It's easy to eat, requires no cleanup, nor do you need plates, napkins or utensils to devour its yummy goodness. Let's face it, from grandparents to the smallest of the kiddos, cupcakes make everyone smile.
In South Florida, we still aren't ready to heat up our ovens quite yet with the temps still in the 90s, so most of us turn to one of the most renowned cupcake bakers in Miami, Misha's Cupcakes. Misha started her operation in 2008, and whips up roughly 10,000-12,000 cupcakes a day between her five shops. She has 23 standard flavors from her signature chocolate, oreo and red velvet, to exotic varieties like the popular guava, salted caramel and chocolate chip cookie dough. If anyone knows how to please a crowd, it's Misha, and lucky for us she's dishing her secrets on how to make a perfect cupcake.
Over-mixing the batter can make or break your batch. Misha says to mix for just a few more seconds after all the ingredients are totally combined. And with brownies, be extra careful not to let too much air in.
For a standard cake recipe that calls for a cup of butter, use 3/4 vegetable oil and 1/4 butter. This will make your cake more moist and give it a softer texture.
Your end result will taste only as great as your ingredients, so Misha says to use good chocolate. Her favorite is Callebaut Belgium cocoa powder.
Misha always uses salted butter in batter and frosting. Why? "It just tastes better!"
The longer you bake the cupcakes, the drier they become. 15 minutes is the standard bake time she recommends for mini cupcakes, and 18 minutes for full-size. When you press your finger into the top of the cupcake it should be soft and slowly come back. If it feels spongy it's too dry, and if your finger sinks in then it's not ready yet. "The cake needs to feel like there is not batter underneath, but soft cake. It is more about experience with your cake; I just look at it and know. But when I make something new I have to touch it."
For her standard white buttercream frosting, Misha keeps it simple with just three ingredients; confectioners' sugar (unsifted), salted butter and whipping cream. She doesn't use vanilla because it skews the color.
I think you could say Misha loves sprinkles; she has over 85 varieties in her main shop. "I like to keep things simple, and add a little crunch to my ice cream, cake or cupcake, so my favorite are sugar crystal sprinkles."
Whatever the occasion may be, football parties, Halloween, Thanksgiving or kids birthday parties, don't forget about everyone's favorite little dessert, the cupcake. These tips should help you make that perfect cupcake every time... and remember, a life without cupcakes is a life without love.
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