Cupcake’s Anatomy

CUPCAKE’S ANATOMY

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 Cupcake's Anatomy

 

1)  SPONGE:    

  • Fluffy, moist and tender.
  • Different sizes:
    • Mini – standard – big (muffin) – “giant”.
  • Different flavours:       
    • Vanilla – chocolate (with or without chocolate chips)–  lemon – orange – strawberry – raspberry – apple – cinnamon – carrot – caramel – coffee – banana – peanut butter – “Oreo”, etc.
  • It’s possible to make them gluten-free,sugar-free and egg-free, so these are very good options for those people who can’t eat this kind of food (in case of celiac disease, diabetes…).

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2)  FILLING:  

  • You can eat a plain sponge cupcake without any filling, but some people prefer a tasty sponge filled of:
    •  ”Nutella” – jam (any flavour) – caramel – peanut butter – flavoured syrup – fruit – whipped cream, etc.

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3)  ICING

3.1)    Buttercream:    

  • It’s a creamy, consistent and tasty icing which is mainly made of butter and icing sugar.
  • It can be applied onto the sponge by means of a piping bag (with a specific nozzle) or a palette knife.
  • Different colours: it is possible to get any colour by using food colouring.
  • Different flavours: Vanilla – chocolate – strawberry – lemon – orange – coffee – “Nutella”  – caramel – coconut – pineapple – peanut butter – “Oreo ”, etc.       
  • Different shapes: You can pipe from a delicate rose to a modern swirl.

3.2)    Cream Cheese:

  • Softer than buttercream, it can combine with some flavours, especially with the carrot one. Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese form a classical and well-known recipe, as well as red velvet cupcakes, which are always iced with cream cheese.

3.3)    Meringue:

    • Basic Meringue (French Meringue): It’s made of egg whites and granulated sugar. You can use caster sugar instead to get a smoother meringue.
    • Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Light and fluffy, it is basically made of stiff egg whites, butter and granulated sugar. Ideal for garnishes and fillings.
    • Italian Meringue Buttercream: It mainly consisit of a mix of sugar syrup, egg whites and butter. It’s really creamy and smooth.

3.4)    Glace icing:

  • It is a mixture between icing sugar and water. As a result, we get a glossy and smooth icing which can be coloured with any colour.

3.5)    Royal icing:

  • This type of icing is mainly made of egg whites and pure icing sugar. Once dry, its consistence is rather hard. We can get several colours by using liquid food colouring.

3.6)    Sugarpaste (read its description down below).

3.7)    Marzipan (read its description down below).

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4)  SPRINKLES

  • Colourful like the rainbow, sprinkles are formed by hundreds of small pieces of coloured sugar or chocolate (balls, pearls, stars, polka dots, strands…).
  • It is very usual to sprinkle them onto the cupcake icing to give a beautiful and colourful finish.

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5)  FIGURES:                       

The most usual ingredients to form them:

5.1)    Sugarpaste (rolled fondant):

  • Different types of figures and shapes can be modelled with this flexible paste. They are placed onto the buttercream (like the sprinkle), making the cupcake more beautiful and tempting.
  • It is available in any colour (ready to use or by adding food colouring). Several colours can be combined in order to get nice figures like animals, cartoons, flowers, bouquets, fruits, hearts, flags…
  •  Sometimes we can cover the whole surface of the cupcake with a thin layer of sugarpaste instead of using buttercream, so sugarpaste can be used as icing as well.
5.2)   Modelling paste:
  • It’s similar to sugarpaste (flexible, easy to model, it can be coloured…), but it’s better to keep figures and shapes because it dries harder.

5.3)    Marzipan:

  • Different types of figures and shapes can be modelled with this ingredient, same as the sugar paste, although marzipan is oilier.
  • It is mainly made of almonds and sugar.
  • You can colour it easily by adding edible paste colouring.
  • It also works like icing for covering cupcakes.

5.4)    Gum paste:

  • It’s a modelling paste which dries faster and harder than sugarpaste, so we must work quickly. Anyway, flowers look more realistic with gum paste than with sugarpaste.

 5.5)    Royal icing:

  • This icing dries quickly and it becomes rather hard, so it’s perfect for piping flowers and other consistent ornaments. We can colour it with several tones by using food colouring.
5.6)      Pastillage:
  • It dries extremely hard, so it’s very useful to make solid pieces to decorate.

5.7)    Chocolate

  • Lovely figures can be created with any type of chocolate (dark, white, with milk) to place them onto the buttercream once they are dry. Perfect for chocolate addicts!

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6)  CUPCAKE CASES:  CUPCAKE CASES

  • As well as the sponge, cupcakes cases can have different sizes:  mini – standard – big (muffin case).
  • Different colours and patterns for every occasion.
  • Occasionally, if you want to make your cupcake more beautiful, you can cover it with a cupcake wrap, placing it around the cupcake case once baked (it would be like a second paper layer).

 

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