Posts Tagged ‘cupcakes’

pandan cupcakes 2

Last Friday, the day before Halloween, I delighted my workmates with some spooky green pandan cupcakes with spiderweb cupcake wrappers. They were a big hit! They’re really just a modification of the pandan chiffon cake recipe that I posted a few weeks ago – you just have to put them into cupcake cases and bake them for only about 30 minutes instead of the full large cake time.

I used spiderweb cupcake wrappers from Alfresco Emporium, which also allows online orders. They’re also available from the USA from Fancy Flours but the international shipping fees are horrendous, so stick with the local one unless you’re an American.

Happy Halloween!

Howdy all, hoo-eee, do I have some mighty purdy links for you.

First up, there is 31 Awesome Cakes to Celebrate Your Divorce. A lot of these are pretty gruesome, I guess divorce makes people a bit homicidal. Just as long as they’re channelling that feeling into making delicious cake and not into stabbing people, then that’s okay with me.

Then there is Cupcake Day for the RSPCA – baking delicious cakes for a worthy cause. A friend of mine is participating in this, which I think is just grand. I like the creative cupcake ideas, although I’ve always regarded marzipan modelling for decorations as cheating, mainly because I don’t like the taste of marzipan very much and most Aussies I know generally don’t like it much either. Anyway it’s way more challenging to use other stuff. I once saw a Donna Hay sheep cupcake made with popcorn for wool, which was kind of inspired but a bit weird looking.

Finally, we have Cake Wrecks, some kind of online museum of cake horror. It kind of reminds me of two cake horror stories I heard. One was a cake ordered over the phone with a special message on it, and when the cake turned up the message literally said something like “Susan best wishes then underneath something like we will miss you and good luck or something along those lines”. The other horror story was of a bride who showed a photocopied picture of a cake to her cakemaker and so the cakemaker made her a black and white wedding cake (the photocopy was in black and white).

babycakes2

It’s an interesting mathematical fact that when cakes are smaller, more are eaten. I know from baking experience that 2 mini cupcakes = 1 regular cupcake, and 2 regular cupcakes = 1 jumbo cupcake. Yet, when people are presented with mini cupcakes, they tend to eat significantly more than when they are presented with regular or jumbo sized cupcakes. I reckon this is because of the theory of “it’s little, so I can have more of them, and I won’t get as fat”. But then you go and eat twice as many and it’s even worse.

So, BabyCakes – a clever business strategy or a cunning obesity conspiracy?  Are the cakes really made from babies? I’m going to go with no, because I’ve eaten quite a lot of these cakes and it would freak me out if they were made from actual babies. I assume there is some kind of artificial baby flavouring involved instead.

Anyway, I should be talking about cake deliciousness. The flavours are pretty typical of most specialist cupcake stores, although they are done well. My favourites are the cherry bomb and the peanut slide, which manage to cram a lot of flavour and texture into a tiny morsel.

The packaging is a bit disappointing, consisting of a cardboard tray in a paper bag. However it serves as an adequate cupcake transportation unit as long as you keep it the right way up. The Summer Hill store has some chairs and coffee available, but isn’t quite a cafe, so you’re best taking the cakes home where you can devour them greedily behind closed doors.

Go here for:

Take-home mini cakes. I reckon these cakes would go great as petit fours for a high tea, or as a cute addition to a chocolate platter dessert at a dinner party. Otherwise, they’re a nice little sugar hit to have while you’re shopping, that you won’t feel so bad about because you’re only eating half a regular sized cupcake.

Oh, OR….you could make a big cake at home, and use these smaller BabyCakes as decorations for your bigger cake. Possibly even make some kind of mini cupcake pyramid to sit atop your big cake. Put some flowers or strawberries in amongst the cupcakes in the tower and how cool would that look? Send me a picture if you try it!

giftboxes

I love cupcakes.

For this reason, when it comes to critiquing cupcakes, I set the bar very high. I’ve eaten a lot of them. I’ve made a lot of them. My wedding cake was made almost entirely of cupcakes.

So when I say that Sparkle Cupcakery is one of the best cupcake stores I have been to, you should all be suitably impressed. Go on, give a little gasp or something.

First of all, they use top quality ingredients in their cakes, and it shows. You can see the little black telltale specks of real vanilla beans and you can taste the difference. Secondly, the flavours of the cakes are not limited to the decorations on the top. And what flavours! My favourite has to be the sweet and fragrant Lavender and Honey flavour, but the rest are delicious as well.

Presentation is always a big part of cakes, especially cupcakes, and one may argue that Sparkle cupcakes are a little on the plain side. However, they have their whole minimalist look going on, and I respect that. When you see several cake flavours assembled in one of their signature black boxes with silver writing, you have to admit that they look very classy indeed.

Best of all, Sparkle holds a high tea, featuring champagne, strawberries with melted chocolate, biscuits and of course cupcakes. That’s what I like to see, grown up cupcakes – no kid’s patty cakes here.

My only criticism is that on occasion when I have had the cakes, they have seemed a bit dry. I guess this might be due to a different baker on that day, or a different recipe, or bad luck….who knows? However most of the time they have been fantastic. The staff are always very friendly and the service is excellent.

Go to Sparkle Cupcakery for classy cakes, gourmet cakes or gift cakes.

An endless stream of cakes
The French House, Waterloo

The French House, Waterloo







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