Friday, 29 June 2007

I'm in love!

Oh my god... I am in love... with a little lump of blue silicon!

My brand new flower veiner arrived yesterday, so I spent the night punching and moulding petunia's... It was great! I am now the proud owner of a set of 5 petal flower cutters, a petunia cutter (in 2 sizes) , a daisy cutter, a tub of lustre dust and and bottle of dragees... my life is good!

Just so you understand why I am so excited, this is what they helped to create...

I have a week off work starting at 3:00 o'clock this afternoon (YAY!!!) so I can go flower MAD next week!!! Is it sad that I find this so exciting?????

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Another Vanilla Contender (or two)

It's probably fair to say that I am not the most diligent blogger (thus far), but unfortunately the damands of work and family have taken precedence. This is not to say that I haven't been cupcaking in the mean time... I just haven't had a spare moment to document the results.

So... what have I been making??? Well the persuit of the ultimate vanilla cupcake has continued. The attempt pictured below was a made using a recipe from the Cake Bible (White Velvet Butter Cake).

(as you can see my oven is not exactly cooking evenly!)

The recipe doesn't use egg yolks (only egg whites), but has loads of butter so it still had a nice richness.

Unfortunately I don't think it's keep ability was quite up to scratch; I thought perhaps it was a tad dry the next day, but the finished product looked pretty cute! The Hungry workmates seems pretty happy with the results though (as were monkey one and monekey two) so it is still a contender!

Right now it's in stiff competition with this little fella (below) which has boiling water and vinegar in the recipe (yep I'm trying all sorts).

It's also an egg white no yolk recipe, which definitely makes for a lighter texture in the finished product, but I felt that it lacked a little in the flavour stakes. (These two cupcakes sparked a very longwinded discussion around taste versus texture on the Flickr website... and the general concensus seems to be add more vanilla/ very good quality vanilla, so I will give it another go tonight).

The best thing about this one was that it lasted for DAYS without loosing any of its moistness so it gets serious bonus points for that... Keep ability definately counts!

Monday, 18 June 2007

The world of Blog (and cupcakes)

Up until a few weeks ago the idea of 'blogging' had never even entered my mind... yet here I am!

I have been on an accidental cupcake crusade since returning from a work trip to London, in November last year, and I think that I can now quite safely say that it has become an obsession! Seriously... if you are compelled to 'blog' about the little fella's, it's definately gone beyond being just a passing interest! (I was inspired to give it a go after reading all of the other blogs that have been dedicated to the humble cake-in-a-cup... so thank-you fellow cupcake bloggers... I hope I can give something back to the cause!)

My current quest is to find the perfect recipe (or more precisely... recipes). I am a firm beliver that looks are NOT everything (although they certainly help)... so before I get down to any serious decorating I must first perfect taste, texture, moisture content, density and what I like to call 'keep ability' (any cupcake worth his salt must be able to last 3 days)!

To assist me in this endevour I have recruited a gun group of cupcake testers - Monkey One and Monkey Two (my children), My Mother (mother's always tell the truth) and 7 hungry workmates (although I think they're starting to lie to me just so I'll keep baking... they have a vested interest' in me continuing to 'practice').

To date we've gone through 7 vanilla recipes (including one that 'bounced' when dropped... no I'm not kidding) 3 chocolate, a lemon, a carrot and 6 different icing options. The lemon and the carrot had both been tried and tested in the past and did not require any further refinement, much to the dismay of the Hungry workmates, but I am still on the hunt for the perfect vanilla and the perfect chocolate.

Needless to say the recipe below did not made the shortlist...

Yes... baking is a science... and mesing with the 'method' DOES have a significant impact!

As Monkey One kindly pointed out... "Mum, it's all part of your cupcake learning curve!"

But just to prove that it hasn't been all bad so far, here is one from the following batch...

Tonight I think we'll explore Chocolate a little further!