Ballet News & Cupcakes
Through my Cupcakes & Conversation interview series with professional ballet dancers around the globe I bring you the delights of the Cupcake, which, as we’ve seen, is suitable for any occasion. A Cupcake and a cup of tea were made for each other; throw in a 30 minute interval at the ballet and hey presto – look around and you’ll find yourself surrounded by people doing the same.
Now I’ve taken it to the next level and, with some trepidation, I’ve started baking myself (I haven’t put myself in the oven – heavens no – it’s all about the Cupcakes). I needed some help with this, since the kitchen is far from my natural environment. I turned to the experts.
First of all, thorough research has revealed that for me, the best Cupcake cookery book by a long mile is the Primrose Bakery Book. It tells you what you need to know, and gives you enticing suggestions for later on when you know what you’re doing, so it fulfills two functions at once. Three, actually, since there are recipes for cakes too. There are lots of other books, all with different recipes and methods of making them, but I wanted to learn the basics properly. Even assuming that you can make a great sponge recipe, icing cupcakes is something of an art and I’ve found that it really helps to do your research before you start. Saves time and money too!
I also turned to this video, showing which methods are best used for mixing different, sometimes difficult, ingredients, and I’ve found that I have been able to avoid curdling the mixture or other baking disasters.
That said, my first batch ended up in the bin because I’d weighed out all of the ingredients and left them to reach room temperature only to find that my ancient electric hand mixer which had been buried away for years no longer wanted to play, and hand mixing Cupcake recipes takes too much time and can’t be rushed – as I discovered. I cannot recommend highly enough this Kenwood hand mixer; it is heavy but performs perfectly and most of all, it’s exceedingly quiet. I’m a fan of the kMix range anyway and this just exceeded my already high expectations. It comes in red and black, if almond cream isn’t your thing. I found it hard to source, so I recommend Amazon as they have stock.
As with kitchen equipment, it just doesn’t pay to buy cheap cooking ingredients. If you can source the best vanilla extract (never essence) or other flavourings then your Cupcakes will thank you for it. I also think it’s more of a pleasure to be in the kitchen if you smooth your way by having the right stuff, and that’s got to show in your baking, which everyone will love.
My second batch of Cupcakes were eaten so fast I never got the chance to photograph them, so next time I’ll reveal the finished product.
Disclosure : Primrose Bakery supports Ballet News