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Kim Shook

Cupcakes: Tips & Techniques

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I am making brownie cupcakes. They have a filling of peanut butter chips (a little batter, 1 T. of chips, more batter, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes). They came out of the oven all high domed, crackley topped and beautiful. I go back in 20 minutes later and there is this freaking SINK HOLE in the middle of each brownie - as big as a tablespoon!! :angry: Any ideas what has caused this? The cat and dog assure me that they are innocent :raz: . They taste wonderful, but look a little odd and they are supposed to be for a party this weekend. I guess I could fill the craters with M&Ms. Sigh.

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I guess I could fill the craters with M&Ms.  Sigh.

Or you could frost them and no one will be the wiser.


Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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I get little craters. That is, the top of my cupcake is one big crater. Cornbread muffins, Snowangel's wonderful burnt sugar cupcakes... etc You name it.

I think it's got to do with my oven--I've been using the convection setting--though.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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Really? Interesting, thanks for the tip, Wendy. Though it seems my cupcake skills have all sorts of interesting problems--you'll see when I resurrect the cupcake thread.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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Too much leavening will give you craters.

Wendy, can you elaborate... Lack of understanding would cause me to think that too much leavening would have the opposite effect.


Cheryl, The Sweet Side

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It occurs to me that you are probably right about that, Wendy.

Because I know that too much leavening can cause a coarse crumb, and the cratered cupcakes were on the coarse side.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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Too much leavening will give you craters.

Wendy, can you elaborate... Lack of understanding would cause me to think that too much leavening would have the opposite effect.

I'm not Wendy and I'm not a professional, but if I remember correctly, it's because the excess leavening causes it to rise too fast. There is no underlying structure, so it falls. That's your crater. When a cake rises at the proper speed, the underlying structure of the cake is intact and supports it.

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too much sugar is often a culprit. look at the batter - is it runny? if it is, then add a bit more flour or use less liquid. if the batter looks fine, then it is most likely because there is too much sugar.

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Your cupcakes may not be underbaked timewise but maybe your oven was not preheated long enough. That would create the same effect.

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Were you using an oven thermometer? If your oven wasn't as hot as it should be, that could cause this type of problem.

Also, Wendy is right about too much leavening. It has the opposite effect that most people would expect.

Eileen

edited by etalanian to correct an embarrassing typo!


Edited by etalanian (log)

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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:hmmm:

I don't know about the oven temperature. I think it's fine, and it seems to work fine when my mom bakes her cakes.

Plus the last time I made cupcakes, they had that perfect, store-bought, domed top.

And Whisks might be right, that too much sugar was the problem, because I cut down on the sugar as it was too sweet the first time I made it.


Edited by miladyinsanity (log)

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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Too much leavening will give you craters.

Wendy, can you elaborate... Lack of understanding would cause me to think that too much leavening would have the opposite effect.

I'm not Wendy and I'm not a professional, but if I remember correctly, it's because the excess leavening causes it to rise too fast. There is no underlying structure, so it falls. That's your crater. When a cake rises at the proper speed, the underlying structure of the cake is intact and supports it.

also too much liquid in the batter and too high a temp can cause this reaction...

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They look cute -- something my daughter would like.

Seems like if you are putting them under the broiler to brown the marshmallow, the glaze is melting causing the marshmallow to slide off.

Do you have a blowtorch that you can brulee the marshmallow with?


Cheryl, The Sweet Side

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They look cute -- something my daughter would like.

Seems like if you are putting them under the broiler to brown the marshmallow, the glaze is melting causing the marshmallow to slide off.

Do you have a blowtorch that you can brulee the marshmallow with?

We do use a blowtorch.

It seems like the sliding is caused by the shiny surface of the ganache. I thought maybe scoring the surface or creating a depression in the middle of the ganache might help, but haven't tried it yet.

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maybe freezing them until the ganache is hard, then toasting the marshmallow would work.


check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

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well, if you are not too concerned about loosing the shine from the ganache, maybe try dusting it with cocoa or powdered sugar then putting the marshmallow topping on.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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well, if you are not too concerned about loosing the shine from the ganache, maybe try dusting it with cocoa or powdered sugar then putting the marshmallow topping on.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I bet the dust of cocoa would give the grip needed to keep the marshmallow from sliding off.

I wonder if it would work to put the marshmallow topping on before the ganache sets, the unset layer might "glue" itself to the marshmallow.

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do you really need to toast the marshmallow? i think it looks pretty good just dollopped on. if you want it coloured, what about a light dust of cocoa before the cherry?

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Hi guys:

i need help with my cupcake recipe. The taste of the cupcake was great; it was relatively soft but it was a tad drier than I would have liked. I would also have liked it to be richer, perhaps? Hope that makes sense. Here is the recipe, please help me make adjustments and please explain why(ALSO, please recommend the size disher or ice-cream scoop that I would need ):

1 1/4 cups cake flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 stick butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 tsp salt

2 whole eggs PLUS 1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

I used the creaming method. 12-cup regular light colored muffin tin. filled it 2/3 of the way up. perfectly acceptable dome shape after baking. 350 degree oven, middle rack.

Thanks for your help.

CM.

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