Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Making a Monkey Face!

(Fresh Banana Buttercream Recipe at Bottom of Post)

My cousin's little guy Brady  just turned 1 last weekend.  His party theme was sock monkey!   I made him a personalized pint size cake just for him to enjoy, and a couple dozen cupcakes for everyone else. Keeping with the theme I made bananas and monkey faces to go on top of the cupcakes, they were quick and really cute.

I started out with some brown tinted fondant.  
With a small round cutter I cut the monkey faces.
The fondant was about 1/4" thick. 

Using small  fondant balls I formed two ears on each side of the face.

To 'stick' the ears in place use a little water as glue.  Make sure your surface is dusted with cornstarch to keep your monkeys from sticking to the board.

A little piece of white fondant made the mouth.  Next add a few  indentations for the ears, eyes, eye brows and nose, then using a fine tipped brush, paint the indents with black or brown food gel or coloring.
A little hat and it's set for cupcakes. Chill in the fridge first before transferring to a cupcake.

Fresh Banana Buttercream
(tweaked recipe from "The Cake Bible" Rose Levy Brenbaum)

1 Ripe Banana
3 large Egg Yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs Sugar
1/4 cup Corn Syrup
1 1/2 cups Butter, softened

Have a greased 1 cup heatproof glass measure near the range.
Place the egg yolks and banana in a mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer until smooth about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile combine the sugar and corn syrup in a small sauce pan and heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a rolling boil. (The entire surface will be covered with large bubbles) Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking.
If using an electric hand-held mixer, beat the syrup into the yolk and banana in a steady stream.  Don't allow syrup to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of the bowl.  If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of syrup over the yolks with the mixer turned off.  Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds.  Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup.  Beat at high speed for 5 seconds.  Continue with the remaining syrup.  For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remover the syrup clinging to the glass measure.  Continue beating until completely cool.
Gradually beat in the butter.  Place in an airtight bowl.  Bring to room temperature before using.  Rebeat to restore texture.

** This is one of the best buttercream recipes I've found.. For this recipe I tweaked the original by adding fresh banana. Buttercreams can be intimidating at first but this recipe takes a lot of the guess work out and has good results everytime.

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