Saturday, October 31, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
This weekend I experimented with Taffy Apple Cupcakes. A moist apple spice cake capped with ooheey-gooey caramel goodness--topped off with that crunchy delicious chopped nut topping that we all love.
The apple spice cake is absolutely deelish. It was very moist, it was thick, almost more of the consistency of a muffin that a cake. It baked very nicely--creating a perfectly round top easy to decorate with frosting. I was experimenting with the caramel cap.
I wanted that type of caramel that you find on a traditional Taffy Apple. Very soft--yet just enough texture that you get a little elasticity when you bite into it. I thought I could create this texture by melting some caramel and oil in a double boiler.
The carmel melted well, but it never got to a thin enough consistency. It was very malleable and actually was very easy to top cupcakes nicely. However, I feel that it is too thick to act as a good frosting. Overall, the cupcake still tasted quiet yummy--but the caramel topping was a little too thick.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
- Pumpkin (Check!)
- Make it Scary! (Check!)
Bloodsuckers Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes--
cupcakes only The Slayer could destroy! Light flaky pie crust filled with the best Pumpkin Pie topped with fresh whipped cream frosting...It's BLOODY good!
What's scarier than getting your blood sucked by a creepy undead monster? Umm...NOT MUCH. This sweet treat lures the undead, but Buffy is here for our rescue. She's the Slayer... the chosen one folks...there's no need to fear. VOTE FOR ME BY CLICKING HERE! Please pass the word on and vote as many times as you can! (I'm listed as Lindsey of TuTu Cupcakes) I've always has a bit of a fascination with vampires and a little obsession with Buffy. What's not to like about an ass-kicking teenage girl, with great hair and an awesome wardrobe? Come on this girl could karate kick in 3" stiletto heals. That's my kind of girl;-)
Until my next cupdate,
Friday, October 16, 2009
You may remember back a few months ago, when I discussed the beginning of the logo for my cupcake business. A company can't be official until it has a logo. I guess the debut of my beautiful new logo makes me official!
It's been a labor of love with a very talented artist. Check out his work here Insidious Customs. My logo started as this...Sketches (using permanent marker) on napkin. We met up for an event my family was hosting for my step dad's restaurant. I began sharing my dreams and vision for starting up my own cupcake operation and we immediately began hammering out some idea. From the napkin, we moved on to more hand sketches.
The process is great to really help you to see on paper how you visualize your logo. I knew that this logo needed to be simple, adorable, a tad wholesome, yet seductive in a sweet way. Insidious Customs was really great about keeping HOW the logo would be used in the forefront of my mind. Your logo needs to be workable in all formats where it will possibly be presented: signage, web, boxes, business cards, print adds etc etc. And I think this logo works well with all of those formats.
What I really love most about this logo is how it is a marriage of all the things I wanted. The coloration is very reminiscent of the classic type of cupcake that people envision when you say the word...Vanilla with Pink Frosting. I love the way it communicates my feelings for cupcakes...how I bake them from the heart. It helps to convey that happy feeling I get when I deliver the smile of deliciousness to my cupcake customers.
Until my next Cupdate,
Monday, October 12, 2009
I heart cupcakes--no joke--you guys know this! In fact, I love cupcakes so much, I've taken my love one step further and made cupcakes a part of my career. For those of you who have been following me, you know that I've been working on branding TuTu Cupcakes as my product and business. Originally, my product plan was to be a unique cupcake creation by joining two cupcake flavors together with a tasty surprise filled in the middle.
I've been conducting A LOT of research. I've been visiting cupcakeries in my area, studying websites of cupcakeries nationwide, and chatting with a bunch of wonderful cupcake bakers that I have met online. The more research I do brings me further down the path of product planning. I've begun to re-think my original strategy.
A lot of my thought process has to do with me defining my business for myself:
- What do I want this Cupcake business to be?
- Where do I want this Cupcake business ?
- How do I want this business fit into my life financially, emotionally and physically?
The idea of having one cupcake with two flavors and a special filling gave me an angle against the competition. It gave my cupcakes a reason for being outside of the traditional cupcake. It would be the experience of Tu Tu Cupcakes. But, the concept is very taxing on me the baker, the business owner, and the product champion. The idea--while fun to think about eating--is actually economically unsound. I'm constantly making (and paying for) double the batter + the filling + the frosting.
Initially, I didn't find the extra work or ingredients an issue when I wanted a cupcake store front. At a store front, I would have help to bake all the cupcakes and the cost of double the ingredients could be amortized across the life of the business. However, lately I feel as if I want my operation to be on a more intimate level. I realize that I enjoy baking. I enjoy the creation of the cupcake. I feel validated by working hard to ensure that I've found the best ingredients and best recipe to fit my customers needs.
Now, I want this intimacy to reflect in my business model. I'm thinking that a web-based at home business is more of what I need/want at this point in my life. I know that my cupcakes are about good flavor and a good presentation. They are classic with a mature simple decor. I like to let the flavor and name do the selling. For me it's less about the cupcakes decoration and more about how the cupcake tastes.
An at home operation really fits my current lifestyle. I think starting small and building up is where I need to be right now not only financially, and emotionally, but it also allows me to physically be a part of my operation and build a good base network to build up from.
My goal now is to define my mission statement to create my brand message and convey that message to my customer.
Here is what I am thinking so far:
Tu Tu Cupcakes works with you to create custom gourmet cupcakes to fit your needs. Baked fresh to your order, Tu Tu Cupcakes will ship directly to your door--nationwide.
What do you guys think? Thoughts? Advice?
Until my next cupdate,
**like the I heart Cupcake image above?? Yeah, I did too! ;-) Check out the magnet you can purchase at Cafe Press by designer Bottled Talent!! Too Cute! ****
Thursday, October 1, 2009
With all the fun activites of fall swirling around me, I've been inspired to expierment with a new cupcake--which I also think will be my entry for October's Cupcake Hero--but I may need to work on the "scary" aspect of it. I wanted to try and make a traditional Pumpkin Pie it the shape of an oh-so-cute cupcake.
And here is the result of my expierment...
These mini treats will take you straight home. Fresh pumpkin pie filling atop a light flakey cream cheese crust--topped with my so delish fresh whipped cream frosting.
I have to say this was quite a project. I was really nervous about how the crust would cook inside of the cupcake wrapper and I did have to bake much longer than the typical cupcake. It was about 30 mins at 350.
The crust really impressed me--it was quite yummy and really easy to make. Here is the recipe that I adpated from at Taste of Home.com:
1/2 C Butter
1 (3 Oz ) Cream Cheese
1 C Flour
combine butter and cream cheese
add flour and mix to forn a soft dough .
form the dough into balls place each ball of dough in a cupcake pan
press up sides of pan
This dough was really easy to work with. I expieremented with a few different ways to use both in and out of the cupcake wrapper.
I then poured my family's pumpkin pie reciepe on top of the crust. (Sorry, that's a family secret ;-) ).
If you'd like to order these Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes for your next holiday event or party, feel free to contact me at:
Next Cupdate: October Cupcake Hero!
Until the next Cupdate,