Now that I have your attention, I would like to have a very serious discussion about something near and dear to my heart: cupcakes. Ok, maybe near and dear to my tastebuds, but you get the picture. It almost doesn’t matter what flavor, as long as the cake is moist and the icing is sweet I want one. I have something to admit, I am not very good at making them…yet.

I have been working at perfecting my skill in this area. I can make a pretty decent cake right now. It is moist and spongy, but I am still very early in my learnings. I have been watching many of the shows on the Food Network (namely Cupcake Wars) and I am amazed at all of the different recipies that people come up with. It is truly an art form mixed with a bit of chemistry. Baking really is the crossroads of science and art. You must be precise with your ingredients and the conditions, or your cakes will not turn out the same way every time.

This is where I still have much study to do. I have experimented with using different wet ingredients in the cakes. One batch I used Grand Marnier, another some spiced rum, and another some blackberry wine. It hasn’t really done what I have wanted it to do. It gives the cakes a moist texture, but it doesn’t enhance the flavor as much as I have been hoping.

So, the journey continues. Here are a couple of things I have learned as I have been making cakes the last couple of weeks:

1. Using the food processor is a very good way to mix the batter.

2. Old fashion paper cups are still a good way to go. I tried some silicon cups. Eh…no thanks. I am going to stick with the paper.

3. I am going to have to start taking cakes to work if I intend to keep practicing. Holy cow…I could gain 20 pounds in a hurry with this experiment! But, I don’t like not being good at something I want to do. It irks me. So, I will have to practice, practice, practice.

4. Strawberry sauces can taste just as good over a cupcake as icing. Yes it is true!

Do you have a good recipe that you could share? Here is the one I have been using lately as my basic recipe (thank you Food Network!). What tips and tricks have you learned?

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