Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hey there cupcake!

So, I've been thinking about this bakery-business (which if you've been here any amount of time, you know), and as part of my research, I've been looking at other peoples bakery's.   And they all have one thing in common: cupcakes.

Everyone who's anyone seems to specialize in cupcakes.

And, well, I have this thing about cupcakes; they suck.

Here, let me demonstrate this problem with some wonderful paint sketches of vanilla cupcakes & chocolate icing.  Really, they're just fabulous.

Example 1: Typical Cupcake
See, in this typical cupcake, you've got a good amount of cake, topped by some amount of icing.  Now, the amount of icing can vary from a thin glaze to a towering pile of whipped goodness.  Sounds like a great plan, right?  You've got a little piece of cake you can hold in your hand, nice and portable, nearly genius.


See, there's way too much cake under the icing, and you get all the icing up in your teeth when you bite into it, and then all you have is a mouthful of cake without adequate icing... what a mess.

So, I've been exploring some alternatives to the typical cupcake.  Come, explore this with me. I've basically written a research paper on the subject.

Example 2: The Inside Out Cupcake
This is my current method for dealing with typical cupcakes.  I take my cupcake, break it in half (hamburger-bun-style), turn it upside down, and stack it back together.  This way, you get the cake first, then the icing, then the cake again; more like your average layer cake.  Not too shabby, but you can get a lot of icing squeezing out on the sides which can be messy.  So when I made cupcakes yesterday, I baked the cupcakes, then cut them in half and iced the middle lightly.  This prevented the squeezing out, but there wasn't quite enough icing.  Bummer.

Example 3: The Chubby Topknot
I like the name of this one.  I just made it up.  Sometimes I think I'm rather clever.  The idea behind this guy is that you have all of the benefits of the Inside Out, with a little extra icing on top.  I've got one of these in the fridge right now, a modification of yesterday's experiment.  I'll let you know how it goes, but I think I'm still going to have uncomfortable icing in the teeth situation, so I'm not really thinking this is the answer.  Stay tuned.

Example 4: Layer Cupcake

Finally, as all good research reports contain, I have an area for future research.  This to-be-tried plan is a cupcake cut into thirds, then thinly iced in-between the layers.  This way, we avoid the squeezing, and compensate for the lack of icing on the Inside Out.  However, you don't get the icing in your teeth scenario from the Chubby Top Knot.  To cut a delicate cupcake into thirds, you're going to have to freeze it, or at least refrigerate it for a while.  So I'm not sure if its worth all of the trouble, or if it will apply well to all types of cupcake.  I'm still exploring this.

Yes, I have put a good amount of time into thinking about this.  I mean, what else did you want me to contemplate on my 2 1/2 mile run yesterday (not that I'm bragging... but I am...)?  However, I'm not going to continue this experiment today.  No, today I think I might try to find the best banana bread recipe ever.  I have a mini loaf pan, and so I can make a bunch of different types and just bake small loaves.  Anyone have any over-ripe bananas you need to get rid of??

Finally, I want to talk about 2 things, one related and one not.

1.  When making a smaller version of a recipe, there is always a minimum scaling factor ingredient.  This trips my math switch, and I like to think about it.  For example, if you had a recipe that called for 2 eggs, and good amounts of everything else, you couldn't really cut it into anything less than 1/2, because then you'd have fractions of eggs.  So the egg is the minimal scaling factor.  I think there's a better math term for that.  I'll let you know if I think of it on my bike ride.

2.  I can never remember the word "easement".  Its a real estate term that means you allow others to traverse over your property, either for friendliness sake, or for necessity.  For example, if you buy some land that is not currently accessible by road, you can't get to it unless one of your neighbors has an easement agreement with you, where you can traverse (or even build a road on) their land to get to yours.  Sometimes utility companies negotiate these as well.  I like this concept, and I dont' know why.  But now I should remember the word.

And finally, because its been a while, here's some (a)musings from Handsome:

Me: Do you wish we had nicknames for each other?
H: Well, if we did, I wouldn't want mine to be mushy.
Me: No?  I thought all nicknames were mushy.  What would you want?
H: I don't know, something that sounds manly and strong and tough.  Sweat Bucket.  Thats it.  I'd pick Sweat Bucket.
Me: Alright Sweat Bucket.  I'll keep that in mind.
Me: These measurements are going up, not down.  Now I don't know if I've lost weight or not.
H: Well, I can tell you have, because you can see your abs now...
Me: Well thanks...
H: ... and I haven't seen your abs in... well, heck I don't remember the last time I saw your abs.
Me: ... a lot...
H: Come sit with me.
Me: I can't, I'm baking for the picnic on Friday.
H: I don't like when you're baking!  At least, not for others.
Me: No?
H: No.  I didn't marry you to have a professional chef.  I married you to be a personal chef.  My personal chef.
Me: Oh really?  Because I married you because I loved you, not because of what you could do for me...  Oh, and you're taking me out to dinner tonight, btw.  *pshhtt* personal chef...

Turning the world cupcakes upside-down,


  1. FTR: I have discovered, through tireless research, that the Chubby Topknot IS sufficient for a cupcake method. I am very pleased with these findings, and hope you are too. Thank you and goodnight.

  2. Yay re: the Chubby Topknot. That sounded the best to me. But I don't mind a little icing in the teeth either, LOL.

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