First created in the USA in the 1900s the cupcake has become a pop culture trend the world over.
What started out as a humble, simple to make bite sized treat, has gone on to be the cake of choice at birthdays, weddings and pretty much any special occasion. And, with bakeries dedicated to creating the most delicious of flavours and eye catching designs dotted along every high street, its clear to see our cupcake obsession shows no sign of slowing.
This week (September 18-23) marks ‘National Cupcake Week’ and what better way to celebrate than by donning your apron and making a batch of your own! The Hummingbird Bakery, famous for its divine flavour combinations (and frosting to die for), shares its tops tips on how to get the perfect result when baking cupcakes at home.
Tip 1: Use the best quality ingredients available. The flavour of your cupcake depends on the quality of the ingredients used to make it, so don't skimp. Good quality chocolate and vanilla can make all the difference to the depth of flavour.
Tip 2: Full fat ingredients will make your cupcakes more luxurious. We use full fat cream cheese, real butter and whole milk to make our cupcakes. Baking is a treat and using reduced fat products affects the creaminess and richness of the finished bake. Alternatives can also leave an after taste.
Tip 3: Check that your oven is operating at the correct temperature. You can check this before you bake with an oven thermometer. Over-baking can leave cupcakes cracked, dry or burnt. Under-baking can leave them sunken and soggy.
Tip 4 Use a metal skewer to test the centre of your cupcakes. If it comes out cleanly and no batter residue is left, then your cupcakes are done and can be removed from the oven. You can also check by eye to see if they are looking risen and golden (hard to do if Red Velvet or chocolate!). They should also spring up lightly to the touch.
Tip 5: Beat buttercream frostings for at least five minutes in an electric mixer using a paddle attachment to incorporate as much air as possible and make them light and fluffy. Cream cheese frosting should be beaten for no more than five minutes or it could go runny or split.
For more baking and decorating tips and advice from the experts at The Hummingbird Bakery visit www.hummingbirdbakery.com