Chocolate Butterflies

It was my mothers birthday this week and as it fell on a weekday we gathered on the weekend to wish her a happy birthday. I made some gluten-free cupcakes - twice. The first batch I baked on Saturday night turned out like rubber, the tops burnt black and the bottom was overcooked rubber eggs. It was the second time I'd tried this recipe and the first time the cakes were fantastic, I don't know what happened this time round. So Sunday morning found me awake at 8 and running down to the shop to get more eggs to try again. I made the chocolate butterflies and the buttercream during the week so that was all ready to go. The butterflies took a bit of work as my piping skills aren't the best, but I think they worked out ok. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me so only got some shots of the finished product with my iphone.

I coloured the buttercream purple - or at least it was supposed to be purple. I'd bought some Squires Kitchen 'bluebell' liquid colour as I wanted a good deep colour but when I opened the bottle it exploded all over my hands - it's still sitting on my sink where it is leaking slowly down the drain. Because of the food colouring disaster I ended up mixing some blue and red 'Dr. Oetker' colouring I had in the cupboard, which mixed to a sort of pale lilac colour
instead. For the butterflies I created a 'butterfly wing' template and traced it onto wax paper, then piped the melted chocolate around the pattern. As a note to anyone who wants to try this, it's best to wait for the chocolate to cool a little as if it is too hot it will just drip from the piping bag like water. But they do say the best way to learn is to try, try and try again.

I put the cakes together when I got to my mums, rather than decorating them at home and hoping they wouldn't get banged around on Dublin Bus. Despite being a first attempt and with questionable piping skills the cakes went down a bomb. My niece and nephew spied them the minute they came in the door,. although when they did finally get their hands on them they licked off the icing and left the cake. Kids eh, I could've served them up the rubber cakes and they'd not have known the difference!