Showing posts from June, 2008

We're going to market!

We are thrilled to announce we are taking our cupcakes to market!

On Saturday, July 5, 2008, Kitchen Alchemy will unveil its cupcakes at the Bondi Junction Organic & Grower's Market. The market opens at 9.00am and closes at 4.00pm. It's located in Bondi Junction Mall, which is on Oxford Street, right near the ramp to Bondi Junction train station.

We'll be selling our vanilla cupcakes, topped with delicious strawberry or vanilla buttercream, our Double Dutch Chocolate cupcake, plus a limited number of our mini cupcakes (all vanilla with an assortment of buttercream toppings).

We're really excited about this next step in our cupcake venture. If you've been a reader but never a taster, we especially hope to see you there!

When idiocy takes hold

One of the main items I keep in my pantry is the full range of essences and colourings made by Queen Fine Foods. If you live in Australia you probably know them really well yourself - they are famours for their Natural Vanilla Essence, and in more recent years, their range has expanded to include flavourings like Almond Essence, Orange Essence, Rose Water Essence and so on.

I recently went to my local Food For Less store, which is owned by Woolworths, to stock up on vanilla. I looked up and down the baking aisle for the vanilla essence and strawberry flavouring but never found it. I thought nothing of it until I mentioned it to my neighbour who told me Woolworths had removed the essences because of the recent scare mongering in the media over kids buying the stuff instead of booze.


I thought the exact same thing. So the next time I was at the supermarket I asked the checkout guy whether they were now keeping the vanilla essence and pink food colouring behind the counter - wit…

Unexplained icing failure

If you have ever been to France and have had the great fortune to gaze into the windows of a Parisian patisserie, you would know that the French have taken cake baking to a whole other level.

France, of course, is the home of cordon bleu cooking, upon which the best recipes in the western world are based. The French work wonders with pastry. They whip this, they fold that. They think of the most profound things to do with ingredients in order to produce a gastronomic feast. When I was in France last year I naturally gravitated towards every patisserie I passed. While macarons are my absolute favourite, I am also fascinated by the detailed little cakes that can be found everywhere.

One of the key ingredients of these cakes is French buttercream. Now I have talked extensively on this blog about buttercream icing, which I use on most of my cupcakes. As I’ve said, the first people I saw using buttercream was a couple of Mormon missionaries. But buttercream icing bears no resemblance to Fren…

Don’t be ripped off

I heard a shocking story yesterday of how suppliers of cupcakes for weddings have been ripping people off. The story came to me via a friend about a customer who had two daughters get married in the space of two years. One of them decided she wanted cupcakes to serve as dessert, so she sought out a supplier for a quote. Can you believe she was given a price of $15.00 per cupcake?

Luckily she wasn’t sucked in by this shocking price, so they sought a second quote. Can you believe the second supplier quoted $7.00 per cupcake? When the woman commented on the price being a little high, the supplier justified themselves by saying, “Well, they are very fiddley and quite time consuming you know.”

That’s utter rubbish!!! For everybody out there who is looking for cupcakes for a wedding, please note the following:

1. When you say “wedding” to any supplier, the price immediately doubles. Hide this fact for as long as you can.

2. The base price for a cupcake should be between $3.50 and $4.50. If some…

Back to basics

I recently had a breakdown with my chocolate cupcakes – they simply wouldn’t rise in the middle of the cake. I found this really hard to understand, because this is a recipe I have been using for years, and I was convinced I knew it like the back of my hand.

I had one batch of chocolate cupcakes dip slightly in the middle of the cake and I thought nothing of it. But the following week I was in a serious hurry to cook a batch of chocolate cupcakes to fill a café order. Imagine my horror when I took the tray out of the oven to find all but two cakes with massive great holes in the middle – and I knew I had accidentally put double the amount of bi-carb soda in the mix, so there was no reason for them to sink.

I took my recipe book to bed that night and studied the directions very carefully. The base of the recipe is a chocolate syrup made out of water, cocoa, sugar and butter. It also calls for bi-carb soda, which aerates the mix. But I had been leaving that out of the process until much l…