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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Baking Cupcakes *Guest Post*

The cupcake is the prettiest and daintiest baked treat by far. Just bigger than bite-sized, the cupcake can be as sweet and indulgent as it likes, with no reservations for health or nutrition. The cupcake isn't an everyday food, it's a treat food. That doesn't mean, however, that they can't be gluten-free.

These little cupcake tarts are from Little Bertha bakery in Melbourne. They are chocolate fudge and orange, and use a pastry case instead of a cupcake case.

These cupcakes, also from Little Bertha, are carrot and cinnamon with a butter cream icing. Here are some tips for baking your own sweet delicious cupcakes at home.

  1. Always use electrical scales for measuring out your ingredients so that your quantities are exact. An imbalance could tip your cupcakes over the edge into disaster. The moisture and consistency of a cupcake is so important. A dry cupcake is not a pleasure, and a moist cupcake will flop and fall and won't support it's toppings, which will mean that it will collapse and look sad and depressing. Cupcakes should not be depressing!

  2. Clean your oven regularly. I know that this sounds like a boring tip, and it's definitely not as fun as baking cupcakes, but it's still really important. Clean your oven with a gentle scourer or cloth and the bake a dish of lemon juice, lemons, and water for 30 minutes at a high temperature. Doing this will eliminate residual smells from your oven and keep you from baking with burnt carcinogenic spillages.

  3. While baking, don't open your oven for at least the first twenty minutes, if at all. Opening the door will make the results uneven and mess with your cooking time.

  4. Always sift your flour and sugar.

  5. Measure out your ingredients before you start.

  6. Never cook with frozen ingredients, and always let your butter and milk come to room temperature before using them.

  7. Test your cakes with a skewer before proclaiming them done.

  8. You can test the freshness of your eggs by placing them into a bowl of water. A fresh egg will sink, having the minimal amount of air in it. An old egg will float. Fresh eggs are the best for baking.

  9. You can try doing sugar substitutes if you want to avoid cane sugar. Beware that this will change the taste of your cupcake though. Sugar substitutes include maple syrup, agave, coconut sugar, stevia, honey and molasses (which is very strong!).

  10. Cupcakes are meant to to be pretty and attractive, so have fun with the icing and the decoration of your cakes. This is where you can really get creative. Doing an icing in a flavour that compliments the flavour of your cake can be a good way to make your cupcakes different. There are classic flavours, like choc-mint or choc-peanut butter or vanilla red velvet, but you can invent your own!
Thanks Ivy from Little Bertha! Do check out their website. It's very cool.

Chin chin...

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