Wedding Cookies & Candy Bar

Hi there,

Last Saturday two friends of mine, Núria & Javi, got married in Barcelona. It was a beautiful celebration, with plenty of details and love everywhere.

Few months ago, they suggested me if I would like to be responsible for the sweet side of their wedding.  I was really happy to hear that and I gladly accepted their proposal. So last week, I went to Barcelona and I worked very hard in that order. Fortunately, it was worthy : )

First of all, I made lots of wedding cookies, one per person (around 120 units, some of them gluten-free). Once the cookies were decorated (sugar wedding rings, initials…), I wrapped them in individual cellophane bags and I added a label on top, which contained a nice message to each guest.

Wedding Cookies

Wedding Cookie

Wedding Cookie    Wedding Cookie 

 The message on the label was written both in Spanish and Catalan. Its translation is as follows: “A single piece has no meaning by itself. But if we put them together, we get a big puzzle. Thanks for being part of ours!”. 

Wedding Cookies

The final design was slightly different between cookies (fondant impression, details arrangement…).

I stored them in a large box to keep them tidily and carry them carefully. In the following picture, they were still unlabeled (sorry for the poor quality of this photo, it was taken with my old mobile).

Wedding cookies box

Lots of wedding cookies!!

Apart from the cookies, I made the cupcakes for the candy bar, which was set up during the night. I made 118 mini cupcakes and 60 standard ones, which were filled with strawberry jam, Nutella or “dulce de leche” (yummy!!!).  Some of them were gluten-free (you can check the recipe here). The decoration was simple but effective: colorful plain swirls made with vanilla buttercream and some sprinkles on top.

The candy bar was placed in a room with little light during the night, so the pictures look a bit dark. The cupcakes were placed gradually on the stands, as the previous ones were disappearing, haha. Here are some pictures!

Candy Bar

Candy Bar

Candy Bar

Candy Bar

Candy Bar

Gluten-free cupcakes

Candy Bar

Candy Bar

A funny picture with my friend Estela

I made them a couple of days in advance, but they were still really fluffy and flavourful that day. Yay!

Finally, I’d like to give best wishes to my just married friends! You both deserve the best in this new phase ; )

And… Really happy for being part of your puzzle!!

Sara

Gluten-Free Cupcake Recipe. Infallible!

Hi there!

Today I bring to you all a yummy gluten-free cupcake recipe. This is not the first one I’ve tried. My previous attempts ended up in dry and crumbly cupcakes, not chewy at all. After a little research, I found out one of the most important elements to be successful when baking gluten-free desserts: xanthan gum.

But… what on Earth is xanthan gum?

It’s a food additive used to prevent gluten-free products from drying and crumbling. According to my experience, it really works! If you are interested in knowing more about xanthan gum, I’ll explain more about it after the recipe.

Gluten-free cupcakes

Gluten-free cupcakes

Ingredients to make the sponge (yield 8-10 cupcakes)

All them must be at room temperature:

♦  125 grs unsalted softened butter

♦  125 grs caster sugar

♦  125 grs rice flour (naturally gluten-free)

♦  2 eggs (size M)

♦  1 tsp baking powder (I use the brand Dr Oetker, which is gluten-free)

♦  2 tsp vanilla extract

♦  2 tbsp milk

♦  1/2 tsp xanthan gum

 

As you can see, this recipe keeps the Victoria sponge proportions between butter-sugar-flour.

Gluten-free cupcakes

Process

1) Pre-heat your oven at 170º C / 340º F.

2) Sift the rice flour with the baking powder and the xanthan gum in the same bowl. Set aside.

3) Mix the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy.

4) Add the eggs  slightly beaten (one at a time) and mix at slow speed until well incorporated.

5) Add the vanilla extract.

6) Add half the amount of the rice flour (already sifted with the baking powder and the xanthan gum) and mix at slow speed for some seconds.

7) Add the milk and mix for a little time.

8) Finally, add the remaining flour and mix slightly until get an even batter.

9) Line a muffin tin and spoon the batter in your cases.

10) Bake them for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

11) Leave them to cool on a cooling rack for at least a couple of hours before decorating.

Decoration

Once cooled, I decorated them with buttercream: luckily, it’s absolutely gluten-free :) If you want to colour it, I recommend using Sugarflair colourings, which are also gluten-free. And keep an eye on your sprinkles! Lots of them are made from wheat flour! The yellow dots I used contained rice flour instead : )

Sugarpaste is usually gluten-free, so feel free to add the details or figurines you wish.

Gluten-free cupcakes

Why to use xanthan gum?

Gluten is a protein that gives structural stability and chewiness to our cakes, breads… It’s found in products containing wheat (such as flour, cereals…). There are people who develop allergic reactions to gluten, so they have to avoid products containing this protein.

When we use gluten-free flour, the final product will be  fragile, crumbly and dry due to a lack of structure. To compensate the lack of gluten (hence, of structure), we can use xanthan gum instead, which will help our gluten-free deserts to keep their shape, elasticity and chewiness by binding, thickening and emulsifying the ingredients. It really improves the final product texture, definitely. I really notice the difference.

Xanthan gum

I found this product in Sainsbury’s gluten-free section.

When making gluten-free cupcakes I add 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum per 125 grs of flour. Take into account that the ratios change depending on the product you’re baking (cookies, bread…). For example, I add 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum per 100 grs of flour when making sugar cut-out cookies (twice least). It’s important you to stick to the right proportions by using measuring spoons.

It’s essential you to check the label of all the ingredients in order to avoid any trace of wheat or gluten. Sometimes there are products that don’t contain gluten by themselves, but they’re made in factories where wheat is handled, so there could be a risk of cross contamination.

Gluten-free cupcakes

These cupcakes were absolutely delicious, I’d say as tasty as the standard ones!

If you’ve found it useful or have any doubt, leave me a comment ;)

See you soon,

Sara