Monday, May 23, 2011

Iron Cupcake Movie Challenge Results!

Candy, Popcorn and Movies – Oh My!

Apple Brulee Spice had a different spin on the interpretation of the challenge Movies.
That didn’t stop the judges from selecting this flavorful combination as a 2nd Place Winner!

A good brainstorming session from one of my key taste testers brought this cupcake to the winning circle.

Let’s get ready for summer and head out to the park, next Iron Cupcake SF Challenge is Picnic. What do you bring to a picnic that you think would be great inspiration for a cupcake?

Iron Cupcake SF Challenge!

It’s time for the next Iron Cupcake Challenge and the theme is Movies.

FingerSweets is introducing, Apple Brulee Spice!

I couldn't place these cakes to any particular movie though my recent travels to New York for an intimate wedding allowed me to connect the flavor, destination and a movie genre into one mini cupcake.  

The inspiration of The Big Apple brings the spice of many romantic comedies.

This Apple Brulee Spice cupcake offers an apple caramel spice cake with a spiced cream cheese frosting, topped with a brulee crust. 

Stayed tuned for tonight’s competition results

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Flavors on the Menu!

Most of the fun is creating new mini cupcake flavors. Combining the unusual with the usual; sticking with what is familiar and traditional in order to grow the offerings on the menu.

So, how does a mini cupcake make it onto the menu?

I start by researching pairings, flavors and suggested combinations, and others previously developed recipes to come up with a conclusion of my own. I turn to experts like Spice Sherpa for suggestions and uses when working with spices. I get inspired by menus, websites, and blogs. I ask friends what flavors they enjoy and lastly, I use my own palette to come up with new ideas.

I tap into my roots and discuss with my mom (Susan) the flavors I am intrigued by in order to execute the ideas into a recipe form. While sticking to FingerSweets original concept we compile our thoughts into a starting place – “X” Test Batch 1.

Testing is key before a new flavor makes it onto the FingerSweets menu. Diligent note taking as each test batch is produced is critival. A single recipe generally will take multiple test batches to perfect and capture the desired layering of flavors.

Quality Assurance
A new flavor goes through a few stages of in-house testing.  

Stage 1: 
The mini cupcakes must meet a certain level of quality before being frosted.
Stage 2: 
The frosting must meet a certain level of quality before being placed onto a mini cupcake.
Stage 3: 
The frosting is applied to the mini cupcakes as a completed dessert and must meet a certain level of quality as a combined flavor.

Once each of these stages are met, the test batches are distributed to the pool of FingerSweets taste testers. These people offer critical and descriptive feedback about the overall flavor combination. It’s this feedback that greatly aids FingerSweets with developing new flavors and getting them onto the menu.  

 As new flavors are developed, I am hoping you’ll be in the next pool of taste testers!
FingerSweets Current Flavors
  Almond Fruit Crumb
Apricot Honey Cardamom
Bergamot Orange Spice
Chocolate Banana Peanut
Chocolate Cream
Chocolate Mint
Chocolate Raspberry Pink Peppercorn
Cilantro Lime Mango
Coconut Rum
Marble Chocolate Mint
Mallow Chocolate Graham
Meyer Lemon Basil
Peanut Butter Jelly
Pumpkin Maple Spice
Saffron Lemon Pistachio
Scharffen Berger Chocolate Coffee Cardamom
Spicy Masala Chai
Vanilla Lemon Meringue