Cupcake Magic – Competition closed

28 03 2011

It’s time for my first ever blog competition. Over the years that I’ve been baking I’ve been drawn more towards cakes or other treats rather than cupcakes.  I think this is partly because there has been more demand for novelty cakes but it’s also because I was never very happy with lots of the cupcake recipes I tried. I discovered a few great vanilla recipes but had never pinned down a chocolate one that didn’t taste either dry or greasy. Someone bought me Cupcake Magic by Kate Shirazi and I was delighted to finally find a chocolate cupcake that I liked. I’ve only tried a few of her other recipes but the buttercream recipe is one I use almost every time I need a decent buttercream. It’s a great read as it’s not written like a traditional cookbook evidenced by her choice of names for both the cupcakes and the levels of difficulty involved, anyone who uses the word faff this much is a friend of mine.

I have one copy of Cupcake Magic to giveaway to my readers.

You will also win this natty apron. I’ve covered over certain letters for blog purposes but the apron has no censorship so you have been warned about the fully fledged cursing!

I’ll also throw in a few extra surprises for the winner from my collection of baking goodies, still to be decided!

This competition is open to international readers, the closing date for entries is Saturday 16th April 2011 at 4pm.

To be in with a chance of winning, comment on this post with your favourite existing cupcake flavour & also tell me; if you could choose any flavour combination in the world what cupcake would you create? Would it have a surprise filling, an unusual savoury topping…? I’ll choose a winner with a random generator and they will be contacted via email so be sure to leave an email address in order to be contacted for postal details.

Good Luck!

Edited to add: you should be able to add your email when you log in to comment so that only I can see it, just in case you were uncomfortable about putting your addy in your comment. Sorry for not clarifying that!

WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congrats Lily Ramirez-Foram. There is an email on its way to you now to arrange posting of your prize. You were picked via www.random.org

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30 responses

28 03 2011
Lauren Cooke

I did an orange and cardamom cupcake once that was yummy, really fragrant and quite moist too 🙂

As for any cupcake flavour in the world? Well, it has to have lots of chocolate, and some amazing (and unexpected) filling. Shall have to think about what it would be though! There may well be popping candy involved though…

leacooke (@) hotmail.co.uk

28 03 2011
leangel

Hi Lauren,

Thanks for your entry. I like the sound of your orange cupcake, its great when you find a recipe that isn’t dry. I agree; you can never have enough chocolate so that’s always a great place to start with cupcakes. I’ve only used popping candy once in my baking before; it’s definitely something I’d like to try again. Perhaps a ganache filling with that extra pop would be a nice combo?!

28 03 2011
Andy

I once made red cupcakes with little bits of dried strawberry in them, with green buttercream icing on the top so it looked a *bit* like a strawberry.

Not too exciting, but I’d really like to try a chocolate cupcake with coconut icing (or perhaps a coconut cupcakes with chocolate icing, I just want the combo!).

28 03 2011
leangel

Hi Andy,
Thanks for your entry. Your strawberry cupcake is a great idea, it always makes it more interesting when you play with the colour or additions. Chocolate/coconut is a classic combo & well worth trying. Maybe you could incorporate bounty bars or make a play on traditional macaroons, all very tasty.

28 03 2011
Lily Ramirez-Foram

Has to be chocolate and chilli! Delicious!!

29 03 2011
leangel

Hi Lily,
Thanks for your entry. I’ve yet to try the chilli & chocolate combination in my baking but I have tried some chilli chocolate bars & enjoyed the combination. I’ll have to give it a go in some cupcakes or cookies soon!

29 03 2011
Dawniepants

Flip the list is long, one of my faves to make are either the bacon and maple breakfast cupcakes or the mint choc chipcakes with little dark choc chips through either dark choc cake or vanilla then a green peppermint buttercream icing mixed with more chips mmmmm
Any flavour in the world… I keep wanting to make a dark choc sea salt one. Dark choc fondant cupcake really high cocoa solids, then a dark choc buttercream with some ground sea salt on top, yum!
Salt and sweet is always a fab mix!!

Hungry now …

29 03 2011
leangel

Hi Dawn,

Thanks for your entry missus. I’ve yet to try a bacon & maple cupcake, it’s something I love with pancakes but not 100% sure about trying it in a cupcake. Have you tried it yourself? How would you recommend using the bacon, just little bits crumbled over the frosting or is it through the cupcake too? The mint choc one sounds like mint choc chip ice cream, tasty. I made a mint choc one using mint oreos last year, it probably wasn’t minty enough but tasty all the same.
I look forward to seeing how your chocolate sea salt cupcake turns out. It’s not something a lot of people here have tried, the whole salted caramel thing seems huge in the US but anyone I mention it to here just turns their nose up. If its not something you’re used to, I guess it can seem a bit weird.

29 03 2011
Mary

If I could have any flavour of cupcake, it would have to be peanut butter and jam! At the minue I’m in love with my homemade peanut butter cupcakes, made with crunchy peanut butter for that extra kick… But there’s still something missing! Great blog by the way 🙂 xo

29 03 2011
leangel

Hi Mary,

Thanks for your entry. I’m going to have to admit to not being a fan of peanut butter so I can’t say I’d be trying your favourite combinations but I know that PB & J are a popular choice. Perhaps making a jam centre in your homemade PB cupcakes would give you the extra kick or perhaps just a layer of jam under the frosting to get the 2 flavours combined? If you love PB I’d highly recommend this recipe for peanut butter mousse, choc & vanilla layer cake. I made it for a friend who loves Reeses peanut butter cups: http://www.projectfoodie.com/spotlights/cookbooks/all-cakes-considered.html
I’m glad you like the blog, thanks for the comment.

29 03 2011
Mary

Wow, that just made me drool a bit 🙂

Thanks for that! That’s first on my to do list after payday!!
x

29 03 2011
leangel

No problems, it’s a huge cake both in width and height and it’s sinfully rich so be ready to share the joy (that’s if you want to!) 😉

29 03 2011

The best cupcake I ever had was a gingerbread one with a cream cheese frosting!! Oh man, it was amazing 😀
There are so many flavours I love, caramel, peanut butter, coffee… but I’m going to say I’d love a rhubarb and ginger cupcake because I have never seen one and it’s a combo I just love.
Z.
P.S. Love the blog :d
xx

29 03 2011
leangel

Hi Z,

Thanks for your entry & your comment. Gingerbread would be a great Christmas cupcake flavour, although I’ve yet to master a cream cheese frosting that is stiff enough to pipe! That’s something I have to work on. Caramel is one of my favourites and is always a hit in my bannoffee cupcakes, adding it to most cupcakes would make them extra delish. I’m not a fan of rhubarb but I imagine that would make a great winter warmer cupcake & I know plenty of people who love rhubarb crumble so they’d be excited by that combo, the ginger would definitely give it a kick!

29 03 2011
Lenore

I’d have to say my favorite cupcakes were chocolate bacon cream cheese cupcakes. The subtle amount of bacon was enough to give it a little crunch.

I guess you could say that in itself is a weird combination. Generally I’d like to see more cupcakes made with bacon, it’s very different.

29 03 2011
leangel

Hi Lenore,

Thanks for your entry. Bacon seems to be a really popular choice at the moment. It’s making me want to try it even more. The addition of chocolate & cream cheese is intriguing.

3 04 2011
babaduck

I’d work with one of my favourite combos – chocolate & lime – a dense chocolate sponge with a really light but luscious lime cream cheese frosting

3 04 2011
leangel

Hi Aoife,
Thanks for your entry. That sounds like an intriguing combo. I bet it’s nice to have the tart lime contrast against the dark chocolate. I tend to use lemon a lot more than lime but it’s something I must try more often.

4 04 2011
Amanda

Peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate peanut butter icing topped with a mini snickers the taste reminds me of our trips to America some tastes just bring back some great memories x

5 04 2011
leangel

Hi Amanda,
Thanks for your entry. I really wish I liked Peanut Butter as there are some fantastic flavour combinations out there. Strangely I do like all kinds of nuts (and Snickers) but make them into a butter and I can’t even stand the smell! It is a very American thing, so much of their candy involves peanut butter and of course they created the classic PB & J (which my brother used to make when we were young and make me sick)

5 04 2011
Aileen

I love lemon poppy seed cupcakes with a really zingy frosting. My favourite cake is coffee walnut so a miniature version would be on my wish list.

5 04 2011
leangel

Hi Aileen,
Thanks for your entry. Lemon poppy seed sound delish, I love a good citrus flavour in my baked goods. I’ve only made coffee cake once for a client & I’m still on the lookout for a good recipe as I wasn’t really happy with the flavour, it was a little insipid. Coffee is another versatile ingredient that doesn’t get utilised as much as it probably should, it’s great paired with chocolate, it really brings out the cocoa flavour.

11 04 2011
Siobhan

I would have to say my favourite cupcake so far (I am relatively inexperienced with baking them, and the ones in shops tend to look a little too fake for my liking) has been the banoffee ones I’ve tried. There can never be anything wrong with a banana/caramel/chocolate combo. Delish!

If I was to invent my own, hmm… I’ve heard a lot about salted caramel lately (which is as far as I go where sweet/savoury is concerned, slightly baffled by all this talk of bacon upthread!) so I might go with a salted caramel-apple kind of cupcake with maybe a light vanilla or white chocolate buttercream topping? Yuuuum.

11 04 2011
leangel

Hi Siobhan,

Thanks for your entry. Banoffee is one of my all time favourite cupcakes (or desserts) It’s such a fantastic combination of sweet, sticky & smooth. I also like to pretend there must be some healthy points for the bananas 😉

I’ve yet to try salted caramel myself but I like the sound of the addition of apple, it might cut some of the strength of the salt & contrast the sweet caramel.

15 04 2011
Amy

My favorite has always been mint chocolate. A nice chocolate cake, perhaps even some melted chocolate inside, with a yummy green perfectly minted icing.
If I could make any at all, it would be a mango and passionfruit cupcake, the icing wouldn’t be very rich, perhaps made with a kind of fruit purée& icing so as not to be sickening, with a wee bit of the purée on the inside of the cake.

15 04 2011
leangel

Hi Amy,
Thanks for your entry. That mint one sounds lovely, I made some delish mint choc ones using Mint Oreo’s blended into the frosting https://cakesandbakesni.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/mint-choc-chip-cupcakes/
The mango and passionfruit combination sounds like a perfect spring/summer cupcake, one to eat on a picnic with ice cold drinks. I’m wondering how you could get a nice pipable frosting with enough puree flavour, I’ve always had trouble flavouring buttercream without it becoming a mushy mess that drips all over the sides of the cupcake!

15 04 2011
Jeff

Favourite cupcake is just plain old vanilla with vanilla buttercream topping and the one I bake from the Sex and the City cupcake shop cookbook is uh-mayzin!
If I was to create one it would be a milk chocolate cupcake with a cream egg goo centre and a goo topping sprinkled with lindt chocolate shavings and crunchy meringue pieces.
Yum……oh gosh I’m craving now!!!

15 04 2011
leangel

Hi Jeff,
Thanks for your entry. You really can’t beat a great vanilla on vanilla especially if it’s made with flecks of vanilla bean. Once I’ve finished with a vanilla pod I cut up the skin and pop it in a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar. It really enhances a plain cupcake or frosting.
Wow, that is one calorific cupcake, it sounds really good, I particularly like the extra crunch of meringue on top. I can see you’re a fan of good quality ingredients, sometimes that’s all you need to take a cupcake to the next level.

16 04 2011
Laura

My favourite cupcake at the moment is a simple lemon drizzle style cupcake – with like and fluffy sponge – then pricked with lemon syrup poured onto the cake – though not too much so it doesnt go soggy and stick to the wrapper! With a lemoncurd icing – love it 😀 especially when i pretty it up with sugarcarft butterflies 🙂

A cupcake I would love to try/invent – would be a rose cupcake. I know these exist, but I would like to bake them with a cube of homemade turkish delight in the centre – hopefully this would stay nice and going when cooled! Then I would of kept some of the turkish delight syrup from making the turkish delight, and mix this with a light cream butter icing to make a extremely light pink with the tiniest hint of rose mmmmmmmmmm – need time to give it a go!

16 04 2011
leangel

Hi Laura,
Thanks for your entry. A classic lemon drizzle can be divine if it’s done right. I like adding a little lemon zest mixed with sugar on top for added zing.
Turkish delight is a favourite sweet of mine so your creation sounds gorgeous. I like the idea of working through the Turkish delight flavour into the frosting.

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