The Cupcake Thread!

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Post by FrekeChild » May 13th, 2008, 4:03 pm
Date: 5/13/2008 7:40:55 PM
Author: ladypirate
Date: 5/12/2008 5:16:25 PM
Author: FrekeChild
Mel-it''s not worth it to go to culinary school IMHO. I went to two and while I could go to Las Vegas and make $11 an hour, it''s still only 11 an hour. And if I had had student loans-it would have taken a year just to pay those off (for the CIA-and only two terms), while ONLY paying them off. No rent or living expenses. I know student loans don''t work like that, but it is just obscene how much it costs to go.

Having said that, when I get out of school (liberal arts BA) and move out of state, I''m probably going to open my own bake shop or start a wedding cake business.

I don''t know what to do. Image

I could do the gold cake, with vanilla caramel ''sauce'' in the middle with Chamomile buttercream on top. Hmmm...

Obviously you should move to Portland and then we could go into business together. Image

I need to post pictures of my cake decorating final last night--it came out really pretty! Basket weave on the sides of the cake with roses on top. Granted, since I spent all weekend moving, it was cake from a box with canned frosting, so the taste was Image, but still, pretty! I made bf take it to work today so SOMEONE would eat it since we''ve been too spoiled by delicious homemade cake.

I''m so totally up for that Lady P. I would move to the Northwestern coast in a heartbeat!!!It would be a huge change geographically for me, but if BF could get a job out there...I''d be there in a heartbeat.Image
_______________________________

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

Post by Mara » May 13th, 2008, 6:53 pm
btw freke i made gold cake tonite with my leftover egg yolks from the party cake this wkd. i really like it...i used the recipe from alton brown on food network, and replaced oil with butter. they are very RICH. maybe next time i will only use about 1/2 the butter. i am going to frost them with vanilla bean buttercream (using the paste).
________________________________

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

-Albert Einstein

Post by FrekeChild » May 13th, 2008, 7:34 pm
Hmmm...I checked out and compared his recipe and mine, and they are almost identical (except in mine(on here) there was a typo-2.5 cups of cake flour vs. 1.5 cups-my bad)except that mine has 2.5 tsp of baking powder and his has 3 tsp, but also mine has a teaspoon of lemon juice-which I'm sure helped cut the fat, so to speak. They are VERY VERY rich. What kind of icing did you put on them?

Eh.

Here's his:
3/4 cup butter flavored vegetable shortening, 140 grams
1 1/4 cup sugar, 300 grams
2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted, 300 grams
3 teaspoons baking powder, 14 grams
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 egg yolks, beaten, 130 grams
3/4 cup milk, 180 grams
1 teaspoon vanilla

And mine:
2.5 cups sifted cake flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
12 Tablespoon (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter
1.25 cups sugar
8 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup milk
_______________________________

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

Post by FireGoddess » May 14th, 2008, 7:08 am
Mmmm, the gold cakes sound delish!

Update to the coconut lime shrinking mystery - I made them again last night with lemon instead of lime, and used regular flour instead of cake flour.  They shrunk a bit less, but still shrunk all the same.  Image  Can I omit one of the leaveners?!  The soda or the powder?





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Post by FrekeChild » May 14th, 2008, 8:30 am
I don''t know. I would get rid of one of them. It doesn''t really matter which one you get rid of. Baking powder has acid added to it, baking soda needs it added in the rest of the recipe. So perhaps get rid of the baking powder. I don''t know why they have both.

What was the last cupcake recipe you made besides this one?

I made a chamomile experiment yesterday. Basically made a cup of tea with 3 teabags, and then added a tablespoon of sugar in a pot and let it cook down on low for about an hour. It actually caramelized just a little bit because I had forgotten about it, but it cooked down from about a cup and a half of tea down to about 2 tablespoons. So it probably will have a little bit of caramel flavor even though I didn''t intend it to. I''ll make them on Friday, so I''ll probably post pictures then.
_______________________________

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

Post by Skippy » May 14th, 2008, 9:06 am
Date: 5/14/2008 2:30:15 PM
Author: FrekeChild

I made a chamomile experiment yesterday. Basically made a cup of tea with 3 teabags, and then added a tablespoon of sugar in a pot and let it cook down on low for about an hour. It actually caramelized just a little bit because I had forgotten about it, but it cooked down from about a cup and a half of tea down to about 2 tablespoons. So it probably will have a little bit of caramel flavor even though I didn''t intend it to. I''ll make them on Friday, so I''ll probably post pictures then.
Can''t wait to see them.

Now I want to try an interesting flavor.Image  Maybe a lavander, not sure when i have time though.
Skippy




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"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 FireGoddess » May 14th, 2008, 11:50 am
I'll try leaving out the baking powder next time.  The last cupcakes I made that weren't this recipe were the tres leches ones, and they didn't shrink at all.  I also followed Mara's suggestion of not moving the cupcakes off the baking sheet for awhile.  I left them on for 15 minutes before moving them.  Still shrunk.  They started shrinking just minutes after coming out of the oven, actually, which is what they normally do.

The caramelly chamomile sounds really good.  Image

Skippy, I have to say I was not a big fan of lavender growing up, but I've really come to like it lately...bought some sea salt mixed with lavender and if you put it in some EVOO, it's a great bread dipper.  Also, had some fancy-pants chocolates the other day and one was a chocolate caramel infused with lavender.  OMG, delicious!!! 





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Post by FrekeChild » May 14th, 2008, 12:47 pm
The heat thing really shouldn''t make too much of a difference. I always dump my cuppies out of the pan ASAP when I take them out of the oven-and have had no problems. Mostly because I only have one muffin pan, but whatever. That technique is most applicable for stuff like custards, souffles, flourless cakes, and other egg based items, where the structure is so delicate that it needs that extra time to adjust to the climate outside of the oven.

What''s possible is that there is too much leavening in the recipe, and not enough stabilizing ingredients-so when the bubbles expand with steam, there isn''t enough structure to support the bubble''s outside structure, so when they deflate, they pull away from the paper cups. Is there any chance that you could cut one in half and take a macro pic of the inside?
_______________________________

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

Post by FireGoddess » May 14th, 2008, 12:52 pm
Date: 5/14/2008 6:47:22 PM
Author: FrekeChild
Is there any chance that you could cut one in half and take a macro pic of the inside?

I stored them in the fridge overnight.  Would that affect whatever you are trying to see in a picture of the inside?  If not, I can take a picture of the inside tonight.  Otherwise, next time.





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Post by FrekeChild » May 14th, 2008, 1:54 pm
It shouldn''t. Would you mind taking a pic tonight??
_______________________________

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

Post by FireGoddess » May 14th, 2008, 4:40 pm
Sure.  Can''t upload till tomorrow though - the camera cable''s at work.





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Post by FrekeChild » May 15th, 2008, 6:10 am
No worries. I''m not going anywhere...
_______________________________

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

Post by FireGoddess » May 15th, 2008, 6:45 am
Here it is...
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Post by FrekeChild » May 15th, 2008, 6:48 am
Awesome. It looks super yummy. Did you cut into it or pull it apart?
_______________________________

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

Post by FireGoddess » May 15th, 2008, 6:48 am
This was the other half.  I pulled it apart.  The first one that I cut got compressed so I just pulled this one apart.
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clcupoh.jpg (21.85 KiB) Viewed 138 times





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Post by FrekeChild » May 15th, 2008, 7:06 am
Please tell me you ate them afterwards. You've got me craving cupcakes again, dangit!

Ok, it looks to me like my hypothesis is possibly correct. It seems as though there are some bigger air pockets around the outside of the cake, but that the ones in the middle of them have either collapsed or weren't able to form. Because of the shrinkage, I'm guessing it would be the former of the two.
This is what I'm going to suggest for the next time you make them (you're going to be sick of these cupcakes by the time we figure it out):

Omit the baking powder, but increase the baking soda to 3/4 tsp. Also, add a 1/4 cup of flour. With these changes, there will be more stabilizing, and gluten development-which hopefully will allow it to rise, but not to shrink.

After comparing your recipe with a few others, I'm considering telling you to increase the flour by 1/2 cup, but lets see how the first modification comes out. I'm also considering an increase in mixing time by about one minute after all of the flour is incorporated, but again, I think we should only try one or two things at a time.

I hope this works though. And I still think it's weird.
_______________________________

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

Post by FireGoddess » May 15th, 2008, 8:51 am
I did....I ate them both.  ImageImage

Thanks for the suggestions.  I may try another batch this weekend.  It will be the 4th batch already...I may be sick of them by the time we figure it out!!!  But everyone I give them to is happy.  Image  DH''s coworkers got the rest of the batch this morning.






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Post by Mara » May 15th, 2008, 10:34 am

honestly i would just find another recipe FG! if i dont like one i dont keep playing with it, there are so many recipes online that you can typically find a similar one to modify. also in my cuppies now i tend to just put in BP not soda..but also cuz i use buttermilk a lot too. LOOKS yummy though!!!


lol freke re dumping them out, i totally am so careful with mine hehee!


gold cake did vanilla buttercream with vb paste frosting, SO YUMMY actually. great combo. the gold cake is YUMMY yet very rich. i used less sugar than recipe called for, 2 extra yolks (cuz i had them) and used 2% buttermilk as well as butter not shortening. next time maybe less butter....the color was great!


also random note but i was watching some show about cuppies and the gal who makes them said that butter dries out cupcakes/cake so she almost always only uses oil. is that true?? i don''t like oil really...thoughts??

________________________________

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

-Albert Einstein

Post by Mara » May 15th, 2008, 10:42 am
________________________________

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

-Albert Einstein

Post by FireGoddess » May 15th, 2008, 11:04 am
Ooh Mara the last one looks good.  I've seen the others before but I was trying to avoid recipes that used coconut milk.  I always thought coconut milk was high in saturated fat or something of that sort.  The last one doesn't use coconut milk so that may be a good one for comparison.  Image

Ironically, even though they shrink (which is just annoying because I have to unwrap them all) the soft texture of the cake is SCRUMPTIOUS. 

RE: butter vs oil....I was making a cupcake that called for 1.5 sticks of butter and instead I just put in 1 stick and made up the rest with canola oil (prefer the unsaturated fat in oil vs the saturated fat in butter)...the cuppies were noticeably more moist!  I was also watching Food Network when they had a cupcake competition and this woman who makes RV cupcakes (and owns a bakery) said her secret incredient (and why her cupcakes were more moist) was oil.





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Post by Mara » May 15th, 2008, 12:27 pm
HAA FG that is the same show I saw. I loved those RV cakes. I asked a friend who makes a popular RV and she said she uses a TINY bit of oil but mostly butter. So I was going to try a COMBO of both....but I didn''t know if that would be weird since no recipes really do that.

Oh and there is low-fat coconut milk which is not as bad...I''d just use a tiny bit OR just use flaked coconut.
________________________________

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

-Albert Einstein

Post by FrekeChild » May 15th, 2008, 2:45 pm
Butter vs oil.

Butter is technically 80% fat, with the other 20% being milk solids and water. Plus because it's a semi-saturated fat, it gets harder under refrigeration-which could make it seem dryer if it's cold, but when left at room temp for a while, the butter "melts" or softens, and tastes better and more moist.
So if you use oil, it's 100% fat and it's an unsaturated fat, so it will always be moist (except under freezer like conditions, where it will solidify.

Having said that, it depends on what I'm making as to what I'll use. I avoid shortening (hydrogenated oils) at ALL COSTS. Not just because it's unhealthy, but also because I think the texture is disgusting-and the only thing it's necessary for would be pie dough, because it's not really temperature sensitive and it's hard at room temp. So if I'm making something that requires creaming, I won't use oil, but butter instead. If I am making a recipe that doesn't use creaming, I'll just use oil (and only olive oil, almost always extra virgin olive oil).

I try to live by the rule of "If your great great grandma wouldn't recognize it, don't use it" and IMHO, she wouldn't have recognized shortening.Image (I stopped using shortening when my mom bought chocolate chocolate chip muffins and they were under baked to the point where it was raw in the middle-and there were tiny white chunks of shortening mixed throughout. Gross, I tell you. Image)

ETA: Mara-you'll be happy to know that I bought another muffin tin yesterday so no more dumped out cuppies. Image
_______________________________

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

Post by Mara » May 16th, 2008, 8:17 am
yay Freke for a 2nd pan. i actually have crazy pans, i think i kept buying them previously not realizing i had them. so i have like 2 regular size, 2 mini size ones...hehe. and i bought some fun pans from amazon last week, like a mini bundt, a heart shaped tart, mini quiches/tarts, a 7" wide, deep springform. fun times!!

thanks for the info on butter vs oil. do you feel like you can TASTE a diff in oil vs butter? i have read that people feel like butter TASTES more rich and better, and oil is just .. moist. i might try a cuppie this wkd with both to see if i can tell a diff having had it previously with just butter.
________________________________

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

-Albert Einstein

Post by ladypirate » May 16th, 2008, 8:35 am
Yay for muffin pans!  I seriously need a new one--the one I have works, but I''d be really hesitant to use it without liners...it''s pretty funky.  On the other hand, maybe I just need to pull out some barkeepers friend and go to town on it.

Still waiting for my friend in the cake decorating class to send me the pictures she took of my cake final.  I will post them once I get them, though--promise!
-
Hot chocolate butterflies dance through my heart and tell me you're the one.
Come take a sip of this so I can look into your beautiful eyes and say,
"Ouch! I spilled some on my lap, burning my leg, but I don't mind. I'm with you."

Post by FrekeChild » May 16th, 2008, 8:43 am
You''d better LP!!!

Mara-I can taste a difference. Oil doesn''t have a flavor really, it''s just oily. Butter has that buttery yumminess to it. To test it out, I''d just put some oil on a piece of bread, and some butter on a piece of bread. The perfect combo to me would be to use some butter and some oil-get the flavor and the moistness. I really think the difference is the fact that butter has those yummy milk solids that have all that flavor in them.

Yum. Butter. Ok, I''m going to go and get working on cupcakes in just a minute. I''ll take pics as often as possible throughout the process, although mostly just for fun, but I''ll post them too...for semi educational purposes (mostly because I''ll be making Italian Buttercream and I know a lot of people are kind of scared of it).
_______________________________

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

Post by FrekeChild » May 16th, 2008, 12:32 pm
Here goes nothing. Here's a couple of pics before I started. My mixer is in there for LadyP.

And I don't have time to explain everything, but I'll do it later...

ETA: the brown stuff is the chamomile experiment

ETAA: My mixer looks funny in the pic and is really a brighter blue in person.
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_______________________________

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

Post by FrekeChild » May 16th, 2008, 12:33 pm
Making the Italian Meringue for the buttercream...
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_______________________________

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

Post by FrekeChild » May 16th, 2008, 12:36 pm
Sugar syrup just before its ready, sugar syrup just as its ready
Italian meringue completed, buttercream with 1/2 of the butter added (note the color change between the two)
Almost complete, buttercream completed
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Buttercream collage.jpg
Buttercream collage.jpg (59.55 KiB) Viewed 138 times
_______________________________

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

Post by FrekeChild » May 16th, 2008, 12:37 pm
Buttercream completed, closer for texture...
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buttercream collage 2.jpg (47.61 KiB) Viewed 138 times
_______________________________

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

Post by FrekeChild » May 16th, 2008, 12:38 pm
Cupcakes from batter to frosted. The chamomile experiment didn''t quite work, although the flavor isn''t quite like normal, they are super vanilla-y, and taste great!!!
Attachments
Cupcake collage.jpg
Cupcake collage.jpg (66.81 KiB) Viewed 138 times
_______________________________

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


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