Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jam Donut Cupcakes, Bake 'N' Take and Cupcake Dome

It has been a while since my last post, having to work in Bendigo means I have limited access to Internet after work but I've now got my Telstra wireless card, yay. What would I do without the W.W.W! Ok let's get down to the cupcake talk shall we? On the weekend it was my good old friend's birthday and I have been wanting to bake these Jam Donut cupcakes for ages. I didn't exactly follow any recipe, I just used a basic Vanilla Cupcake recipe and some yummy Cottee's Strawberry and Raspberry Jam. In my head, I thought this would work... so off to experiment I went!

So I prepared the vanilla cupcake batter and I got some jam. I must say, I prefer Raspberry jam - I've always been more of a raspberry kinda girl. Like the raspberry twists, raspberry split ice creams, raspberry fizzy drinks.. Strawberry just doesn't have that extra kick to it, if you know what I mean. So anyhow I filled one tray with the Strawberry and the other with the Raspberry. I simply put a third of the batter in the cupcake papers first and half a teaspoon of jam, then topped it off with some more cupcake batter to cover it. Make sure you cover the jam, you don't want any poking out when they bake.
I then popped them into the oven to bake. They sunk a little at first like I was afraid they would since I've never really tried this before and wasn't sure how they would turn out. But alas, they rose into a beautiful dome.

Out come the Jam Donut cupcakes... using my new awesome Cupcake Mitt with extra grip at the fingertips. No more accidental burns using the crappy silicone gloves that hardly cover my hand. My mum actually picked this up for me at the shops...I love it.

At this point I must add that I also love my size 16 ice cream scoop. It is the perfect measurement for baking the perfect sized cupcakes and it took me ages to find one and how funny that I stumbled across it in an Asian kitchenware shop in Springvale..out of all places! I was going to House, Bamix, Wheelbarrow, General Trader and none of them stocked it.

So to decorate like true Jam Donut style I decided on glace icing. Cinnamon glace icing and Chocolate glace icing. Now if you don't know what glace icing is, it is simply icing sugar with a bit of butter and a little hot water. You need to stir it in a bowl over boiling water so the butter melts and you get the right consistency. The butter makes it softer so you can cut through the icing and not shatter it. It's quite sweet though but it's the sort of icing you usually get on your donuts, so I thought this was fitting.

As the icing sets quite quickly, I needed my boyfriend to help me decorate them after I put the icing on with a flat spatula...I think he did a really great job! We used Jelly Belly jelly beans & colourful round sprinkles on top of the Cinnamon iced ones and Lindt Dark Coffee Intense chocolate & silver cachous on the choc iced ones.

We then popped them into a large gift box as a birthday gift for my friend, whom was having his birthday at a bar.

And here are the cupcakes with lit candles! The tissue paper on the left got caught on fire though argh.. but we put it out quickly enough before the whole box went up in flames. I especially like the "Girl" candle in the front. Of course my friend whom is a HE didn't find that amusing.

Before I go, I just wanted to show you a few other cupcake related stuff I recently got. And yes, they are darn sweet. So I was at Coles supermarket late one night and had to get a few things, as I walked down the aisle towards the counter, out of the corner of my right eye I saw a display of CUPCAKE CARRIERS piled to my neck height. Yeap I turned around to my bf behind me and said OMFG LOOooOK *squeal*! Bf was thinking "w..t..f" as I ran to the display of cupcake towers on sale (i already had them) and beside them the amazing BAKE 'N' Take. Not only have I been wanting a Cupcake courier for ages (I couldn't justify spending the $59.95 for it and was waiting for it to go on sale) but this fantastically awesome Bake 'N' Take doubles as a cupcake carrier and a freakin' cupcake baking tray. I couldn't contain my excitement. Wait it gets better...it only cost 15 bucks! holy shit. Yeah it was mine alright. It sure made my night. My bf was happy too, he picked up one of those new Colgate toothbrushes that vibrate to get more crap out from between your teeth. Coles is awesome.

And I also got this clear glass [cup]cake plate dome, thought it was mighty cute. It's actually raised up on a stand but you can't really tell from this angle.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

First cupcake order

I've just realised how lengthy my posts are and I'll be surprised if anyone has actually read my posts. Am going to try to write less and post more pics up, after all when I follow blogs I like to look at pretty pictures more than read.

A couple of weeks ago, someone sent me a message via Facebook (yes I am a fan of it, I work out in Bendigo and need to feel in touch with people) they asked me if I could bake cupcakes for their birthday and of course, I jumped at the opportunity! I love baking cupcakes and usually I have to find a reason to bake cupcakes because in my head I fear something like this will happen: "So what's the special occasion?" "oh no occasion, I just felt like baking". "You just felt like baking cupcakes for no reason?" "Erm yeah..." "Rightio.. /pat pat" Ok I guess that hasn't really happened to me but I don't want to feel foolish and look like a crazy baker, it just always seems like I need an occasion or reason to bake. Speaking of reasons to bake, we're having a celebration party of some sort since we've completed a phase of the project, I could use that reason to bring cupcakes in next week...yes you needed to know that.

Anyhow, yes I was pretty excited about making cupcakes for my very first order! Could this be my cupcake dream coming true? Yes I'm still far off from owning my own Cupcakery but it's a little step forward.

My first cupcake order client wanted a surprise for the flavour/colour/decoration so I guess I had the opportunity to use my imagination. And just before I had to bake them, I received a belated birthday present from my wonderful friends. They got me..

This awesome cupcake book which has a Jam Donut cupcake recipe I want to try this weekend. And the cutest little silicone cake scrapers and silicone pastry brush. I hate using the pastry brushes with the hairs, if I need to use it to brush oil or butter they're always so hard to clean!

Very cute silicone cupcake moulds in star shapes, heart shapes and in pastel colours.

A cupcake apron! I love it. Baking cupcakes in style..uh huh.

So off to work I went with baking the cupcakes. Oh I also got the Crabapple Cupcake Bakery book so I decided to use their Vanilla cupcake recipe. It turned out ok, it was moist but I wasn't completely happy with the way it raised, I couldn't get the perfect dome shape. I still think that the Billy's Vanilla Vanilla cupcake recipe and method turn out the nicest.

So I made some Chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes with Cocoa Buttercream topped with Coffee Intense Lindt Chocolate shavings, white chocolate hearts that I got from the fancy deli at Chaddy and some cute heart sprinkles. I would have loved to try making chocolate ganache but I ran out of time..have definitely learnt that I need to give myself more time to make these cupcake orders.

I think the Dark Lindt Chocolate and Cadbury Flakes make these cupcakes look fancier, plus its more fun to eat if you can pick a piece of chocolate off it first. It reminds me when I've had to share an ice-cream or sundae with my brother and we would always fight for the waffle cone or cherry on top.

These are the 'special' cupcakes I made especially for the order, they took much longer to make than I expected. These are the Vanilla cupcakes (Crabapple Cupcake Bakery recipe) with Cookies & Cream filling topped with Vanilla buttercream in a pastel lavender colour with a smidge of blue. I sneakily found out from my cupcake client's boyfriend that her favourite colours were purple and blue.. and favourite flavour was vanilla so I thought I would add some personalisation to the cupcakes as a nice touch. I topped these off with the white chocolate hearts and silver & blue cachous.

When I showed my dear boyfriend this photo, his first comment was "why is there a red dot on that cupcake". Dammit it's not supposed to be there.

More cupcake pics! These ones have Tim Tams on them. I love Tim Tams but I'm so bad at stopping at just eating 1 or 2 so I hardly ever buy them. They're very addictive.

Final result.. all the cupcakes in a big purple box, ready to be picked up. It's hard to find the big boxes with the cupcake inserts and they usually cost an arm and a leg for just one use, so I find that these huge boxes from the Gift shops do just as well.

I'm starting to plan how to launch a cupcake order side-business so stay tuned! In the mean time if any of you guys want to enquire about cupcake orders, drop me an email at sherylthai [at] hotmail.com

xx Shez