Transparency and win a baking kit!

It's Thursday, Thursday, Thursday! Gonna get.. ok so it doesn't have the same annoying ring to it.

Today I’m blogging about the transparency of what goes into our cupcakes. I think it’s important that when people bite into a Cupcake Central cupcake, they need to know the reason why it tastes good and it’s because it’s not just full of sugar and fat.

When you’re cooking a steak there’s going to be a difference in using a cheap cut and special grade Wagyu beef because of the care that has gone into the beef making (or cow breeding, I think). There is also a difference in using blocks of generic chocolate (mainly has a high sugar content) and Callebaut Belgian dark chocolate callets (100% cocoa butter and high level of cocoa solids). If you’ve heard of Callebaut, the brand is prestigious in the way their chocolate is made. Hand picked cocoa beans, roasted and with much care & patience they create fine couverture chocolate in a slow process. It is, without a doubt, delicious stuff.

The bags of chocolate we get are massive! This is why I need to do weights in the gym so I can lift these things.

We add the dark couverture chocolate to our chocolate frostings to create a rich, deep and delicious frosting that is bittersweet, so that doesn’t feel like you’re just biting into processed sugar that just makes you feel sick afterwards. And you’ve already heard it all..dark chocolate is better for you! Yes, it’s probably not as healthy as eating an apple but if you’re indulging.. you’ve come to the right place.

Devil's Food Chocolate Cupcake

Free Range Eggs and why we choose to use them. At the supermarkets you may see several different brands of free range eggs ranging from $4.59 to $9.70 a dozen. I never  understood why the prices varied so much until I was educated on the difference between good quality free range eggs and not-so-good ones.


Home on the Range, Free Range Eggs Free Range Eggs
These are genuine free range eggs. The hens from this farm are treated well and actually roam around freely.

I decided to go with Family Homestead Free Range because when I first spoke to Vesna, I could feel her passion and her energy to run a farm that is dedicated to treating the hens with such care to farm the most wonderfully genuine free range eggs. She educated me in the difference in their eggs because their hens were grain fed (instead of with food/meat scraps) and actually have open pasture to roam around on, they weren’t just cooped up in a shed where there is one little door that allows hens to go outside (that is opened during inspection time only). Even though it’s almost double the price of other brands out there, I was sold on the passion and love she had for what she did and I knew that the quality would be second to none. I had to do business with Family Homestead.

Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract is what we call our liquid gold. I get a mini heart attack when I get the invoice for our vanilla order but it’s so worth it.

Our liquid gold.

This is the stuff that makes our Vanilla Vanilla cupcakes. We put it in most of our cupcakes as the flavour is just superb and I first came across this when I was in the States and noticed that every busy bakery was using it in their baked goods. Extract is not essence, extract means extracted purely from the source and essence is a fake version of the real deal. So don’t be fooled! When you’re baking cupcakes, use extract or Vanilla beans – your taste buds will thank you.

We also use creamy butter sourced from New Zealand and the flavour is flavoursome & rich, which I’ve been told is due to the clean and natural green pastures in NZ. We get them in huge blocks and it’s hilarious whenever the bakers are cutting up the butter, we get these amazed looks asking if that’s really butter, it’s almost as big as a little cow! If you can’t get your hands on NZ butter, I found that Girgar butter is one of the better quality butters you can find in any supermarket… and as for Western Star, eh, it’s not my cup of butter even though Masterchefs love it.

Callebaut Cocoa Powder, this is the pure stuff.

What I’m planning to do next is to create some bake-at-home kits that everyone can purchase to bake cupcakes at home. They’re going to be exactly the same ingredients that we use in our kitchen and also free from preservatives. Check out Joyce’s blog post of her testing out our bake-at-home kit with her adorable baby. TOT:HOT OR NOT she is also the creator of the popular blog MEL: HOT OR NOT

Now if you want to win a Cupcake Central bake-at-home kit, we’re going to giveaway a bunch so all you have to do to enter is post a comment here and answer:

What is your favourite Cupcake Central cupcake flavour?

Make sure that you leave an email address that we can contact you on, otherwise if we don’t hear back you can’t get your prize.

27/08/2011 Competition has now ended.

The following 20 winners have been chosen based on their great comments and some of them just by random. You will be contacted via email shortly with details on how to claim your Cupcake Central baking kit prize. Stay tuned to see how you can buy a kit from us and bake the exact same cupcakes as we do at the store.

Jaynie
Catherine McGuinness
Claudia
Denise
Chris Arthur
Lauren Anastasiou
Alicia Lay
Mavis
Wincy
Joanna
Zoe McClure
Tram Le
Jonas Heldmark
Jo
RagingYoghurt
Rebecca Landale
Ash
Roberto Colombi
Coral Briscoe
Anna