Tag Archives: cupcakes in Germany

Fluffy American Cupcakes in Germany

27 May

I am extremely excited to announce our next guest teacher coming to Frankfurt. It is Betsy from JavaCupcake.

She is not only a talented and devoted blogger, but always finds the time to generously share her wonderful recipes on her blog. Some of my favourite recipes which sound as heavenly as they taste are: White Velvet Blueberry Cupcakes, Homemade blueberry compote for filling your cupcakes and strawberry cupcakes made with fresh strawberry puree. I mean this girl steeps vanilla beans in her milk for vanilla cupcakes-how impressive is that? And in between steeping vanilla beans in milk she still finds time to write as a Correspondent for the world famous cupcake blog: Cupcakes Take the Cake.
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On Betsy’s blog you will find bucket loads of recipes and also tutorials and videos– she is everything a great blogger should be and I admire her for that. Furthermore, she is not just someone who loves all things cupcake but someone who can appreciate the fine art of putting together a delicious cupcake recipe from scratch.

And the cool thing is that she has agreed to come to Frankfurt to help demystify one of the biggest secrets in baking. Yes, I am talking monumental. Just like that ever elusive vanilla cupcake recipe, that go-to, that is not to sweet and perfectly fluffy and comes with a fabulous buttercream, that level monumental.

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Betsy and I are joining forces, and our expertise about all things cupcake and coming together to find out the question to that age old question bugging ALL expats abroad..and that is:

Can you truly make a fluffy North American style cupcake beauty in Europe?

Are the ingredients a totally different ballgame? Can you be set for success when you leave a German supermarket with your 405 Mehl (flour)? Or are American cupcakes, just that, cupcakes that can only be found in America?

Well, the mystery will be solved this July 20th. Armed with fresh ingredients from the commissary and fresh ingredients from REWE (German supermarket chain), we will bake cupcakes from scratch, using the same recipe but with local and international ingredients, to find out, what really counts when you are trying to bake a cupcake recipe from an American book in Germany.

Yes, we will buy cake flour, yes we will use the famous cake flour substitute, yes we will use American butter and REWE butter and do a side by side comparison of the results.

Are you excited??? Will you be there?

Where else would you want to be?

This is huge!!

So sign up for our class now! Email me: info@dascupcake.com

If you are still not convinced, Betsy and I will also be teaching piping techniques. Pretty swirls of all varieties. We will show you how to fill your piping bags with no mess, how to colour frosting and how to make the perfect swirl!

So what are waiting for? We would love to have you!

Java + Cupcake = Betsy!

Java + Cupcake = Betsy!

Here is some more information:

in this class you will…

    • learn the difference between an American cupcake & a German cupcake
    • see a side by side comparison of the ingreidents used in American cupcakes vs. German cupcakes
    • learn how to make classic Vanilla cupcakes with both American & German techniques and ingredients
    • learn how to make classic American buttercream
    • learn how to colour buttercream
    • learn how to use a piping bag and a coupler
    • learn how to pipe frosting on a cupcake to create perfect swirls of buttercream
    • bring home 6 beautifully decorated and delicious cupcakes to take home to family and friends.

Workshop fees include all ingredients and tools plus a light lunch. Don’t forget to bring your aprons!

Date: Saturday, July 20, 2013
Start time: 10:00 a.m. (30 minute lunch break)
End time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Language: English
Price: 120€

For registration information, email: info@dascupcake.com

Cupcake Decorating Basics Classes in Frankfurt

9 Apr
In Frankfurt by popular DEMAND!!

 

Cupcake Decorating Basics!!

 

If you already know how to bake cupcakes and have always wanted to make them look as beautiful as those made by professionals, this is the course for you. Spend two hours with Ewa Feix from “Das Cupcake” learning how to decorate cupcakes. In this course you will:

  • choose the colours you want to work with from the provided colour palette
  • learn to pipe frosting using various techniques with popular piping nozzles
  • use professional tools to create flowers and other pretty details for your cupcakes
  • learn how to work with fondant and flower paste
By the end of the 5 hour tuition, you will have 12 delicious cupcakes beautifully decorated by you to take home to family and friends! This course is available on weekends for your convenience. Workshop fees include all ingredients. Don’t forget to bring your aprons! The class will take place in Frankfurt am Main and more information will follow once you sign up.

Please email dascupcake@googlemail.com to join!

April Class  (introductory price of €55 per class)
Saturday, Apr. 21    11:00-16:00

In the class you learn how to make all the flowers pictured above.
Styling concept and photography by Iro - Ivy Nassopoulos. Check out more of her work by searching for Domestic stories with Ivy on Facebook.

The Creative Soul of a Cupcake Bakestress

3 Jun

I recently returned to corporate world as a great opportunity showed up on my doorstep and it is only part-time and temporary. It lets me flex the skills I already have (corporate world related) to help out a good team and an interesting project and at the same time give me some side money while I get my business going as well.  I have to say, that I am absolutely fascinated by how my perspective has changed. My values are different, my needs are different and my expectations are different. This side job gives me a direct view into how my life could be in Germany if I head back into the world of large corporations with large projects. Multi-nationals with multi-digit budgets have their advantages, but they certainly do not foster any creativity or self-expression.

Donated these for the winners of a charity auction held at my Frankfurt language school, A-viva.

A friend of mine recently told me that creative people need input as well as output. Now I never really considered myself a creative person, i.e I can’t draw to save my life! but I never realized how important creative input was until I didn’t have it. As I say in my About section, I have been debating for a long time what I want to be when I grow up…dolphin trainer, interpreter, millionaire’s wife and I was continuously on my search for another job in spite of always being employed. And now I think I have really found the secret ingredients I need to make me thrive at work. Creativity, self-expression and the immediate gratification I get when I see something come to life with my hands and have people enjoy it.

I donated 12 altogether, there were 6 chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate ganache and strawberries and 6 chocolate cupcakes with bourbon vanilla buttercream and little strawberries cut into small flowers.

My cupcake dream has been long in the making. Thanks to German laws, I have learned what it is to be a business woman and an entrepreneur. Whereas before, I had my focus dead centre on creating and experimenting with ingredients, that has recently taken a bit of a backseat (proof in the lack of pics and entries on my blog!). And although my creativity has suffered a little, it’s nothing compared to dissatisfaction I felt before. There was always something lacking in the corporate world and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Now I can really see and feel the difference. My soul gets fed and brightens up when I make and decorate cupcake creations. But when I have to rush to a 9-7 job, exerting my energy into that, I feel low and ‘blah’.

It’s my goal now to really keep the balance. I see that there needs to be one kept as long as I have this side job and it’s of paramount importance that I don’t lose myself in the rush and in doing so lose the fire in my heart for baking.

Chocolate cupcake topped with chocolate ganache and strawberries with a small fondant primrose.

Cupcakes for Paris and in Paris: Berko Cupcake Review

14 Feb

One thing I learned on my travels while on my cupcake tour in Toronto was that the majority of bakeries in Toronto use swiss meringue buttercream to frost their cake. Unlike the basic buttercream (a combination of powdered sugar, butter and extract), this buttercream recipe melts normal granulated sugar (much like the flour based one I tried) so that the buttercream is smoother and doesn’t take on that grainy taste from powdered sugar. Afterall my vanilla cupcake trials, I revisited this swiss meringue buttercream and I really love it. Click here for the recipe.
We went away to to visit friends in Paris and I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to try out Swiss Meringue Buttercream on picky Parisian palettes. I baked two dozen chocolate cupcakes and made a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream to go on top. I packed my cupcakes on the train and headed for Paris with Mr. Cupcake. The cupcakes were received with rave reviews. Score!

Knowing my weakness for cupcakes, our friends suggested that they would take us to their local cupcake bakery on Sunday morning before we left for Frankfurt. On Sunday morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed and headed to Berko. And here is what we found.
The cupcakes at Berko were much smaller than mine, only about half the size. They only sold this one size of cupcakes for €2 each. They had a huge selection! But what we quickly realized when we ate our cupcakes, is that in fact their huge selection is only in the frosting. The base of all the cupcakes are either vanilla or chocolate and the difference in flavour you get is from the frosting rather than the cake itself. Here are the cupcakes we chose.

From the left: Raspberry-vanilla with white chocolate glaze, berry vanilla with fresh berries and berry coulis, chocolate cupcake with chocolate chip cookie chunks

It was definitely quite busy in the shop for a Sunday morning. There plenty of Parisians getting their cupcakes fix. Most of them took the cupcakes ‘to go’.

We arrived in Paris with cupcakes from Frankfurt and we settled in for a journey back to Frankfurt with some Parisian cupcakes.

The first one we tried was raspberry-vanilla with a white chocolate glaze. This one had a fresh raspberry on top and a cheeky fresh raspberry inside. The vanilla cake was very good but it did have a disappointing empty air pocket inside.
Next we tried the berry vanilla. It was the same vanilla cake base and it tasted very delicious. Not to sweet. Inside the cupcake there was also a fresh raspberry. The frosting was a whipped cream frosting (again, not too sweet) and the berry coulis in the squeezy thing was a delicious touch. Overall, a very delicious cupcake and I would go back for more.
The chocolate cupcake was disappointing. We picked the basic chocolate one with chocolate chip cookie chunks in the frosting. The frosting here was a buttercream, unlike the white chocolate glaze and whipping cream on the previous cupcakes and it was damn sweet. You could feel the sugar granules and the flavour of the chocolate wasn’t deep or chocolately at all. I couldn’t finish the cupcake.

 

Here you can see the shade of the chocolate. Very light. I prefer a deep dark chocolate cupcake.

2 outta 3, ain’t a bad score and I wouldn’t mind going back to sample some more of their flavours. Berko’s vanilla cupcakes were lovely afterall and that is sayin’ something as I feel that is one of the hardest flavours to perfect. Lord knows I am still working on mine!

Overall it was a fantastic time and I love experiencing cupcakes from all over and checking out the range of flavour combinations or creative ways of presenting the cupcakes. It’s always such a rush of inspiration!

Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes Put to the Test: Part I

16 Dec

Sorry, I have been a little MIA this week. I have been busy baking goodies to give away as Christmas pressies and organizing things for my trip to Canada. I am going home for the holidays and have organized many exciting CUPCAKE activities while I am there. Cupcake activities, you ask? I am excited to say that I have booked some lessons with some of the best cake designers in Canada! First stop: private lessons with Lori Hutchinson a.k.a. The Caketress. Next stop: Pickering, Ontario, to learn all about peonies, roses and orchids from Lisa Bugeja of Flour Confections and the last and final stop: Toronto, for a cupcake tour! I can’t wait to sample the works of fine Canadian bakeries all over T.O. Now I just have to plan a route! So look out for lots of my new sugarwork creations and cupcake gorging!

This week I tried a new chocolate cupcake recipe. In endeavouring to continue to extend my cupcake knowledge and trying to perfect my recipes, I went back to some good old fashioned cupcake testing. I trialed a new chocolate cupcake recipe, this week, alongside two new frostings, vanilla and chocolate.

This recipe comes from the very talented Chloe Coscarelli who competed on Cupcakes Wars (tv series in America where bakers/chefs compete to bake the best cupcake) and won with her vegan chocolate cupcake recipe. I have already written about the trend towards healthier cupcakes and so I decided to give cupcakes, ohne (without) eggs and dairy milk a whirl!  I have to say that they were awesome. They had the depth of a great chocolate recipe, the fluffiness of a true cupcake and a nice bonus of crunchy cupcake tops (but very moist and soft centres) which I rather enjoy and which are perfectly flat for decorating!

Cupcake Wars winning recipe in my kitchen.

Even as I eat these guys today (over 24 hours later) they are still wonderfully moist and full of flavour. Gotta love that in a recipe! So I would absolutely recommend this vegan cupcake recipe. No need to be scared of baking without the dairy products you are used to. Look mom, no eggs!

Now onto the new frostings. Both with a flour and milk base and so in complete contrast to my non-dairy chocolate cupcakes.

After you create a pudding-like mixture from flour and milk, you cool it and once it’s cooled you mix it with butter. The great part about this frosting recipe is that there is no powdered sugar (only gradulated sugar that gets melted) in it so you don’t get that granuley bite in the frosting. The frosting is smooth and silky and not overly sweet from powdered sugar. It has all the benefits of a swiss meringue buttercream but without the complications that come with egg whites which is pretty nice.

I found that the chocolate frosting was much smoother and easier to pipe. I loved the deep flavour it had from using cocoa powder. The chocolate frosting is real a winner in my books as it also stands up well all day long. No sinking; the swirls remain intact.

The vanilla frosting on the other hand, had a lot of bubbles and it was hard to pipe. It came out in fits and stops and so my swirls turned out pretty ugly. Oh well. I put little red flowers on and am hoping no one will notice. The frosting itself, is very delicious and also not too sweet. The first time I made this vanilla frosting last week, it turned out beautifully smooth and it was easy to pipe. The main difference between last week and this week was that I worked with it the same day, whereas with this one I waited until the morning so maybe that was the issue. If it was,then it definitely loses points for that.

Lots of air bubbles and ridges in the swirl. :(

The thing I am finding out about baking is that consistency is so important. Not only literally in terms of the frosting piping consistency itself, but consistency in re-creating time and time again the same beautiful frosting. It’s a real trick of the trade and the mark of a true professional in their trade when they had get those consistent results. I am not there yet but am hoping that with enough experimentation, practise and patience, I will make it. Make it in Frankfurt, baby.

Stay tuned for the cupcake tester responses! Eek! 5-page questionnaires are back!