Sticky Cupcakes

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yourstrulyewalani

Senior Cook
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I have a base recipe that works well and the cake turns out moist and fluffy enough. When I add other ingredients to add the flavor I want, it goes amuck.

I started with an egg, 1/3c. applesauce, cinnamon, sugar, 1/2 tsp. baking powder a pinch of salt and 3/4 c. flour. I baked one cupcake and it turned out great. Nice! Now to add the flavor I want...

I added about 1/8 c. pomegranate soda that I reduced on the stovetop and I also added about 1/8 c. pomegranate blueberry vinaigrette dressing.

The result was more dense and doughy. I am such a rookie at this I have only two guesses: there is too much wet ingredients or there is not enough baking powder/ soda. Any suggestions?

Keep in mind I am not claiming to be very good at this, but I want to figure out what I am doing wrong. Any input helps. Thank you!!
 

yourstrulyewalani

Senior Cook
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Ok well either no one has an answer or the right person hasn't seen this post yet. ;) I ended up reducing the pomegranate soda on the stovetop and it turned into a concentrated sweet syrup. I used that in the recipe keeping in mind that it was concentrated as to not make it too sticky and sweet.

Since it was a small batch to make 12 small cupcakes or about 8 regular sized, I added 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. baking soda. It was less sticky and more fluffy. :) But I am afraid there will always be a small amount of stickyness because of the moisture or maybe the sugar? Regardless this trial and error was a bit of a headache but at least I made some headway!
 

Mimizkitchen

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okay okay don't get crazy, I have successfully added ingredients to cakes recipes without a problem, however I never use applesauce to cut fat, I mean whats the point of a sweet then??? I very often use fruit, diced very finely, and pureed for my buttercream...
Perhaps we can figure this out together... Let me know... MIMI
 

yourstrulyewalani

Senior Cook
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Nov 1, 2009
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Washington State
Thanks Mimi! I don't usually believe in substitutions like applesauce and pureed bananas in leiu of butter but since my dad had his "minor" stroke I have been making small substitutes here and there as long as it does not completely alter the original flavor.

I am very intrigued at using fruit for buttercream. May I ask, is there a way to make the sugar in buttercream less grainy? I know if I let my buttercream set in the fridge it seems to dissolve slightly.
 

Mimizkitchen

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Thanks Mimi! I don't usually believe in substitutions like applesauce and pureed bananas in leiu of butter but since my dad had his "minor" stroke I have been making small substitutes here and there as long as it does not completely alter the original flavor.

I am very intrigued at using fruit for buttercream. May I ask, is there a way to make the sugar in buttercream less grainy? I know if I let my buttercream set in the fridge it seems to dissolve slightly.

YTW my buttercream starts on the stove disolving the sugar with the eggwhites then beating it into submission... This takes care of the grainy part of it... How do you makes yours???
 

yourstrulyewalani

Senior Cook
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Nov 1, 2009
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Washington State
Oh wow! I've never done that! I jut beat the eggwhites and sugar (somewhat into submission) then add the butter part. I'd never made it before a few months ago so I had to look up random recipes and collaborate. Do you use a double boiler? And do you have a recipe or link that you are able to share? :angel:
 

Mimizkitchen

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Just take your eggwhites and sugar, over a low boil, and stir them until you feel no grainyness (is that a word lol) between you fingers... Then beat it until its meringue looking and cool, than add your butter slowly... Once I am unpacked I can give you the proper measurements...

XOXO Mimi
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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Interesting. I've never added egg whites to my butter-cream. That almost sounds like a royal icing. I do add a bit of milk to powdered sugar, and stir until I have a smooth, grain free syrup before I beat it into the butter and vanilla. Again, it gets rid of the grainy texture.

As for the cupcakes, yes, there is too much of both liquid and fiber from the fruit in your batter. reduce the applesauce before adding the other ingredients to combat this problem. Also, try separating the yolk and egg white, adding the yolk immediately, but beating the egg-white into a stiff foam, then folding it into your batter. This will add more air into your batter, giving it more lift as it bakes. Also, the addition of pomeganite syrup introduced extra acid to the mix. This caused the alkali (part of the baking powder) to be used up and reducing its leavening power. When adding acidic ingredients, try to re-balance the ratio of acid to alkali by adding a tsp. or so of baking soda (an alkali).

So, to sum things up. when adding ingredients to a basic recipe, account for the moisture content and acidity of the ingredient and balance the batter with less liquid and additional baking soda.

This should help you get the lighter crumb you desire.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 
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yourstrulyewalani

Senior Cook
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
128
Location
Washington State
That would be great Mimi! (Good luck unpacking. Eek.)

Goodweed, I read your post just in time because I am making a cake that calls for cocoa powder that is non alkalized and I could NOT for the life of me find any. So I used what I could find in my recipe. It's my stepsons birthday cake and I want it to be good! So...maybe I should compensate by adding a tsp or so of bking soda. I had no idea about the alkalai.

Thank you BOTH for your patience with me. I am inexperienced and I am very grateful for the advice.
 

LPBeier

Certified Cake Maniac
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Goodweed, Adding egg whites, heated with the sugar over a water bath, is usually called Italian, or meringue buttercream. I use this technique for my wedding cakes for a few reasons - you can make it with less sugar and butter, it can stand room temperatures better and generally people enjoy the taste of it. Also, you get it whiter without using shortening.

I agree with everything Mimi said, but of course when it comes to cakes I usually do :chef:
 

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