For the cupcakes
For the butter cream icing
To make the bouquet, you will also need an 18cm polystyrene ball, 24 wooden lollypop sticks and a small bucket or vase that the polystyrene ball will sit securely in. You will also need coloured tissue paper.
Cup cakes: Heat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 cup cake trays with 24 paper cupcake cases. Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs a little at a time until smooth, adding a little flour if the mixture curdles. Stir in the flour and vanilla extract until smooth. Place heaped dessertspoon full in each cupcake case and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and just firm to the touch. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely. They are best made the day before if possible.
Butter creams: Using two large bowls, cream together half the butter with the red food colouring and half with the yellow food colouring. Blend in half the sugar slowly into each bowl, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Chill the icing if necessary until it is a stiff piping consistency. Place each butter cream in a large piping bag fitted with a large star shaped nozzle.
Make the bouquet: Place the polystyrene ball into the bucket or vase and push down firmly so that it sits securely and the bucket is cutting into the ball to hold it in place. Make a little slit with the point of a knife in the base of each cupcake case and insert a wooden lollypop stick into the cake. Push the lollypop stick into the polystyrene ball, and start arranging the cakes first in a circle around the edge of the bucket, then another circle of cakes on top until all the ball is covered. You may not need all the cakes. Pipe the cakes with a swirl of butter cream on each cake to make it look like a rose. Do alternate flavours. Cut small squares of tissue paper, bring up all 4 corners to make a scrunch of paper and push in between the cakes. Keep the bouquet in a cold place and serve within 1 day. Wrap in cellophane when the icing has dried and tie with a ribbon!
Connacht Gold has a strong social history in the West of Ireland.