Sunday, November 13, 2011

To Eat or Not to Eat?

     That is the question!  I think about cupcakes all the time, and one question came to my mind...What ingredients or topping are less desirable on cupcakes?  If you think about all the toppings that could go on a cupcake, the list never ends.  But I do think there are some that will turn someone away from a cupcake.  For instance, take nuts, such as peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds.  These are the most used nuts to put on most cakes or cupcakes, but for some, the addition can be a turn-off.  Then there is coconut.  I find this topping to be the least favorite for most of my customers.  You either love it or hate it.  I like the taste but not the texture of coconut.  Don't forget about raisins.  When I make Carrot cake cupcakes, the one question I ask is "Do you want raisins in the them".  And the answer always seems to be "No".  So, maybe that is what it is...Texture!  Nuts, sprinkles, nonpareils, dragees, candy, crystal sugar, fruit, fondant, marzipan, and the list goes on and on.  These all add texture to a cupcake.  And when you make a cupcake, you have to remember a good cupcake has to be tasty, but you can always make it better by adding texture.  Just be careful what texture you choose...

Here is my favorite Carrot Cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes:
Carrot Cupcakes:
(yields 24)
  • 1 Pound carrots, peeled and finely grated
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line muffin pan with paper liners.  Whisk together carrots,eggs, buttermilk, sugar, oil, vanilla-bean seeds, and raisins.  In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Stir flour mixture into carrot mixture until well combined.
2.  Divide evenly into lined cups, filling three-quarters full.  Bake for 23-28 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean. 
3.  Top each cupcake with Cream Cheese frosting and garnish with toasted coconut.

     See, this particular recipe has all the textures we talked about...raisins and coconut.  I make carrot cake cupcakes and just put chopped pecans on top.  There we go again...Texture!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with no pecans, raisins or coconut courtesy of Cupcakes With Class

So, that the question becomes...Texture or no texture?  What do you think?

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