I was mortified to wake up on Friday morning to find an article trashing cupcakes had been published on newsobserver.com. Debbie Moose, the author of the article, said that the primary reason people choose to eat cupcakes is because they are ‘cute’. She titled the article “Keep your cupcakes; cute doesn’t cut it”. She makes a good argument. Had I read the article a month or so ago, I might have agreed with her. The reason why I got into cupcakes was because they are so darn cute.
When I first started baking, I openly admitted that my primary focus was cupcake decorating. However, recently I realised that in order to make the perfect cupcake, the cupcake itself had to be absolutely delicious! I now pride myself on not only making aesthetically pleasing cupcakes, but tasty ones too!
Moose did make some good arguments with respect to cupcakes. She stated that “Cupcakes have a shorter shelf life than full-size cakes. They go stale and dry-tasting faster, because they have more exposed surface area”. Although this is true, I believe a good cupcake baker always makes her or his cupcakes no more than 12 hours before the cupcake occasion. Otherwise, the cupcakes will lose their moistness, and let’s be honest, that is not fun for anyone.
Moose also argued that the icing to cupcake ratio was out of control. Personally, I think that is just outrageous! I am shocked that anyone would or could even say that. I am speechless. I have nothing further to say with respect to this matter.
So does looks matter? Absolutely! Let's face it, you notice what a cupcake looks like first, before you sink your teeth into it! But having said that, taste is equally as important. The cupcake must be moist and fluffy but not too sweet. Similarly, the icing must be light and smooth but again not too sweet and most definitely not taste like mock cream! And then, everything needs to be put together nicely. Attention to detail is important, from choosing the right cupcake wrapper to piping (or for those of you who are speaders, spreading) on the icing. And like any good cupcake, topped off with an unquie topper!
One of the best cupcake books I own is ‘Hello, Cupcake!’. My mother-in-law brought it for me as a Christmas gift last year. The book is all about the wonders of cupcake decorating. The cupcake decorations in this book are amazing, I would even go as far as to say mind blowing.
I have only made one cupcake design from this book thus far – insect themed cupcakes. I made these cupcakes for Zachy’s primary class for his birthday this year. Given that he is in an all boy class, they were an absolute hit! The boys loved them. Do you think the boys would have loved them if they were ugly? Of course not!
Call me superficial, but looks does matter! First comes looks, then comes taste. Harsh, but fair ...