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Food & Entertaining

Let’s Eat Cake

Author: Susan Regan
Issue: July, 2009, Page 48
Photography by David B. Moore

Food styling by Executive Chef M. Allan Schanbacher
IN A BLIND TASTE TEST, THE PHOENIX HOME & GARDEN STAFF TRIED SIX BAKERY-MADE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES. HERE ARE THE FINDINGS:


1.) SPRINKLES CUPCAKES
Edging out the competition, this offering had a good cake-to-icing ratio and an appealing layer of chocolate bits on top. Several people felt the cake was moist and had a sweet milk chocolate taste.

2.) AJ’S FINE FOODS
A thin layer of a hard ganache/frosting mixture was noted by tasters, who were hoping for a cupcake with a richer chocolate flavor.

3.) CUPCAKES
A large golden dollop of creamy, sweet frosting characterized this entry, which featured an airy cake and a slight coffee flavor. 

4.) BUTTER & ME CUPCAKERY
The fairy-dust glitter and chocolate shavings on top of this cupcake made it “fit for a princess,” said one taster. Many noted a bittersweet chocolate flavor.

5.) LET THEM EAT CAKE
Most thought this cupcake made a pretty presentation, but the sugary artificial-tasting icing left panelists unimpressed.

6.) LULU’S CUPCAKES
Although small in stature, this option presented a good cake-to-icing ratio. However, the cake was deemed too dry and the frosting hard.



A WORD FROM CHEF ALLAN

Cupcakes are petite pleasures that have become a dessert and snack craze in recent years. Individually sized and often well-decorated, they are a perfect way to enjoy a piece of cake and a dollop of icing without eating too much, says Chef Allan. Although the tasty tidbits come in a variety of flavors, chocolate is still a favorite, he notes.

Ask most dessert lovers, and they will say that it’s the icing that can make or break a cupcake. Chef Allan explains that there are several kinds, including buttercream and ganache. While buttercream is a light and creamy frosting made with butter, ganache is a mixture of cream, melted chocolate and occasionally a flavoring that when warm can be poured over cake as a glaze. Cooled ganache can be whipped to increase its volume and spread as a more traditional style frosting.

For Chef Allan’s recipe for his Grandma Hager’s Chocolate Cupcakes With Chocolate Ganache, log on to phgmag.com/food/recipe.









   




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