Welcome back to my blog! I hope you enjoyed my previous recipe post for ‘King of New York’ Cheesecake, inspired by Newsies the Musical. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, click here to make it yourself and hear my cover of ‘Watch what happens’ from the show.
In this post, continuing my ESB Muiscal Bake series – combining my twin passions of musical theatre and baking – I want to share with you a recipe inspired by another of my favourite musicals – Wicked.
A global musical phenomenon, Wicked is based on the Gregory Maguire novel, Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, adapted as a musical by genius of the genre, Stephen Schwartz. A prequel to the Wizard of Oz, Wicked explores the relationship between Glinda, the Good Witch of the East, and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, in the Land of Oz before Dorothy arrives. The show follows their friendship from the very beginning when they become roommates to their final goodbye. It is a beautiful insight into the ups and downs of friendship but also digs deep into what good and evil really means and how it affects the people and the world around us.
Premiered on Broadway in 2003, starring Idina Menzel as Elphaba and Kristen Chenoweth as Glinda, Wicked is one of the longest running musicals on Broadway and the West End to date, as audiences are entranced by its tale of magic and friendship.
Inspired by the show, I have come up with a recipe for Wicked Cupcakes – a delicious lime cupcake topped with lime buttercream with a hidden green heart inside. The green heart symbolises that even if we look different on the outside, we all have the same feelings on the inside. A secret showstopper, this recipe will tickle girly Glindas pink and warm the heart of any wicked witch.
Although the stages of this recipe can seem daunting, if you take it slowly step by step, it will all come together in the end. Choosing the right equipment makes a big difference (I’ve found this out from experience!) so make sure to take the time to get your hands on a small enough heart cutter, cupcake (not fairy cake) cases and green food gel colour paste (instead of the widely available liquid food colouring found in supermarkets) as it creates a more vibrant colour. Soft butter is an important part of this recipe so if you don’t remember to leave it out overnight, you can microwave it for 10 second bursts until it is soft enough to beat, but not melted.
To accompany the recipe, here is my cover of ‘For Good’ from Wicked. It is sung at the end of the show when Glinda and Elphaba part never to meet again.
Without further ado, here is my recipe for ‘Wicked’ cupcakes….
For the green ‘heart’ sponge
75g butter, softened, plus a little extra to grease the tin
75g caster sugar
1 medium egg
75g self raising flour, sifted
Zest of a lime
Green Food Gel Colour paste, about three good sized dollops (Here is the link to the one I used from Hobbycraft!)
For the cupcake batter
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
150g self raising flour, sifted
1/4 bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp. whole milk
1 tbsp. lime juice
Zest of 2 limes
For the lime buttercream
150g butter, softened
340g icing sugar, sieved
1 tbsp. whole milk
1 tbsp. lime juice
A swiss roll tin or shallow baking tin
A large mixing bowl
A wooden spoon
A small bowl
A wire rack
A 12 hole cupcake or muffin tin
12 cupcake cases
A teaspoon and tablespoon
A small heart cutter (that fits inside the cupcake cases!)
Disposable piping bags and tips
A pastry brush
A palette knife
How to make the bake
- First, make a start on the green sponge by preheating the oven to 170’C. Grease and line half of the swiss roll tin by folding over the edge of the paper to make a smaller surface area. Beat the soft butter and sugar together well until they are light in colour and texture. Add in the egg and beat till well combined before adding the flour and lime zest and giving a final mix. To colour the sponge mix, take out a couple of tablespoons of mixture into a separate bowl and mix in a good amount of food colour until it is very vibrant. (ESB Top Tip : Make sure you add enough paste to the mixture to ensure an intense colour after baking so don’t be afraid to add more if you think it isn’t bright enough!) Add the coloured mixture to the whole and mix together thoroughly with a spatula till it is an even colour.
- Spoon the green mix into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with a palette knife. Then bake for 10 – 14 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the sponge springs back when you touch it. Take it out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin while you start on the cupcake batter.
- Line the cupcake tin with cupcake cases. In the same way as the green sponge, beat the butter and sugar together before adding the eggs one by one, and then sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda. Finally, add in the lime zest and juice, and milk before giving it one final stir. (ESB Top Tip : Although citrus fruit can make batter curdle, don’t worry as if you give it a good mix the flour will make it come together!) Put the mix to one side and take the green sponge out of the tin. Remove the paper around the sides and use the small heart butter to cut out 12 hearts. Then return to the cupcake mix and put a teaspoon of the mix into each case. Flatten slightly with the back of the spoon and place one heart in the middle of each case all facing the same way so you know which way to cut for the big reveal. Then put a spoonful of cupcake batter on either side of the heart to secure it in the centre and a spoonful on top to cover it up. When all the hearts are covered and cases are about 3/4 full, bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until well risen, golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cupcakes until completely cool before starting on the buttercream.
- To make the buttercream, put the soft butter in a mixing bowl and beat until it becomes almost white. (ESB Top Tip : This makes the finished buttercream light and fluffy!) When the butter is well beaten, add in the icing sugar through a sieve in three stages beating well between each addition. When all the icing sugar is well mixed in, add in the milk and beat before finally adding the lime juice till the icing is a spreadable consistency. (ESB Top Tip : You can test this by spreading it on a piece of greaseproof paper!)
- To decorate your cupcakes, use a pastry brush to stripe the inside of a piping bag with green gel colour paste, fitted with your choice of nozzle. (I used a star nozzle.) Add in half the buttercream, and twist the top until buttercream comes out of the nozzle. Take one cupcake at a time and slowly ice around the edge to the middle finishing off with a Mr Whippy (or Witches Hat) shape on the top. Continue decorating the remaining 12 cupcakes and then share with your best friend and feel ‘wicked!’
Thank you for popping by my blog. I hope you enjoyed my recipe inspired by Wicked the Musical. If you decide to recreate it, don’t forget to tag me on any photos on Instagram @englishsingingbaker #esbmusicalbake!
See you next time for another musical inspired recipe, but until then,
Happy Tuneful Baking!
English Singing Baker x