Wednesday 2 January 2013

// Happy 2013.

Happy 2013! We have got exciting and mind blowing projects for Cupcake Central this year and we can’t wait to share them with you all. It has been an incredible journey so far and we still feel as though we’re living in a dream where we are so privileged to be waking up each day doing what we love. It has only been a little over 2 years when we took the plunge and opened our first store in Hawthorn and since then we have just been moving forward and looking ahead! We couldn’t have come as far as we have without the support of all our customers, friends and family.

Vegan Dairy-Free Choc Ripple Cake Recipe

For the recipe on how to create a dairy-free version of the classic Choc Ripple Cake, scroll down. Perfect for those that are lactose intolerant and it tastes absolutely delicious!

For those that may not know, we are not a franchise – this business…company was started from scratch in my home kitchen. To see how it has evolved in such a short time frame still boggles me at times. We have such a dedicated team of people that work with us – not for us. Every single one of our valued staff is so special for contributing to the success of Cupcake Central. We’re our own little family and we help each other to grow personally as much as growing together as a business. They say that the first two years of business is the hardest as we’re trying to find our feet, making enough money to pay bills, rent and wages. Making enough money to reinvest it into the business to ensure that it keeps growing.

It has been a challenging journey of learning from mistakes and solving problems. Pushing through that pain barrier and persevering. I still remember the first 6 months where we had to work 18 hours a day starting at 4am, 7 days a week. It was brutal, but if I had to do it all over again, I would. I would wake up each day, excited that this was now my new life and I felt that this was what I was meant to be doing. For so long I had made myself believe that I wanted to do something else with my life but yet felt this deep longing that there must be something more out there for me. How lucky was I to have lost my job in 2009!

This dream could never have been ‘hatched’ on my own. I owe a lot of it to the people around me, especially Tin, my partner and business partner. He believed in me when everyone else thought I was crazy for leaving my career to bake cupcakes and sell them at markets. He would wear a girl cupcake apron and sell cupcakes to lovely old ladies when I was too shy to. Whilst working with your partner may seem ideal because you’ll get to spend time with each other every day, trust me it’s no walk in the park and you have to keep your brain from exploding at times. Fortunately our strengths and weaknesses complement each other and whilst I worked on the heart of the product and perfecting the cupcakes, he worked tirelessly on the branding, design and front of house side. My emotional attachment to my dream has always held me back from taking big risks, yet he is always optimistic and pushing us forward on to the next stage.

In a few short weeks I will be going on my first holiday in 3 years! I have been putting it off for a long time always finding an excuse that I am too busy for a break (which I was!) but finally it is time to jet set off to the U.S of A where the journey of cupcakes began for me almost 8 years ago. This time around I’ll be travelling to L.A, Texas and Vegas. I hope to blog and vlog about my adventures for everyone too.

We have some exciting news to announce in mid-Feb and it will be another chapter to the adventure that is Cupcake Central.

Thanks for coming along on this fun and incredible journey with us!
xo Sheryl

Vegan Dairy-free Choc Ripple Cake Recipe

Here is a fun recipe I made for our NYE BBQ bash and as my brother is severely lactose intolerant and I’m also not very good with digesting fresh whipped cream, I decided to figure out a dairy-free option of the classic Choc Ripple cake. Also one of my favourite berries are sweet fresh blueberries and I can eat punnets of them. Also the fresh berries are too delicious and sweet not to take advantage of them this season!

I’ve posted two versions of the recipe below, one that is dairy/lactose free and the other is Vegan. I’m a firm believer that everyone should be able to enjoy delicious desserts, being vegan or having allergies should not restrict you from the sweeter things in life!

Dairy/Lactose Free Summer Berry Choc Ripple Cake

Ingredients (all available from your local Supermarket):

  • 100g Cottee’s Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 750ml Lactose Free Thickened Cream (for fluffy result) or 750ml Soy Milk (for completely dairy free option)
  • 1 x 250g packet of Arnott’s Choc Ripple Biscuits
  • Punnet of fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries

1. Shake and empty all the lactose free thickened cream into a large bowl.
2. Sprinkle the pudding mix into the bowl and using a whisk or fork, mix until combined.
3. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to thicken.
4. Using a hand-mixer or stand-mixer, whip on high for a few minutes until nice and fluffy.
5. Using a spatula or butter knife, spread some of the cream onto the cake plate to create a base.
6. Place a biscuit vertically into the cream. Get another biscuit and spread it with about ½ tablespoon of cream and sandwich it vertically with the first biscuit. Repeat with another biscuit and continue to from a log.
7. Cover the whole log with the remaining cream mixture and smooth it out into a log. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours so that the biscuits will absorb the cream.
8. Just before serving, decorate the log with fresh berries. Cut diagonally to serve so you can see the choc ripple pattern!

VEGAN Summer Berry Choc Ripple Recipe

This is a vegan version that doesn’t contain any dairy or traces of dairy. If you’re able to find a vegan instant pudding mix, you can use that instead and it will be quicker to make. Please note that the Cottee’s instant pudding mix has traces of milk and egg.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Plain Soy Milk or Rice Milk (Bonsoy has a delicious flavour)
  • 2/3 cups of cornstarch
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup
  •   2 teaspoons of pure Vanilla Extract
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 x 250g packet of Arnott’s Choc Ripple Biscuits
  • Punnet of fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries

1. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup soy milk and cornstarch. Set aside
2. In a saucepan over low-med heat, whisk together the remaining soy.
3. When it starts to bubble add the cornstarch mixture, maple syrup, salt and vanilla.
4. Stir occasionally and cook until the mixture starts to thicken.
5. Pour into a bowl, cover with clingwrap and place in refrigerator for 2 hours until cold.
6. Using a spatula or butter knife, spread some of the pudding cream onto the cake plate to create a base.
7. Place a biscuit vertically into the cream. Get another biscuit and spread it with about ½ tablespoon of cream and sandwich it vertically with the first biscuit. Repeat with another biscuit and continue to from a log.
8. Cover the whole log with the remaining cream mixture and smooth it out into a log. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours so that the biscuits will absorb the cream.
9. Just before serving, decorate the log with fresh berries. Cut diagonally to serve so you can see the choc ripple pattern.

Enjoy!

About Sheryl

Founder and Co-Owner of Cupcake Central

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