I found the inspiration for chocolate "wax" seals in a magazine last year while I was researching wedding cakes. Maybe you remember my plight? I was nervous about making my first wedding cake so I studied a mountain of books and magazines on the subject ad nauseum. It was a great learning experience, but I'll never forget the car ride to the reception hall with a triple-tier cake in the back. My heart was in my throat exactly nineteen times (the number of bumps in the road) and I may have shed a tear when we arrived with the cake intact. (I digress.)
I've seen chocolate seals plenty of times on Sacher tortes and other fancy pastries, but I couldn't find instructions for making them at home. So, I ordered a couple of inexpensive wax stamps - and some real sealing wax in case things didn't turn out as expected - and experimented with bittersweet chips. I found a neat no-temper method that I think just about anyone could replicate at home.
I used an "H" to indicate the flavor of the cake but plan to get double use since it's my initial, too. The crown imprint turned out well, and even the more intricate bee stamp worked perfectly, which was surprising. Those little bee legs are so delicate!
I made a video to show how easy it is to make your own at home. It simply involves keeping the wax stamps on ice so the chocolate sets fast when the impression is made.
I could talk finishing touches all day, but I have to tell you about this poured fondant recipe. It's delicious and so simple. The usual recipe is made with corn syrup but I substituted honey, and wow- what a difference! It's so flavorful, and has the most beautiful smooth matte surface when dry. I love it with the honey-lemon cake in this recipe.
There are a couple additional things to keep in mind when making the seals, and I've explained that in detail in the body of the recipe. If you need a wax stamp, then you can find one here (around $10 apiece), but I've also seen them at art supply shops so there's a chance that you may find them locally.
I think these would be beautiful on a wedding reception table, but they may be making an appearance for our 10 year anniversary this year. My husband loved the lemon-honey cakes and the honey fondant really is something special - hope you'll give it a try sometime!
Poured Fondant Honey Cupcakes
with Chocolate "Wax" Seals
[click for printable version]
Yield: 16 cupcakes
Prep: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus setting time for fondant and seals
Source: cake recipe re-jiggered from womensday.com; fondant and stamps are original to SprinkleBakes
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tbsp salt
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tbsp. milk
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. lemon juice
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. This recipe makes about 16 cupcakes so if you have two tins, line four additional cups with liners.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk sour cream, milk, lemon zest and juiced in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Beat butter, honey and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Turn off mixer and add half of flour, combine on low until just mixed. Add the sour cream mixture and beat again. Add remaining flour and beat until well combined.
- Spoon 2 1/2 level tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner. Bake for about 18 minutes. Cakes should rise up to just below the top edge of the cupcake liner. Let cool completely.
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup honey
- Stir all the ingredients together in a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Insert a candy thermometer into the mixture and bring to a hard boil. Boil to a temperature of 238 degrees. Immediately pour the syrup into a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
- Let mixture stand uncovered in the food processor until the temperature cools to 140 degrees; about 25-30 minutes. Attach the lid of the food processor to the bowl and remove the small feed tube. Process for 2-5 minutes or until the liquid is pale and opaque. Immediately pour fondant over cupcakes and fill to the top of the cupcake liner. Let stand until set and completely cooled.
Chocolate "wax" seals
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Cup filled with crushed ice
Metal wax seal stamps
- Gently heat chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave at 30 second intervals; be careful to not over heat.. Stir smooth.
- Transfer chocolate to a clean bowl. Let it stand 3-5 minutes or until it's barely warm to the touch. It's important the chocolate is not too hot when you make an impression with the stamp. The heat from the chocolate will warm the metal stamp and it will cause the chocolate to smear.
- Place metal wax seal stamps in the cup filled with crushed ice. The stamp bottoms need to be thoroughly chilled.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop dime-size amounts of chocolate onto the parchment paper. Remove a stamp from the ice and quickly wipe it free of water droplets with a towel. Place the stamp onto a mound of chocolate, press down gently then release. Let the stamp stand pressed in the chocolate for 3-5 seconds. Press down again very gently but firmly once more before you lift the stamp (see instructional video for clear visual). You should be left with a clear impression in the chocolate. Replace metal wax stamp into the crushed ice until it is thoroughly chilled and repeat with remaining melted chocolate. Refrigerate finished chocolate seals until firm.
- Place a dot of melted chocolate or honey to the center of the set cupcakes. Use a spatula to transfer the seals onto the cupcake tops; press gently to adhere.