The Delectable World of Cupcakes

Cupcakes as the name suggests, are delightful cakes presented in cup form. “Cupcake is a small cake designed to serve one person, which is baked in a small thin paper with icing and topped with other decorations,” said Rijo George, Bakery Chef,  The Chocolate Room Ahmedabad.

Sanjay Browne, Executive Sous Chef, The Grand Vasant Kunj, New Delhi said, “A cupcake is a small cake baked in a cup, shaped and served with different flavoured icings such as vanilla, chocolate and red velvet.”

“These days cupcakes are offered in varied tastes and textures and hence, one cupcake is far different from the other one. The Chocolate Room has a lot of variety of cupcakes to offer such as Banana Cup Cake, Rich Chocolate Cup Cake, Chocolate Chip Cup Cake, Oreo Cup Cake, Red Velvet Cup Cake, Kit-Kat Cup Cake, Vanilla Cup Cake, Strawberry Cup Cake, Orange Cup Cake and Fern Cup Cake,” added Rijo George.

Ingredients

What exactly makes a cupcake? Undoubtedly, the basic ingredients comprise flour, a rising agent (yeast, baking powder, or baking soda), and eggs. Each of these ingredients bears a specific significance to the cupcake’s structure and preparation. If you want them light, then

Chef Nilesh Kumar, Sous Chef (Pastry), Park Hyatt Hyderabad suggests to use curd instead of butter while preparing the batter for the cupcake.

“One of the key aspects of any cupcake is maintaining the right texture of the cake itself,” he emphasised. “The cake must be moist enough so that it doesn’t taste dry in the mouth. The level of sweetness should be just right to better complement its frosting,” affirmed Nilesh Kumar.

“The cupcakes prepared in our bakery are made from T65 grade (one of the finest grades of flour used for baking) flour, which is imported from France. The variety and flavour of our cupcakes are unique and something that one would not find anywhere else in the city. We offer 7-8 varieties of cupcakes which include, red-velvet, salted-chocolate caramel, chocolate fudge, chocolate nougat and a few more,” Nilesh Kumar explained further.

“The flour forms the weight of the cupcake and brings in the spongy texture. The egg binds the ingredients together. The rising agent is crucial to bring about the right form. These are the basic ingredients which are essential for the vast majority of cupcake preparations. If you wish to create interesting variations, then you need other ingredients as well. For example, a red velvet cupcake has a complete different flavour, richness and texture. Moreover, the frosting on the red velvet cupcake is flavoured with cream cheese rather than the usual frosting with vanilla extract,” Nilesh Kumar expressed.

Challenges in Making Cupcakes

​“Baking perfect cupcakes can be a challenge if proper attention to details is not given. Also, while baking cupcakes people might find it deflated post baking, that happens due to over mixing. One must not ‘over do’ the batter and should keep the consistency of the ingredients intact,” said Sanjay Browne.

“The challenge is to get the right proportion of each ingredient and set the batter right. The temperature of the oven is also crucial. It has to be accurate or else the cupcakes can collapse when they come out of the oven. Too high temperature of the oven or too much baking soda can also cause problems​ while making cupcakes,” explained Rijo George.

For Nilesh Kumar, it is the baking temperature that is the most important yet the most challenging aspect of getting the perfect cupcake. “No matter how perfect portions are and how fine your ingredients are, if the cupcake is not baked in the right temperature it will become heavy and form a crack on top of the cake. One also needs to be careful while pouring the batter in the tray to ensure you get the perfect size, shape and texture and to avoid over or under cooking,” he proffered.

Frosting and Other Tips

“Wait till the cupcake cools down. Many cupcakes are ruined when you apply the frosting too soon after removing the batch from the oven. To retain the moisture of the cake, you need to ensure that the entire top of the cake is covered by simply dipping the cupcake upside down in a bowl of frosting. If you want to try the swirly frosting, you can use cheese cream instead of butter cream. To get the right flavour, consistency & texture, equal portions of cream cheese and whipped cream have to be blended with the desired flavour of the cream,” elaborated Nilesh Kumar.

“While baking cupcakes it is essential that we follow the below instructions in order to bake those perfect cupcakes. We should use the best available ingredients, we should not over mix the mixture, we should pre-heat the oven, and we should always try to bake in the centre of the oven,” asserted Sanjay Browne.

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