Friday, January 15, 2010
One of my favorite new fascinations in the kitchen these days is the art of cupcakes. A few years ago, I paid no attention to these little bites of cake and creamy confection. I rarely baked them in favor of a more moist, layered slice of indulgence. But as growing trends have popularized the once ordinary dessert, I have found myself on the bandwagon trying to make the yummiest possible five bites of deliciousness. I even have this illusive dream of someday opening up a cupcake shop in town!
After experimenting with many flavors, mixes, recipes, I still have not yet created my piece de resistance, but have learned a few things along the way:
Number One- Do not overfill the cupcake papers. Filling the papers a smidgen past half full will result in a beautiful rounded top.
Number Two- Watch the cakes at the end of the bake time to pull them out at just the right time. If you bake them too long they will be dry. The tops should bounce back with a little give when you gently push them with your finger to ensure moistness.
Number Three- Brush the tops with a simple syrup immediately out of the oven. This marinates the cakes with the kind of flavor found in layer cakes. One of my favorites is a mixture of sugar and water boiled into a syrup with the addition of pure almond extract.
Number Four- Top with an exquisite frosting. Vanilla buttercream and cream cheese are two of my favorites.
Number Five- Refrigerate overnight in a sealed container for the best infusion of flavor.