Reproduction of Cupcakes

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REPRODUCTION OF CUPCAKES 1

Reproductionof Cupcakes

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Reproductionof Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

BackgroundKnowledge

Cupcakes are relatively smaller types of cakes that are prepared toserve one person. They are baked in smaller thin papers or aluminumcups. The common forms of decorations such as icing or candy dressingmay also be applied just to create a satisfying impression dependingon the person’s preferences. Sprinkles may also be applied fordecorative purposes.

According to Timeline (2010), on the History of cupcakes, the veryfirst mentioning of the cupcake preparation was found in the recipenotation “a cake to be baked in small cups.” This was as early as1796. However, the very earliest documentation came about in theyear- 1828, in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts Cookbook- Seventy-fivereceipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats.

The name cupcake has evolved over centuries and it can used to mean acake that is about the size of teacup. Cupcakes are of many variants,flavors and decoration types. So, people have a wide choice inpreparing or buying the type of cupcake they prefer. Among suchdiverse flavors are:

  • Chocolate cupcakes

  • Luscious Vanilla cupcakes

  • Killer carrot cupcakes

  • Banana Peanut butter cupcakes

  • Raspberry Truffle cupcakes

  • Snickerdoodle cupcakes

  • Toasted coconut cupcakes

  • Lemon drop cupcakes

The list is endless. Basically, from the information above, we areable to clearly interpret that the name of the flavor defines theprimary flavoring ingredients of the cupcake. For instance, achocolate cupcake would contain a chocolate flavoringpreparation. In addition, the chocolate flavoring can be diverse too.For instance, we have different chocolate cupcakes such as Chocolatefudge cupcakes, super easy chocolate cupcakes, Gluten free chocolatecupcakes, Zucchini chocolate cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes withCaramel frosting (etcetera). The list is endless because it alldepends with the creativity of the cooker, you can prepare as manyflavors as you may prefer.

Cupcakes are very portable and easily handled and this makes themmore preferred in small events such as birthday parties and babyshower parties. They are also tasty, sweet and nice to the palate(appetite, taste and flavor). Since they are comparatively smaller insize, most of the decoration (flavoring, topping-icing) work iseasier, and this makes cupcakes a common food in manyconfectionaries. Another significant aspect of cupcake preparationis its budget. They are inexpensive as compared to many other typesof cakes. The budget is minimal, and hence the retail price is alsocheaper.

I chose to prepare chocolate cupcakes. This project serves afew objectives:

  • Researching on ingredients to make a chocolate cupcake.

  • Preparing a recipe to make a wholesome chocolate cupcake

  • Comparing the differences between a recreated cupcake and a processed chocolate cupcake bought from a local supermarket.

The chocolate cupcake was based on USDA mandated nutritional label onthe packaging, and bore the full ingredient list on the packaging.

So, after researching on the ingredients and full recipe, I decide touse the recipe provided at www.marthastewart.com. This wasafter purchasing a HASHEY’S CHOCOLATE cupcake. The main aim was toprepare a wholesome chocolate cupcake after necessary adjustments ofthe original recipe. Hence, this meant that I was recreating theprocessed HASHEY’S CHOCOLATE cupcake in a more wholesome manner.

Discussionof Ingredients

This discussion presents the most common ingredients in chocolatecupcakes.

Like many cakes, cupcakes have the most common ingredients for itspreparation such as flour, water, eggs, sugar and salt. Inpreparation of the chocolate cupcakes, the main flour used wasenriched flour. Enriched flour is the common flour used forcake recipes. It is the flour that is refined, but has some specificnutrients and minerals restored back to it that were probably lostduring the flour preparation process. Some of the restored nutrientsmay include:

  • Iron

  • B Vitamins (Riboflavin, Folic acid, Niacin and Thiamine).

  • Calcium

The main purpose of enriching flour is to replenish it and matched itwith the original and organic nutrients of the unrefined (naturalflour) and give it a nutritional status as recommended by the Foodand Drug Administration (FDA).

The use of white flour has increasingly been adopted in many recipes.This is due to its several advantages over “dark flours.” Themain benefit is that white flour has longer shelf life. This isattributed to the fact that in the milling process, bran and germ areremoved from the grains. Germ has a fat content of 10%, and thus theshelf may be reduced. After milling and refining, the grain portionthat is left is the endosperm, which is then used to make thewhite-enriched floor. Enriched flour has for longer a time beenassociated with a fine smooth texture that is obviously used in cakerecipes. Flour is mainly starch and the starch in it, is anutritional value. Besides, starch in flour absorbs the liquid in thecake preparation and helps to make a solid cake in the final serving.When bran and germ are removed, the dietary fiber is also removed. Inturn, it will have a bearing in digestion and absorption of thestarch. Enriched floor is usually absorbed faster as compared tounrefined-wholesome flour. Thus, enriched flour is broken downquickly and also raises the blood sugar to higher levels. Always,there is excess of sugar after the liver has broken down the bloodsugar, and this will pile up as fat in the body. Eventually, thiswill lead to diseases such as Diabetes. Dietary fiber which is foundin whole wheat flour, helps to break down sugar and carbohydrates ina slower manner, and hence helping in regulating the blood sugarlevel. In contrast, products from enriching flour tend to bring aboutobesity if not properly checked, while the products from wholesomeflour tend to trigger weight loss and weight management. Fiber isalso a key driver in bowel movements.

Almost all recipes contain one essential ingredient, which is water.In the recipe Exhibits, water was mainly used as a solvent medium. Ithomogenizes all other ingredients and create a uniform consistencythat will ensure that the final product achieves the desired results.In particular, hot water (boiled water) is used in chocolate cupcakesso that the Cocoa ingredient in chocolate would dissolve. Cocoa takesa lot of time to dissolve in cold water (it clumps together) andrequires too much effort with whisking technique. Water also ensuresthat batter (flour and liquid-egg-milk mixture) achieves the desiredconsistency. In addition, during baking, water serves to distributeheat in a uniform manner all over the cake.

Eggs are also ausual ingredient in cake baking. They are a key input in baking. Themutual balance between the flour and egg is very important. Eggsensure that the cupcakes achieve the flavor, tenderness, leavening,color, and flavor and structure shape. The final structure and shapeof the chocolate cupcakes are derived from the ability of the eggs toprovide strength in the batter mixture. Eggs become pretty much firmwhen subjected under heat. Eggs are either free-range or organic.Eggs are a rich source of protein and other nutritional contents.

Sugar is the mainingredient in confectionaries. Without sugar, confectionaries wouldnot have the same effect they have today. They are a very popularmeal, needless to say. Sugar is primarily used as a sweetener.Refined sugar is preferred in baking, although other types ofsugar may be also used. Sugar tends to maintain the viscosity of thebatter mixture by delaying gelatinization and absorbing the liquidcomponent of the batter, and thus the cake finally becomes solid asdesired. Therefore, this results to a fine, smooth, uniform-grainedcupcake with a soft anticipated texture. Corn syrup is also asweetening supplement it has higher levels of Fructose, hence moresweet products. Corn syrup also brings a smooth texture and addvolume of cake. Sugar is a carbohydrate in nature.

Salt is one of thekey component for flavoring purposes. It is also a commonpreservative. Another ingredient is skim milk. Skim milk contains lowfat content as compared to whole milk which contains more fat,saturated fats. So, the USDA recommendations are that processed foodshould contain low fat contents (skim milk).

The mainpreservative is Potassium Sorbate. It is easily manufactured. It iswarned that the people who frequently eat food preserved in PotassiumSorbate may be overwhelmed by the levels of Potassium in their bodiesand may also experience nausea and diarrhea. The other significantingredients are the additional flavors, leavenings such as bakingsoda, sodium aluminum phosphate and monocalcium phosphate.

Manufactures tendto use hydrogenated oils over butter. In this case, the processedHarshey’s chocolate cupcakes were prepared using hydrogenatedvegetable oil. Butter is a substituent for such oils, and may besalted to increase shelf or remain unsalted.

The prime preferred ingredient for the processed cupcake waschocolate. The chocolate contains Cocoa processed with Alkali. Thiswill mean that the chocolate will be darkened enough and also thebitterness of the Cocoa will be reduced. The effect is referred to asDutching. It is one of the recommendations of the USDA.

RecipeRecreation

In the effort to analyze the difference between processed chocolatecupcakes and unprocessed chocolate cupcakes (home-made), a recreatedcupcake was prepared, with substituted ingredients. So, a reciperecreation was sought after to bring out a wholesome version of theend product.

First of all, the enriched flour was replaced with white wholewheat flour which is milled from albino wheat grains. It has thebehavioral characteristics of white flour but has all the nutritionalrequirements such as dietary fiber and other natural vitamins andminerals.

Secondly, unsalted butter was used instead of salted butteror hydrogenated oils which are unhealthier. Salted butter retains andholds more water than unsalted butter. Therefore, salted butter isunstable as compared to unsalted butter with a lower water index andhence stable which leads to stable products. The recipe avoidedlonger preservation and that’s why I preferred unsalted butterwhich reduces the shelf-life of the chocolate cupcake.

Thirdly, since, this was a small-scale project, there was no need touse any coloring, industrial preservatives or artificial flavors. Theaim here was to ascertain the effect of these components on thewholesomeness of the cupcake. Vanilla was substituted in place forartificial flavors.

Since, chocolate cupcakes are brown, it was necessary to useTurbinado brown sugar that ensured the desired flavor and coloringwas realized. So, white sugar was disregarded as seen in Exhibit 2 ofRecipe Recreation.

In the recreated recipe, organic eggs were used in place forfree-range eggs, just because organic eggs are cheaper thanfree-range eggs, but the nutritional content/value is almost similar.

Comparisonof the Processed and Unprocessed Products

The key objective of recreating the recipe was to bring out the realdifferences between commercially available chocolate cupcakes and ahome-made chocolate cupcakes with altered procedure of preparation:

  1. The wholesome chocolate cupcakes were heavier and denser than processed ones. So they had a slight smooth texture because of the white whole wheat flour which is different from the enriched flour. They were more stable and not easy to crumble. Processed chocolate cupcakes were so soft and smooth and easier to crumble apart. Their chew was almost similar to the commercial ones, because there was no difficulty in chewing. In the mouth, they had a soft feel and the smaller individual cake particles could be felt. The taste and flavor were also different because the common colorings, flavoring and preservatives were omitted. Thus, the taste felt more natural and organic. Butter oil in the recreated cupcakes obviously brought an extra flavor to it. Processed cupcakes were too sweet compared to recreated cupcakes which had optimum sweetness.

  1. Obviously, the shelf between the two products was apparently predictable. After five days, the processed chocolate cupcakes were almost the same as they were left out. They had almost same texture as initially and also same mouth feel. Comparatively, the recreated chocolate cupcakes became stiff and almost rough and uneasy to the mouth. Understandably, the differences were due to preservatives. Recreated chocolate cupcakes have a shorter shelf-life in contrast to the commercial ones which are manufactured to withstand expiration and thus longer shelf-life. After 10 days on the shelf, the recreated chocolate cupcakes expired and appeared to have a different color because of mold and fungi growth. The commercial ones continued to lose texture and pass out as time progressed. So, the major point is that processed foods have longer shelf-life because of the added artificial preservatives.

Conclusionand Recommendations

Indeed, the best option to choose is processed chocolate cupcakes.With cost, equipment, time, resources and labor/skills factors, sucha recommendation is very necessary for the consumers. Many peoplelack the basic expertise for making baked products and so this willbring about unsatisfying results in their recreated products. Thecost for preparing one product is obviously more than buying oneproduct. So, the consumer will always undergo an extra cost inpreparing his/her own version. Mixing the ingredients to attain asatisfying effect is hard for people whole lack that knowledge. Thisis why people enroll in higher institutions to study certificate,diploma or degree programs in the courses affiliated to cooking. Suchcourses are Baking &amp Pastry, Food and Nutritional Dietetics oreven Food Science vocational programs.

It will not make sense to prepare a chocolate cupcake for 35minutes, while buying the same product takes a few minutes at acheaper cost.

However, if you have enough time, resources and expertise, youshould opt to make your own version of a wholesome meal with desirednutritional requirements.

Exhibit 1:Secondary Recipe for making Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, melted and cooled

  • 6 tablespoons Hershey`s Cocoa powder

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup skim milk, room temperature

  • 1 large free-range egg, lightly beaten, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup boiling water

  1. Place rack in center of oven and heat to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with 12 paper liners set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine cocoa, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter, milk, egg, and vanilla. Using a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, beat for two minutes. Add boiling water and beat to combine (batter will be thin). Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners.

  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Exhibit 2: FinalRecipe

Recreation ofChocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • 6 tablespoons Hershey`s Cocoa powder

  • 1 cup Turbonado brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature

  • 1 large organic egg, lightly beaten, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup boiling water

  1. Place rack in center of oven and heat to 350 degrees F for dark or non-stick pan. Line cupcake tins with 12 paper liners set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine cocoa, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add unsalted butter, whole milk, organic egg, and vanilla. Using a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, beat for 30 seconds. Add boiling water and beat to combine (batter will be thin) for 2 minutes, scrapping bowl occasionally.

  3. Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners. Use 1/3 of the cup. Reserve remaining batter.

  4. Squeeze chocolate filling pouch 20 times. Cut ¼ inch tip of corner of pouch. Squeeze small amount filling into center of each cup, using all filling. Filling should not touch sides of cups.

  5. Spoon reserved batter over filling in each cup (about 3 tablespoons each). Covering filling completely.

  6. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 24-29 minutes. Cool in pans for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  7. Store after cooling completely.

Exhibit3: Photos of Finished Product

Figure1.Before baking

Figure2. After Baking

Exhibit4: Photos of Processed HASHEY’S Chocolate Cupcake

Figure3(a). Processed HASHEY`S Cupcakes

Figure5 (b). Nutrition panel

Figure4 (c). Ingredient and Nutrition Panel

Exhibit 5 – Details on Processed Food Ingredients

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Ingredient

Definition &amp General Commercial Uses

Why (do you think) did the manufacture use it?

1

Enriched Flour Bleached (with additives)

Base ingredient for baking

Contains Vitamins that are added after they were lost in the milling process

2

Sugar

Sweetening

To sweeten the cake

3

Corn Syrup

Sweetening

To supplement the sweetening requirements because it`s has high Fructose

4

Water

Hydration

Hydration purposes for achieving desired batter consistency, texture among other needs. Water is natural solvent.

5

Cocoa processed with Alkali

Provide chocolate flavor for the cupcakes.

Darkening and reducing acidity of Cocoa

6

Skim Milk

Has low fat content

To attain a desired smooth product with nutritional value. Milk is also a constituent in batter mix. So it is also a dissolving media.

7

Pottasium Sorbate

Preservative

Increasing the shelf life or longevity of the product.

8

Leavening agents

Leavenings

For baking to make the cakes to obtain the necessary size

9

Corn starch

Structural purpose

To make a fluffier cake

10

Artificial &amp Natural flavorings

Flavoring

To introduce a desired flavor in the cake.

11

Salt

Flavoring

Flavoring and preservation

12

Eggs

Natural emulsifiers

Combining water and fat present in the cake preparation

13

Hydrogenated Soy bean oil and/or Cotton seed oil

Serve as vegetable oil

Producing soft texture of dough

14

Locust bean gum

Thickening agent

Texturizer

15

Dextrose

Sweetener

To supplement the sweetening requirements and because it is cheaper than ordinary sugar.

16

Modified Potato starch

Stabilizer

Stabilizes the cake batter

17

Colors

Coloring

Bringing the anticipated color of cake

18

Calcium Acetate

Food additive and Preservative

Increasing the shelf life or longevity of the product.

19

Cellulose gum

Stabilizer

Prevents staling in baking

20

Xanthan gum

Stabilizer &amp Preservative

Binding the cake`s content together and also preserving the cake

21

DATEM

Emulsifier

Dough conditioner

22

Dicalcium Phosphate

Supplement

Dietary supplement of enriched flour

23

Distilled monoglycerides

Emulsifiers &amp Preservatives

Improves cake volume and structure and is also a preservative agent

24

Hydrogenated palm kernel oil

Texturizer &amp Preservative

Enhance texture and longevity of cake.

FoodIngredients

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