Posts filed under 'Wedding Cupcakes'
Red Velvet Cupcakes – moist, crimson-hued cupcakes with a bit of cocoa and a hint of cinnamon. Topped with luscious cream cheese frosting and decorated with red squiggles and chocolate sprinkles. Price available upon request.
paint the town red
For the longest time, I held off baking red velvet cupcakes because they were foreign to me. It wasn’t a popular flavor in the Philippines while I was growing up. I only learned about these cupcakes when I got a Hershey’s Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook and found the recipe there. The cake in the photo didn’t look red at all and that killed the cake’s mystique for me.
When the cupcake craze sprung again in recent years, people started raving about the red velvet flavor. I still didn’t get it. I dismissed it as some ordinary cupcake tinted with huge amounts of red coloring. I wasn’t impressed with a slice my sister gave me of a cake she bought from her favorite bakery in Brooklyn, NY. Because that was my first taste of the cake, I could not compare it to another and to my tastebuds, it was mediocre. To understand people’s fascination with it, I did a little digging. It turns out that there is more to the cake than just red food color.
Important components of the cake—a bit of cocoa, vinegar, oil, buttermilk—create a chemical reaction that results in the reddish hue of the cake. To intensify the crimson shade, bakers added red food color and the rest is history. There are reports of the dangers of artificial food dyes so some bakers use red beets as coloring but the redness in the cake is not as vivid as those that has the food color. Besides, extracting the juice from the beets is laborious so most bakers tend to use the bottled food color or gel.
I started baking this type of cupcake about three years ago when a client asked me to do a wedding cake. Her motif was aqua and red. I immediately thought of baking blue-tinted cupcakes. I came across a red velvet cake recipe from James McNair’s Cakes and used blue gel color instead. The resulting cupcake was delicious but the color turned out greenish blue. Not a pretty sight. I ditched that idea and just put the blue on the white chocolate glaze and cupcake topper made of marzipan. But that’s another story.
I didn’t bake any red velvet cupcakes again until last December. I used the gel color in the first batch but somehow I couldn’t get the right red shade. The cupcakes were a deep pink so I just used the bottled food color. I liked Mr. McNair’s recipe because it has a hint of cinnamon. This ingredient isn’t in the traditional recipe but cinnamon and cream cheese frosting to me is a heavenly pairing. The frosting I use is also not too sweet as there is a bit of lemon juice added to temper the sweetness of the confectioner’s sugar. This recipe also does not have vinegar and uses butter instead of oil.
When I served these during our New Year’s eve street party, our neighbors were quick to compliment me. They really loved the cupcakes and said they were the best. Aww!
*Red Velvet Cocoa Cake photo from Hershey’s Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook
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to eat or not to eat …
Okay, granted that food dyes are toxic, aren’t they in almost all of the processed foods that we consume daily anyway? They are in cereals, candy, gelatin mixes, sauces, fruit juices. If you know you have an intolerance to food dyes, then read food labels and avoid consuming such. But if you feel fine after savoring one piece or so of a red velvet cupcake, then by all means indulge. It’s not like you are going to finish a dozen everyday. But then that’s just me. It’s still your call.
March 16th, 2012
Flower Pot Cupcakes – Nutella Hazelnut cupcakes with chocolate flower lollipops. Price available upon request.
“when i fall in love…”
What can a young man do to please his lady love? Give her cupcakes, of course! But they should be not just any cupcakes, ahem. They have to be unique, they have to convey the true sentiments of the giver, and they have to taste as good as they look.
These cupcakes were actually the second batch of order from JP and were originally as they are, just the Nutella Hazelnut cupcakes. But wanting to give something extraordinary, he asked if I can embellish the cupcakes a bit. He sent some images of cupcakes with whimsical toppers. I thought hard. What can melt a girl’s heart? Diamonds! But for those on a budget, (lol) flowers will do. So why not make chocolate flower lollipops and stick them in the cupcakes? The color of the cupcake liners were so apt because they resemble flower pots (albeit expensive ones because they’re gold, haha) and the ganache topping was like soil with gravel because of the chopped hazelnuts. The “I love you” placard is chocolate attached to a biscuit. I was aiming for it to be like some sort of “No picking of flowers” signage. When I showed a sample to JP, he said they were better than the cupcake design he suggested.
JP later told me his special someone loved his gift and was totally impressed. That was good enough for me. By the way, JP’s first order was the “I Love You” cupcakes. Oh, to be young and in love.
November 3rd, 2011
Chocolate Banana Cake Project – banana cake and cupcakes frosted with dark chocolate ganache and topped with white chocolate curls. Price available upon request.
Mr. J._ was turning 50 and his wife P._ wanted cake and cupcakes as desserts for the special occasion. They readily chose banana flavor because the birthday boy loves banana cake. So it was settled. The cake was to be a large scale version of my Chocolate Banana cupcakes. P._ told me when the project was due. On. My. Birthday. Yes, Mr. J_ and I share the same birthday! I was hoping to make that day free (it was a Saturday) but what the hey, business is business.
There were to be 70 cupcakes in all so I had to make 210 white chocolate curls, three per cupcake. I lost count of how many were supposed to be on the cake but I just made a lot just in case.
As I was busy with the preparations weeks ahead, along came a call from former client MM who also wanted to order cupcakes for her birthday. Due date? On. My. Birthday. Great, more blessings! MM needed her cupcakes at noon and P._ needed hers late in the afternoon. Yes! *fist pumps* There was still time for a dinner celebration with my family.
Despite a heavy downpour on D-day, my deliveries went well and my family was able to enjoy a dinner buffet in Palms Country Club in Alabang. What a birthday!
A few days later, I got to talk to P._ and she told me that their guests loved the cupcakes. Some even went back for seconds! She said it was a good thing she had a cake because there would have been nothing left for the family to savor. Getting those orders and hearing those positive words from a satisfied client are among the best birthday gifts I have ever gotten. Thanks P._ and MM!
November 2nd, 2011
Heart of Gold Wedding Project – wedding cake and cupcakes in yellow and gold colors featuring chocolate hearts brushed with edible gold luster dust on the cupcakes and large chocolate hearts and marzipan daisies on the cake. Price available upon request.
love is the only gold – Alfred Lord Tennyson
This is the latest wedding cake and cupcakes I made for a friend. She was excited because she was finally settling down with the man of her dreams. She sounded so in love—aww!
We ran through all her requirements for the cake and cupcakes. For the cake: large yellow hearts with their names on them, check; yellow daisies made of marzipan, check; a sprinkling of gold dragees, check; gold ribbons, check. For the cupcakes: swirled whipped cream frosting, check; chocolate heart brushed with edible gold dust as topper, check; sprinkling of gold dragees, check. Gold box with acetate cover and sticker label, check. Devil’s food chocolate as flavor for the cake and cupcakes frosted with whipped cream tinted yellow, check. Delivery date, April 2, check. Wait, make that April 8. Oops, documents, clearances, permits needed for the wedding are not yet complete so make the date April 18. Whoa!
I already calendared the original date and when it was moved, my schedule was still fine. But when the date was set on April 18, I was faced with projects bunched up together. As in due dates on two consecutive dates. I asked my friend if she can move her date a week after but it was a no-go as it was the only time where their immediate family members were available. Oh dear, where are Santa’s elves when you need them?
Fortunately, there’s the freezer. As I mentioned before, unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen successfully so that’s just what I did. Once thawed, they’re like freshy-baked, retaining their flavor and moistness. Just wrap each cupcake with cling film and put in air tight containers before storing them in the freezer. I haven’t tried freezing frosted cupcakes yet but most bakers attest that they can be done. I am not going into that territory just yet.
On wedding day, the couple graciously asked me to stay and celebrate with them but unfortunately I had to go and finish my other project. Dang it! I was looking forward to that juicy and tasty Max’s fried chicken at the reception but oh well.
As all weddings are, it was a happy occasion. I got the chance to exchange stories with G._’s sister L._ who was also my classmate in elementary and high school. The cake and cupcakes were actually L._’s gift to her sister, with brother D._ pitching in as well. How generous of you, L._, and D._ !
G._ later reported to me that their guests enjoyed their wedding favors—the cupcakes. As for the cake, the couple loved it but sadly, it got smooshed because one waiter carelessly put it in a—gasp!— plastic bag as the festivities came to an end! It was in its box allright but it was unceremoniously dumped in the plastic bag along with other wedding gifts … ¡que horror!
Despite that unfortunate event, the newlyweds and their families found humor in it—they spooned the smooshed cake from the box and said it tasted as delicious as ever. This sure is one hell of a story for the grandkids.
Thanks G._ and M._ for making me a part of this wonderful and truly unforgettable moment in your lives.
May 9th, 2011
Glittering Flowers Cupcake – flower cupcake decorated with snipped marshmallows dipped in shimmering colored sugar. Price available upon request.
baking 160 cupcakes in a day? no problem!
These are the beauties I made simultaneously with a birthday cake and cupcake project that required a total of 160 cupcakes. And I baked all those cupcakes in one day. Honestly. What spurred me to do everything in one go was that I could not sleep the night before. I actually set my alarm for 3:30 am. For some reason—stress, maybe—sleep eluded me. So instead of counting sheep, I just got up at the ungodly hour of 2 am and started baking.
In the end, everything went well and this whole project made me try some new things. First, I was able to successfully freeze unfrosted cupcakes. Actually, freezing cakes and cupcakes and have long been written by dessert authors. According to “Cupcakes!” author Elinor Klivans, unfrosted cupcakes can be “wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, sealed in a container and frozen for up to two months.” I have frozen freshly-baked cookies before but never cupcakes. After reading some disaster stories from a cupcake forum—liners becoming soggy and peeling away from the cakes—I was hesitant to try it but I did it anyway and everything turned out fine. One note, though, I did not use these frozen cupcakes for this project. I saved them as my stash to find out how long they will last. After a month, they still tasted the same, stayed moist and retained their fresh-baked quality—yum! Freezing cupcakes will really save you some time if you are baking cupcakes by the bulk but you have to have ample freezer space.
Second thing I was able to try was to transform some of my regular-sized cupcakes into petite sizes. These are not like those baked in the mini-muffin pan. I still used the regular cupcake pan but put 2 oz cupcake liners. They are just slightly smaller than regular cupcakes but I think they will be great for those who love their cupcakes but dread getting a “muffin top.”
As for this cupcake’s design, client F._ actually wanted something that resembles a carnation to go with the motif of her baby’s christening celebration. She saw my Citrusy Sunflower cupcake and suggested just having all petals sans the chocolate chip center. Though I thought it looked more like a dahlia, F._ was happy with how the cupcakes turned out and she loved the cupcake base that went with it which was the golden butter cream flavor that I also use for my Confetti cupcake.
A plateful of these shimmering flower cupcakes is truly a delight to see. Another client G._ was so taken with the design (she said they were unique) that she is ordering them for her wedding. No problem, been there, done that, I told myself. Until I found out that G._ is having 130 pieces of these, with another 20 decorated with marzipan roses. Wow, I guess I should start snipping those marshmallows and dipping them in sugar right now! Watch out for my report on that project on my next post.
October 13th, 2010