Recipes, Techniques

Magical Toadstools

A toadstool is a poisonous fungus with a round top and narrow stem. Other words such as mould, wet rot and toxic also come to mind when referring to this inedible mushroom. The “toadstool” was named around the XIVth century in German folk tales and fairy stories after “toads” which were extremely colourful (much like the toadstool) yet considered highly poisonous themselves, often seen sitting on toadstools waiting to catch a fly with their long tongues. Yet, toadstools often play an important and magical role in children’s stories: They are represented in fairy tales, where many a cheeky gnome has fallen asleep under the large red cap of a mushroom, seeking shelter from the rain or on beautifully illustrated Christmas cards for end of year seasonal greetings…

Magical toadstools
Vanilla and chocolate chip magical toadstool cupcakes

Despite the toxicity of this deadly mushroom we tend to assign mystical and magical attributes to it, and today, I too will be using the toadstool as a reference in this post.

Autumn is also the time of year when connaisseurs put on their wellingtons and go off into the dark, dank woods, a bucket in hand to pick edible mushrooms… there’s something mystical and magical in that too!

black and white sketch of a frog
Black and white sketch of a toad

Here below you will find my recipe for vanilla and chocolate chip toadstool cupcakes, I hope you enjoy baking these beautiful delights. For an even more magical experience, don’t hesitate to tell a thrilling story about fairies and toadstools to your guests as you serve these cupcakes: delight and rapture guaranteed!

watercolour magical toadstool
water colour toadstool

Recipe

Cost: ++
Difficulty: +

Ingredients

  • 100g Flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 30g chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoonfuls of baking powder
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • a few drops of natural vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs

For the Icing

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 150g icing sugar
  • a few drops of red food colouring
  • a few drops or red berry syrup (for taste)

Preheat the oven to 200°C (Approximately 400°F or thermostat 6-7) then lower the heat to 180°C (Approx. 350°F or thermostat 5-6) as you put in your cupcakes. Grease your cupcake moulds. In a large bowl add the sugar, vanilla essence and butter (softened) and beat until the mixture is white and creamy. Then add the eggs, one after the other. In another bowl, sieve together the flour, chocolate chips, baking powder and pinch of salt. Add the dry mixture to the butter and sugar. Stir until smooth.

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Fill each cupcake mould about 3/4 full and then bake for 10-12 minutes maximum. When they are done, leave them to cool for about 15 minutes before icing them.

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For the icing

Mix together the mascarpone and the icing sugar. Add a few drops of red berry sirup for taste and the red food colouring (Add more or less food colouring depending on how red you want your icing to be). Chose different sized nozzles for the piping, large ones, smaller ones so as to create different sized mushrooms.

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Add little white sugar balls on each cupcake, just like the white patches you see on the tops of red toadstools. Don’t forget to present your cupcakes on a wooden plater, surrounded by berries, mushrooms and leaves for an incredible autumnal effect!

 

I also tried my hand at sugar paste mushrooms (which you can also use as edible decor to surround your cupcakes).

Sugar paste toadstools
Sugar paste toadstools

Technique

Ingredients and utensils

 

Form a small ball with the white sugar paste and stretch it slightly so as to give it the shape of the base of a mushroom. Stick the bottom into the cocoa powder (this will give it the earthy look). Make a round cap out the of red sugar paste with the aid of the sugar paste utensils and stick small round circles on it (to create the white spots of the toadstool). Stick both parts together with the icing sugar glue (add pressure for a few seconds so it will stick nicely). Finish by adding some gold dust for an ultimate magical effect, and don’t forget presentation is everything!

magical toadstools
Sugar paste toadstool decorations

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I have writing it… I hope to see you here again soon, to try my exotic passion fruit cupcakes!

Cécile.

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References:

“A toadstool is a poisonous fungus with a round top (…)” .
(www.etymonline.com)

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