Har Gau


Monday, 26 October 2009

The Red Velvet experiment

One of my friends recently mentioned that she was into baking cupcakes. Now, call me stupid or something, but it’d never occurred to me that you could do these things. Sure, I like cupcakes, but seldom buy them because they were so expensive. Those lovely little cups of cakes with icing on top, colourful and delicate. And so very expensive.

At about £3.50 per cupcake (my favourite being the Red Velvet from Hummingbird), it was one of those little luxuries which, once I bought one, meant I couldn’t have dinner that day (slight exaggeration).

When said friend mentioned that she could BAKE Red Velvets, I was astonished, mouth open with half chewed pizza (how uncouth, I know) as I quizzed her on how she achieved this unimaginable feat.

So, a week later, I decided that I too, shall try to do this crazy thing called baking. And so it was, the bf and I decided to bake some cupcakes to take along to a friend’s BBQ as we were tasked with bringing something sweet. Something sweet it was gonna be.

Baking ingredients Red Velvet experiment

A bit of Googling, a bit of common sense, and alot of not so good cupcakes later (all lovingly eaten, of course), we had the final product.

Here is, ladies and gentlemen, the home-baked, not so stylish, somewhat pitiful looking, complete opposite of Hummingbird version of the Red Velvet.

Red Velvet experiment cupcakes 4

We took it to a party the next day, in some containers, and someone actually said to us, ‘I thought you’d bought it from the store, and then put it in the container to pretend that you baked it.’

Red Velvet experiment cupcakes

That was pretty much the best compliment anyone could have given, aside from the fact that the person who said it said it before actually eating the thing. She looked kinda worried after eating it, not sure what that says about our baking.

Red Velvet experiment cupcakes 3

Could we have used incorrect measurements? Maybe. Could we have beat the mixture too much, resulting in too much / too little air? Possibly. Could we just be really bad at baking? Most probably.

Red Velvet experiment cupcakes 2


KimHo said...

I have mentioned this a lot of times: I have absolutely no love for cupcakes (or should I say fairy cakes, since it is in the UK?). In my opinion, it is one of those overrated desserts/pastries which end up driving the prices to an obscene amount while not providing anything interesting. I personally prefer getting petits fours than fairy cakes.

But, putting that aside, I admire your determination on making them yourself. Cooking is a "skill" that has lost much of its meaning now that eating out is so common... Now it is the question of: would you make it again? After all, once you learn the "trick", it might be really worth it!

monchichi said...

I shared your opinion also (prior to eating the cupcake at Hummingbird) as the previous cupcakes I had were very unimpressive. The fact that the cupcake cost more than a big cake was also another factor that put me off. Thing is, you asked if I'd make it more often now that I know how to make it. The answer would be no. Why? Because once you see how it's made, the magic of it is somewhat lost. I find that happens alot with baking, probably because of the ingredients. With other types of cooking, I find that the more I cook it, the more I want to improve, and maybe it's because it's not as scientific as baking. Having to use exact measurements and ingredients make for not so creative cooking! Just my opinion, of course, but I very much prefer cooking to baking.

KimHo said...

Baking is a science, cooking is an art. ;)

AWESOME said...

Wow, Thats great hidden talents and detrmination shown in this article!! To bake at such notice without much previous experience and to come out with such nice goodies as seen in the pics-fantastico!
Love the new look of your site too.

monchichi said...

Baking is indeed a science, and I was never very good at experiments when I was in school! It was one of those things where if it didn't work out, we'd buy some cupcakes instead but in this case we didn't have to. Not much hidden skills, perhaps only in decorating, as it didn't turn out as light and fluffy as we would have liked it to, but maybe next time? (though I don't reckon we'll be baking this again considering how much colouring had to be used, about 2 whole bottles.)

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