The Cupcake Thread!

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Post by qtiekiki » November 8th, 2008, 10:24 am
Thanks ladies. I am going to check out Kara's.

puffy
I live in LA now. I grew up in Alameda (my family still lives there). I move to LA to be with DH. We are having a dinner party for the family and friends in the Bay Area to meet M.
__________________________

"New Year's Eve is amateur night and resolutions are for fools." - Phil Jackson

Post by FL Steph » November 8th, 2008, 10:52 am
Hi, guys. Another busy day of cupcake baking. I made some cupcakes for my aunt as a thank you for a birthday gift. I tried out 2 different flavors....peppermint chocolate chip and cookies and cream. Both were SOOO good, but I think cookies and cream tops the list as my favorite cupcake ever! My son and husband said they were awesome!
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Post by FL Steph » November 8th, 2008, 10:53 am
...
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Post by Mara » November 9th, 2008, 2:33 pm
Nice pictures steph... chocolate mint is one of my best sellers ! People really love it and now perfect for holiday.

QT.... you should call Whiskie Bits. I think they are in Oakland or Berkeley. They have a website too. They are a custom order only kind of place, not a shop you can just go into (in my opinion those are the best kept secrets!)...and they have a TON of flavors, including Green Tea which is an unusual flavor that hardly any cupcakeries will carry around here.

I just got the new KA Artisan in Grass Green from WS this weekend, I love it...it''s sooo pretty. I will actually not use it that often, I tend to like my hand mixer for fast jobs, but when I need to make special frostings or larger batches it will come in handy, woot! I am going to be making a ridiculous amount of cupcakes this weekend for an event I am doing... but it will be fun!
________________________________

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

-Albert Einstein

Post by Tacori E-ring » November 9th, 2008, 3:34 pm
Mara, that is a HUGE compliment coming from you! Thank you. Glad you are doing well.

Steph, cookies''n cream...YUM! How did you make that one?
*****************************************
Expectations are nothing but premeditated resentments.

Happiness is an inside job.

Post by FL Steph » November 10th, 2008, 1:02 am
Hey, Tacori! I was just playing around with frostings because I had some buttercream leftover so I got some oreos, smashed them up in a ziplock bag, and mixed them right into the frosting. I put them on my chocolate cupcakes, then decorated with half an oreo on top. They didn''t turn out all that pretty because I couldn''t pipe them out since the cookie bits were too thick, but they tasted amazing! Hope this helps:)

Post by Mara » November 10th, 2008, 10:02 am
steph, cookies and cream are so fun...! sometimes people bake an oreo into the bottom of the cupcakes or used crushed oreos IN the cupcake too. i am sure i would love it, which is why i have never made it. mixing crushed oreos into regular buttercream is the way most people do the frosting too. and yeah it''s not really pipeable unless with a monster tip...but it looks good!
________________________________

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

-Albert Einstein

Post by FL Steph » November 10th, 2008, 10:24 am
Date: 11/10/2008 4:02:31 PM
Author: Mara
steph, cookies and cream are so fun...! sometimes people bake an oreo into the bottom of the cupcakes or used crushed oreos IN the cupcake too. i am sure i would love it, which is why i have never made it. mixing crushed oreos into regular buttercream is the way most people do the frosting too. and yeah it''s not really pipeable unless with a monster tip...but it looks good!


Hey, Mara. Thanks for the tips. I might try to bake some of the crushed oreos into the cupcake next time to try it out. Congrats on the new KA mixer. I just have the plain white classic mixer...I am sensing an upgrade in my future Image...love the color you picked out!

Post by qtiekiki » November 11th, 2008, 3:18 pm
For those who has KA stand mixer - which model do you have? Is it worth it to spend more for the professional models?
__________________________

"New Year's Eve is amateur night and resolutions are for fools." - Phil Jackson

Post by EricaR » November 11th, 2008, 6:39 pm
Let me just say that I hate all of you who are posting photos on this thread.  HATE YOU!  I am now craving cupcakes in a way I can''t describe and I don''t have any baking supplies in the house.  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Post by FrekeChild » November 11th, 2008, 8:42 pm
Date: 11/11/2008 9:18:34 PM
Author: qtiekiki
For those who has KA stand mixer - which model do you have? Is it worth it to spend more for the professional models?

IMHO, yes. All of the extra money you pay is going into the motor. The cheaper KitchenAids have hard plastic gears instead of metal ones, so they burn out faster.

Really the best mixers are the ones that are meant for commercial use. Those don't come in pretty colors, but they will last forever. Link

I have a Professional in blue, and while it's gorgeous, I can already tell that the gears are starting to go out. And I really don't use my KA that much. But when I get a new one, I'm going for the Commercial. I don't care that it only comes in white. Image
_______________________________

"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Post by qtiekiki » November 11th, 2008, 8:58 pm
Thanks Freke. What is your opinion of this one? The features are similar except this one is not NSF certified and not UL Commercial Rated.

ETA: Oops just re-read your post and realized that you have the professional one. I thought you said you have the artisan. NM my question. But is the professional one better than the artisan?
__________________________

"New Year's Eve is amateur night and resolutions are for fools." - Phil Jackson

Post by FrekeChild » November 11th, 2008, 10:33 pm
The link wouldn't work. Want to just post the model # and I'll check it out?

I actually just looked at my mixer, and apparently it's the "Epicurean". Hahahahahaha!!! I was thinking to myself "Neither Artisan or Professional sound right, but I THINK it's the Pro..."

I'll go look at the Pro vs. Artisan....

ETA: What size and style (bowl life or tilt head) are you looking for?
_______________________________

"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Post by qtiekiki » November 12th, 2008, 9:59 am
I was looking at the Professional 5 Plus Series.
__________________________

"New Year's Eve is amateur night and resolutions are for fools." - Phil Jackson

Post by FrekeChild » November 12th, 2008, 10:44 am
What would you use it for? And how often would you use it?

These struck me as being most of the reason for the price difference (this is in the description for the Professional):
-PowerKnead™ spiral dough hook replicates hand-kneading to handle 20% more dough than previous models
-Durable direct-drive, all-steel gear transmission delivers high-performance mixing action
-Commercial-style motor protection ensures motor longevity

The dough hook is a completely different shape (it's the shape normally reserved for HUGE commercial mixers, 20-60 quarts) and it says that because of that, it can handle more dough, and that's because it doesn't have to push the dough really hard into the sides of the mixing bowl--which my mixer has a horrible time with, and it heats up the motor really fast, and it's one of the things that bothers me about my mixer.

Here are the rest of the features of each:

Professional:
Bowl Size - Quarts 5
Bread Yield -Loaves 6 3/4
Cookie Yield - Dozens 10
Mash Potato Yield - Pounds 7
Wattage 450
Design
Bowl Finish Polished Stainless Steel
Bowl Handle Standard
Convenience
Hub Cover Hinged
Mixing Speeds 10
Dimensions & Weight
Depth 14 5/8 Inches
Height 16 1/2 Inches
Width 11 5/16 Inches

Artisan:
Bowl Size - Quarts 5
Bread Yield -Loaves 4 1/2
Cookie Yield - Dozens 9
Mash Potato Yield - Pounds 7
Wattage 325
Design
Bowl Finish Polished Stainless Steel
Bowl Handle Comfort Handle
Convenience
Hub Cover Non-Hinged
Mixing Speeds 10
Dimensions & Weight
Depth 14 1/8 Inches
Height 13 15/16 Inches
Width 8 11/16 Inches

So because the Professional has a better motor it can handle more bread, and more dozens of cookies. it takes up more wattage. Another thing about the Professional is that it's a little bit bigger than the artisan- only 1/2 inch deeper, but 2 1/2 inches taller, and 2 and 5/8 inches wider. So you might take that into consideration too. Also, the Professional has a hinged top, and the Artisan doesn't.

After looking at the specs, I'd take the Professional because of the power and motor differences.
_______________________________

"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Post by qtiekiki » November 12th, 2008, 11:46 am
Thanks Freke for your opinions.

I plan to use it to mix batters/doughs for cupcakes, cakes, breads and croissants. I will not use it on a daily basis, but I do want to use it whenever I can. I think as my daughter gets older, we''ll probably make cookies and other things together. If I get good at making things, then I want to make them for holidays and parties, and as gifts. So I want something that will last a while.

I have one last question before I decide which one to get. I read the descriptions of the Professional 5 series and the Commercial 5 Series, and the only differences are NSF certification and UL commercial rating. What do the cert and rating mean?

Thanks again Freke. You are so helpful.
__________________________

"New Year's Eve is amateur night and resolutions are for fools." - Phil Jackson

Post by Skippy » November 12th, 2008, 12:13 pm
Q, Not sure if I will be helpful but I have had the Kitchen Aid Professional Heavy Duty, I make pizza dough in it often, cakes, breads and I have had it 9 years.  My sister and mom have the Artisan like Mara and theirs has been with them 5 years and they do the same things I do w/ theirs except the bowl is smaller.  I don't think I would buy a refurbished one though but that is just me.
Skippy




http://www.pricescope.com/idealbb/files/1896249wrr738gi7w.gif

"The only things that stand between a person and what they want in life are the will to try it, and the faith to believe it's possible" Rich Devos

Post by FrekeChild » November 12th, 2008, 12:14 pm
No problem qtiekiki! You're welcome for the help! If I hadn't started looking, I never would have known the Epicurean was discontinued, aso I'm wondering if I can still get all those cool accessories I've always wanted.

UL is "Underwriters Laboratory" which looks like they test the products and give them different ratings depending on what they find:

Electrical Testing

UL has assembled a wide range of electrical testing capabilities through our product safety certification work with information technology equipment, medical devices, electrical appliances, power supplies, industrial control equipment, lighting fixtures, electrical signs, electrical construction equipment, batteries and many others.

A few of these capabilities are highlighted below.

* Burnout Testing
* EMC: 3-meter, 10-meter & Open-Field
* Inductive & Resistive Loading Simulation
* International Voltage & Frequencies
* Short Circuit Testing
* TVSS Surge Testing
Link

As for the NSF certification, this is what NSF says on their site:
"NSF International helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods. As an independent not-for-profit organization, our ongoing public health commitment is to encourage everyone to live safer."
So it looks like they test products and give ratings on those products according to whatever criteria they have, and certify that the products meet their specs (maybe kind of like GIA/EGL/etc?).
Link

So you might want to look on their sites, check out what the individual ratings mean, and see if that affects your thoughts on the mixers. I'm not really surprised that the UL ratings are different (commercial products are often abused, and better to be safe than sorry, right?) but I am surprised to find out that the NSF certifications are different.

I hope that helps a little. Image I'm excited to see what you get! I have to live vicariously through you guys for a while unless mine dies on me.
_______________________________

"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Post by qtiekiki » November 12th, 2008, 2:43 pm
Skippy - Good to know that your professional is still good after 9 years, and your mom''s and sister''s artisan lasted 5 years already. That''s very useful info. I am sure the artisan is enough power for what I am using it for, but I just don''t want to get the lower power and motor now and regret not getting the more powerful one later.

Freke - Thanks for the link. I read up on UL rating and NSF cert. I think the price difference is to pay for the rating and cert, much like buying a certed diamond. I am definitely getting either the professional 5 plus or the commercial 5. Just have to decide on which one. I am going to do some pricing, and try to look for deals.
__________________________

"New Year's Eve is amateur night and resolutions are for fools." - Phil Jackson

Post by Skippy » November 12th, 2008, 2:46 pm
Date: 11/12/2008 8:43:09 PM
Author: qtiekiki
Skippy - Good to know that your professional is still good after 9 years, and your mom's and sister's artisan lasted 5 years already. That's very useful info. I am sure the artisan is enough power for what I am using it for, but I just don't want to get the lower power and motor now and regret not getting the more powerful one later.

Freke - Thanks for the link. I read up on UL rating and NSF cert. I think the price difference is to pay for the rating and cert, much like buying a certed diamond. I am definitely getting either the professional 5 plus or the commercial 5. Just have to decide on which one. I am going to do some pricing, and try to look for deals.
Qtiekki, if you have a costco near by they sometimes have good deals or use the 20% off at Bed Bath and Beyond; I bought my mom hers from BB&B one Christmas.  Amazon sometimes has deals too.

Freke or others, I started a cookie thread in hangout and I am going to make baklava; anyone have a delicious recipe they could share??
Skippy




http://www.pricescope.com/idealbb/files/1896249wrr738gi7w.gif

"The only things that stand between a person and what they want in life are the will to try it, and the faith to believe it's possible" Rich Devos

Post by Tacori E-ring » November 12th, 2008, 3:14 pm
Q, I have the standard (?) one in a matte dark gray (LOVE the matte) and it works great for me. I used a 20% off coupon at BB&B. Kitchen aids last forever. My sister has my grandmother''s old one (not sure when she got it but she is 87 years old) and I think my mom got her''s as a wedding gift (30+ years ago). I am sure they were made better then but still I rarely hear people complain about them. Enjoy! Are you going to get orange? Image
*****************************************
Expectations are nothing but premeditated resentments.

Happiness is an inside job.

Post by msb700 » November 12th, 2008, 6:11 pm
Date: 11/12/2008 9:14:26 PM
Author: Tacori E-ring
Q, I have the standard (?) one in a matte dark gray (LOVE the matte) and it works great for me. I used a 20% off coupon at BB&B. Kitchen aids last forever. My sister has my grandmother''s old one (not sure when she got it but she is 87 years old) and I think my mom got her''s as a wedding gift (30+ years ago). I am sure they were made better then but still I rarely hear people complain about them. Enjoy! Are you going to get orange? Image


Tacori me too!!! i have the standard artisan in the matte dark gray!! LOVE IT..i love the shiny colors, but hate how i can see the thumb prints and streaks from wiping it on them :)

I am by no means a heavy-duty baker..but the artisan has worked great for me so far..i havent'' had it for a long time though..i think i have had it for about 4 months now...I have used it multiple times in a single day too (i.e. once for the cake mix, once for the frosting, once for something else) and never had any issues...

Post by qtiekiki » November 12th, 2008, 6:49 pm
Tacori - I don''t like the oranges they have. I am going to get either pearl metallic or cinnamon red or maybe blue steel.

__________________________

"New Year's Eve is amateur night and resolutions are for fools." - Phil Jackson

Post by Tacori E-ring » November 13th, 2008, 4:41 am
msb, I LOVE the color. I think the mattes are cool for some reason. I got a black matte on accident (it was in the wrong box) and thought it was pretty but I had my heart set on the gray. It was going non stop the day before T''s b-day for the cupcakes.

Q, I have had mine for 2 years. No problems. Have you seen the colors in person? I originally wanted the chrome one but it looked spray painted IRL Image You know LNT''s is closing. You might be able to get a REALLY good deal if they still have any mixers in stock (before than 20% off)
*****************************************
Expectations are nothing but premeditated resentments.

Happiness is an inside job.

Post by Mara » November 13th, 2008, 7:26 am
chiming in on kitchen aid. i had a prof 6qt for 12 years that was refurbished from amazon and it was great. but it is huge. and prof is overkill unless you will be making bread and doughs on a very regulr basis. so when it broke, i wanted a prof 5qt because of the larger motor (the gears may be metal but the i think the head of the motor is not going to be metal, which is what burned out on my KA--my hub took it apart and looked at it), but then i was talking to some friends who bake A LOT (as in 4-5 times a week) and have Artisans and they love them, and felt like they were not hampered at all by the smaller motor.

plus i got seduced by the grass green so i went with the artisan, also i had amex rewards so i didn't have to pay for it at all, but it was $300 whereas the 5qt prof is $179 on amazon refurbished... so i dn't know that i would have paid $300 cash for the grass green artisan vs the refurb'd prof.

bottom line for me is that i think the regular baker will be fine with an artisan, if you want colors and/or tilt head ... but if you do want the more powerful motor and don't care about colors, get a 5qt prof in a gray or blue... you'll be fine either way in my opinion.
________________________________

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

-Albert Einstein

Post by dixie94 » November 13th, 2008, 8:43 am
Hi ladies,
Lately, I''ve been practicing my piping but am not thrilled with the results. They look better each time but don''t look special to me, like anything different than those you''d find at a grocery store. I was wondering if you ladies would mind posting a picture of the tips you use and the cupcakes to match or just the tips if the latter is too much trouble.
I''ll start with my tips (I only have a few so far). I just realized the other day that some are open at the end and some are more closed. I never realized that before. I haven''t quite figured out what tip makes what design but I''m starting to learn.
I just made some Cookies and Cream cupcakes the other day too and got a lot of compliments. I put 1/2 of an Oreo in the bottom too and people loved that. I just made Carrot Cake cupcakes yesterday. That was fun but took awhile. I have pics, just haven''t uploaded them yet. I forgot to take pics of the Cookies and Cream.

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tips ps.JPG (31.06 KiB) Viewed 49 times

Post by qtiekiki » November 13th, 2008, 9:05 am
If the price of a brand new Professional 600 6 quart was only $340, would you pay the $40 price difference for it vs the artisan? Right now that''s the dilemma that I have. It''s like $300 for the artisan, and $340 for a Prof 600 6 quart. The power difference is like 200 something Watts (I think it''s 325W vs. 575W). I think the power might be overkill, but for only $40 price difference. It''s kind of hard for me to rationalize not getting the more powerful one. Or how about when the price difference is $75? Because I could get 20% for the artisan at BB&B. The $340 for the Prof 600 is tax and shipping free.

I asked DH for his opinion, and he just said get the more powerful because he doesn''t want me to regret not getting it later on.
__________________________

"New Year's Eve is amateur night and resolutions are for fools." - Phil Jackson

Post by Skippy » November 13th, 2008, 9:26 am
Date: 11/13/2008 3:05:49 PM
Author: qtiekiki
If the price of a brand new Professional 600 6 quart was only $340, would you pay the $40 price difference for it vs the artisan? Right now that's the dilemma that I have. It's like $300 for the artisan, and $340 for a Prof 600 6 quart. The power difference is like 200 something Watts (I think it's 325W vs. 575W). I think the power might be overkill, but for only $40 price difference. It's kind of hard for me to rationalize not getting the more powerful one. Or how about when the price difference is $75? Because I could get 20% for the artisan at BB&B. The $340 for the Prof 600 is tax and shipping free.

I asked DH for his opinion, and he just said get the more powerful because he doesn't want me to regret not getting it later on.
Qtiekiki, I was just at Costco (if you know BB&B Prices) that may help; the 5 qt Artisan is $199 and the Professional is $278.  Not sure if you have a membership there?
Skippy




http://www.pricescope.com/idealbb/files/1896249wrr738gi7w.gif

"The only things that stand between a person and what they want in life are the will to try it, and the faith to believe it's possible" Rich Devos

Post by qtiekiki » November 13th, 2008, 9:29 am
Thanks skippy. Gonna go check out our costco.
__________________________

"New Year's Eve is amateur night and resolutions are for fools." - Phil Jackson

Post by lili » November 13th, 2008, 9:36 am
dixie--

here''s a page that I found that shows you what each tip does:
hope this helps.

http://www.ladycakes.com/Charts/Tip%20Chart/Main%20page/cake_decorating_tip''s.htm


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