Chocolate Almond Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
For the past four years, I worked as a teacher in the 4 and 5 year old classroom at a preschool attached to Bryn Mawr College. While it was a campus job, only one thing I was doing in addition to my schoolwork, I developed a wonderful relationship with the lead teacher in the classroom. The more I worked, the more she let me bring my own ideas into the classroom.
A lot of these ideas were cooking projects (Eric Carle Caterpillar Cupcakes, Eyeball Cupcakes, Valentine's Day Heart Cookies, Dirt and Worms and even pizza and bread). It was so lovely to see the kids get so invested in these projects--they not only get sensory integration (mixing, pouring, etc.) but also math (measuring), colors (i.e. how do you make purple if you only have red, yellow and blue?) and for those that can, reading (what do we need for this recipe?). One of the moms told me that while she was shopping for an end of year teacher present, her 5-year-old boy told her it should be something with which I could decorate cupcakes.....and they found the coolest cupcake decorating tool from William Sonoma--perfect gift idea, kiddo! Thanks so much!!!
I have been so excited about this new cupcake decorating tool--as I'm definitely an amateur, I've been looking up tutorials on food blogs (I love this one). Today, I decided to test it out.
I used my basic chocolate cake, knowing that it would work out just fine. However, we were out of canola oil, so I used olive oil instead. Afraid the olive oil flavor would be too prominent, I added 1/4 tsp almond extract. It was delicious. I made my raspberry buttercream to go on top---thickening it with extra powdered sugar. (The jam makes it pink--no food coloring added this time!). I piped with a large star from the inside out-- et voilà, a rose!