Newcastle, NSW, Australia
I’m a former industrial chemist, and after deciding on a career change while at home with my two young children, I’m now a qualified pastry chef. In 2009 I started taking some classes in cake decorating and other pastry-related cookery, and taught myself many more decorating techniques from books and internet resources. In 2010 I started a pastry apprenticeship, studying Retail Baking (Cake & Pastry) Certificate III at TAFE, which I completed with Distinction in 2012. I completed my apprenticeship in December 2013, and am now working as a full time Pastry chef and Cake Decorator at 'Exquisite Cakes by Lennert' in Cessnock, NSW.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My First Cupcakes!

Today I baked my first cupcakes ever! I’ve made plenty of muffins, and probably as many mini muffins, but I didn’t even own any cupcake-size tins until two days ago. The cupcakes for the class were supplied by the teacher, so this is the first time I’ve made them myself. I used the same Madeira cake recipe that I made Cameron’s birthday cake from. The quantities for a 6 inch tin gave me a dozen cupcakes, which was a good sized test batch.

I need to do some more hunting for better quality cupcake cases, though. The supermarket only had “cheap and nasty” ones with gaudy prints, and they aren’t even cut straight. I carefully smoothed the batter in each paper case, noticing as I went that when they were sitting flat with the batter nicely leveled, one side of the case sat distinctly higher than the other. The cakes rose perfectly evenly and found their own level, but when you look at them side-on from the right angle, they're obviously deformed. Not a huge issue for the average home baker, I guess, but for someone wanting to do professional quality decorating, they just don’t cut it.

Thankfully this was just a test batch and I never intended to ice or decorate them, because they hadn’t been on the cooling rack more than a minute before I gave in to temptation. Mmmm… fresh cupcakes straight from the oven, still warm and crunchy on top! Whenever I bake muffins, one or two always seem to disappear before they’ve had a chance to cool, but I wouldn’t have had a hot freshly baked cupcake since my mum made them when I was little. Ahhh, childhood memories come flooding back!

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