marmalade Center that doesn’t only look like Paddington, but would surely be to his utmost liking. Beary delicious! 🙂
PS: This piping technique works for any kind of bear and if you are not as big of a fan of orange marmelade as Paddington Bear is, you can simply substitute it with apricot jam. 😉
Let’s start baking!
For the batter (makes 12 cupcakes) you will need:
- 140g caster sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
- 60g butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 110g buttermilk
- 1/4 tsp white wine vinegar
- 100g flour
- 10g cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 50g good quality, dark chocolate
Once you have all the ingredients and equipment ready, turn your oven to 340°Fahrenheit/170°Celsius air circulation (370°Fahrenheit/190°Celsius bottom and top heat) and position 12 muffin liners in your baking tray.
First, you will need 4 bowls. In the first bowl, the largest one, combine sugar, zests, softened butter and salt and mix thoroughly with an elextric whisk = butter mixture. In the second bowl, beat the egg, buttermilk and white wine vinegar with an egg whisk until combined = egg mixture. Into the third bowl add all your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, backing powder, baking soda) and gently blend them together using a spatula. In the fourth and last bowl, which should be microwave safe, put your chocolate. Melt your chocolate in the microwave (600Watt, 60sec., stir – wait – stir).
Now we can put it all together! Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and beat on high with your electric whisk. Slowly add the chocolate (now biggie if the chocolate is still hot) stiring constantly. Lastly, gently fold in the dry ingredients.
Fill your muffin liners 4/5 full (so pretty full). Use a spoon (which usually has me in a complete mess – very Paddington like 😀 ) or a piping bag (my method of choice)!
Bake your cupcakes for roughly 20 minutes. An inserted toothpick should come out clean – a few crumbs are ok.
For the syrup (optional!) you will need:
- 30ml water
- 30g sugar (any kind will do)
As always, combine water and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. As soon as all the sugar granules have dissolved and the syrup has thickened a little, take the pot off the heat and set it aside. Generoulsy spread the syrup onto your still warm cupcakes. Easy -peasy!
For the decoration you will need:
- 50g heavy cream
- 125g white chocolate
- 100g cream cheese
- 100g butter
- 320g powedered sugar, sifted
- 50g chocolate (dark or milk)
- brown food coloring
- 120g red fondant
Filling and Glaze
- ca. 6 tbsp marmelade (sevilla orange) (or any other kind of good quality marmelade/jam, eg apricot)
- 24 Mini-Marshmallows
You should start by making the ganache (an icing made from heavy cream and chocolate). Put your heavy cream into a pot and bring it to a boil. Take the pot off the stove and add your chocolate. Make sure all the chocolate pieces are covered with the hot cream. Wait a few minutes, then stir the ganache with an egg whisk until completely smooth and leave it in a cool room with a closed lid. We cannot proceed with our frosting at this point until the ganache has completely cooled.
In the meantime, we can make Paddington’s hats from fondant (the hats could be prepared ahead of time). I decided on 2 versions of the hat – one from the traditional books and one from the new movie.
I am using pre-colored fondant here because I feel that it is very difficult to dye fondant in bright colors yourself. Plus, no stained hands and it saves time too. 😉
Knead the fondant until it becomes soft and pliable. In case your fondant is very dry, rub some vegetable shortening (eg Frevissa, Crisco) in your hands. Should the fondant be really sticky, use powdered sugar. My pre-dyed fondant from Wonder Cakes had the perfect texture and since my hands are rather on the coolish side, I didn’t need any fat or sugar while working with it. Top! 😀 Roll out your fondant to 1-2mm thickness using a silicone rolling pin. Put your template on top and cut along the outline with a sharp knife. Should your fondant stretch too easily as you cut, you can leave it for a few minutes to air-dry just a bit. Do not leave it out for too long! Trust me!
I cut out the traditional Paddington’s hat in two pieces – the u-shaped brim and a little top piece. Use edible glue to attach the top piece under the brim so it sticks out from underneath. Take small strips of a paper towel and twist them around to form little strings to support your fondant hats and give them a natural curve. I used two pieces to curve the brim and a little piece to support the top piece while the glue dried.
The modern hat is a bit easier. You can cut it out in one piece and simply fold up the bottom part a bit to create the brim. Support the brim with a little piece of paper towel.
Allow your hats to air-dry, so they will not deform once you attach them.
Now that the cupcakes are completely cooled, we can get these ready. Heat the marmelade of your choice in a pot or in the microwave until it liquefied. Take a ball cutter (or a small spoon) and cut out a small hole from the middle of each cupcake (try to keep yourself from snacking on these – we will need them soon, try to remember which cut-out piece goes with which cupcake). Put 3/4 tsp of liquid marmelade into the hole and put the cut-out piece back on top. Now spread some of the marmelade on top of of each cupcake using a silicone brush (just as we do it with the syrup).
We use the miniature marshmallows to form the muzzle of our bears, so they will stand out visually. Each cupcake needs 2 marshmallows. Take a marshmallow, flatten it between your fingers and place it in the middle of the bottom third of your cupcake (the marmelade will keep it in place). Now take a second marshmallow, also flatten it and dip it in the marmelade before attaching it to the first marshmallow. Voila! Repeat these steps with all 12 of your cupcakes.
The ganache should have cooled to room temperature by now, so we can proceed with the frosting.
Combine the softened butter and 1/3 of your sifted powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl and mix it with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and another 1/3 of your powdered sugar. Stir thoroughly! Before you add the ganache and the last 1/3 of your powdered sugar, stir your ganache for a few seconds. Now add everything together and mix until smooth!
It’s time for some color! Use brown food coloring to die your frosting in the desired 3 shades of brown (upps, wrong movie!). For the muzzle of the movie-Paddington, which is almost white, I simply took a small amount of plain icing and put it aside in a bowl. Then I added a little bit of brown food coloring (use a clean toothpick to add color to your icing, use only little amounts at a time) to get a beige color for the traditional Paddington’s muzzle from the books. Again I simply took a small amount of that icing and put it aside in another bowl. I colored the rest of the frosting in a light brown color adding small amounts of additional food coloring at a time.
It’s time to get piping! Take a grass tip (I will call it fur tip from now on ;-)) to pipe frosting-fur onto your cupcakes. Fill your piping bag with the lightest color first and pipe grass=fur onto the marshmallow muzzles of 6 of your cupcakes. Hold the tip to the base of the muzzle, press lightly, then release and quickly pull up and away. This technique is really simple and even newbies can easily master it! Work from the bottom of the muzzle in a circle up to the top covering every inch of the marshmallows with frosting. You can stick to the pictures of your bears and add additional furspots wherever needed or you can get creative and decide yourself where the fur should be of light or dark color, longer (press and pull a bit while pressing, then release and pull away quickly) or shorter (short press and quick pull-away).
As soon as the muzzles of 6 of your cupcakes are done, you can push the rest of the light frosting out of your piping bag and fill it with the beige color instead (- this saves piping bags and you don’t need 3 grass tips). Porceed just as with the light color and pipe fur onto the muzzle of your remaining 6 cupcakes from the surface of the cupcake in a circle up to the top of the marshmallow muzzles.
Again push out the rest of the frosting and fill the piping bag with the brown color. Cover all the furless parts of your 12 cupcakes with brown fur-frosting.
Once your cupcakes are all furry, you can place the hats on top. Take the right hat (u-shaped hat=beige muzzle, one-piece-hat=white muzzle) and position it in the top third of your cupcake. Make sure it holds well, but doesn’t cover up too much of your pretty cupcakes. Press lightly to ensure that the hat sticks. Remove any excess frosting that might show underneath your hats. Slowly your cupcakes are starting to look like little Paddingtons.The last thing missing are the faces and there is only one last ingredient left – the chocolate. Melt the chocolate in the microwave (600Watt, 60Sek., Stir, Wait, Stir – you know the drill :-)). Fill the liquid chocolate into a piping bag and snip only the tiniest tip of the bag. Then draw cute eyes, noses and mouths onto your cupcakes. Now your Paddington Bear cupcakes are finally done, and aren’t they lovely?
For all those of you, who are in a hurry and do not have the time for baking (which in my eyes is a sin, but oh well…. :-D) and making fondant decorations, I would recommend:
Have a baketastic baking day,
UPDATE-REVIEW: Today (29.12.2014) we went to see “Paddington”. It was a spontaneous decision, therefore we didn’t have any MovieMunchies – a really bad idea because I really craved some jam sandwiches halfway through the movie. Anyhow, I have to tell you that the movie is lovely! ❤
The film is heartbreakingly cute, brilliantly animated, extremely funny in some scenes and definitely a movie for the whole family. So… in case you have some time to spare to go to the movies with the little ones in the near future or you happen to need a nice gift in a couple of months, rely on Paddington because he won’t let you down.
The small bear with his emergency-marmelade-sandwich will surely win your heart as it did mine and besides, you will learn that having a family and a home shouldn’t be taken for granted and that acts of sympathy and selflessness can make a huge difference in the life of someone else.
A very BEARy adventure for young and old!
4 of 5 marmelade glasses 😉