Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Gourmet Anyone?

Simple cupcakes are great. The ratio of moist cake to creamy buttercream generally hits the spot and it is difficult to find a person who would say no to a cupcake. While reflecting on how wonderful cupcakes really are, I started to ask myself..."can they be improved?" Of course they can!

A client was having a fancy party and wanted cupcakes to help celebrate but not just any cupcakes. She needed something with a little flair. So I came up with these three gourmet cupcake recipes, all with filling and all with an extra little somethin' somethin' on the top.

The first flavor started with my salted caramel chocolate mudslide cupcake. These are always my best seller and I don’t ever doubt their flavour factor. People love them. Instead of doing a vanilla buttercream with a hint of salted caramel mixed in, I did a swirl of chocolate buttercream and salted caramel butter cream on top and then to take it over the edge I made circles of dark chocolate lattice and while the chocolate was still wet I sprinkled them with large flaked sea salt. After the chocolate hardened, I graced the top of each cupcake with the decoration. These were excellent. My gourmet twist on an old flavour has now become a new best seller.

The second flavour was a fresh lemon cupcake with a lemon buttercream. These cupcakes tasted like sunshine. If you like lemon flavoured sweets, these are the cakes for you. I took these over the top by making creamy vanilla custard to fill the center of these cupcakes and topping them off with a wedge of lemon candy and some yellow sanding sugar.

The third flavour, a new favourite of my official taste tester, Vanilla cupcakes filled with white chocolate raspberry cheesecake and topped with a fresh raspberry buttercream and a slice of raspberry. I started by baking a crustless white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. It was a velvety cheesecake, swirled with homemade raspberry preserves. After doing some research on cheesecake stuffed cupcakes, I decided to bake the cheesecake portion twice, by placing slices of cooked and cooled cheesecake in-between layers of cupcake batter and then baking off the cupcakes. The buttercream couldn’t be fresher tasting. I literally threw a handful of fresh raspberries into the mixer while making my vanilla buttercream. The raspberries created a beautiful dark pink colour and added their wonderful tartness to the flavour. I topped each cupcake with a piece of raspberry so people had an idea of what they were getting into.

All three of these cupcakes added that extra flair to the party planners were going for with their stuffed insides and the small treats gracing their tops.  


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

'Tis the season

Summer is the time for celebrations. There are a lot of people getting engaged, having babies, getting married, buying houses...
Family and friends gather together to shower the guests of honour with beautiful gifts and love. They eat finger food and sip champagne punch. They play silly games and share words of advice. I'm sure we've all been to a shower where you save all the bows from the gifts and make the guest of honour wear them as some sort of hat. In fact there are pictures somewhere of me wearing said hat...
I think the food and drink really can make or break the party. Guest look forward to munching on
things like spinach dip, fruit trays, cucumber sandwiches and desserts. Traditionally a cake would adorn the food table ready to be cut into and shared, but lately cupcakes have been gaining popularity. They are the perfect size for snacking and create less mess as you don't have to worry about a cake knife and forks for everyone.
I was asked to make cupcakes for a wedding shower, something pretty and girly. I ended up making 4 flavours, vanilla, salted caramel, pink satin and pink champagne. I think pink champagne is a perfect cupcake (or cake) flavour for a shower, even the name sounds celebratory. The decorations were delicate and feminine. Most of them had tiny sugar flours atop the buttercream, but I choose to decorate a dozen of them in a quilted fondant pattern. Cupcakes or cake are meant to sit out at a party and be part of the decorations. I wanted to make sure they fit in with the theme.
When people take a big step in their life, it calls for a celebration and what better way to celebrate than with cupcakes? After all, I always say 'A party without cake is just a meeting.'

Saturday, 1 August 2015

August Cupcake of the Month!

Watermelon is the perfect picnic food...
Watermelon cupcakes are better!!
August Cupcake of the Month...Watermelon Cupcakes!