This week I got to try out some silicon cupcake cases for the first time, and I’ve yet to accept them totally.
I was looking for paper cases in the supermarket but couldn’t find any, so we had to buy the silicon ones that were available. Seeing as there was only one brand/size/shape we were limited for choice so we bought them.
I have mixed feelings about the results but I’m not convinced it’s a problem with the cases. This may just be because it’s the first time I’ve used them and perhaps I need to get used to them, or it could be something else I’ve done.
They appear slightly larger than the usual paper cases, but I’m not sure if the mix didn’t rise suitably enough. There are a several of factors involved so it’s not easy to pick out the one that applies to the problem we had, which is that the cupcakes only eventually took up about 3/4 of the case. Factors include:-
- the proportion of ingredients used
- oven temperature
- size of case compared to mix allowed per case
- preparation & method
I used a recipe for fairy cakes that I’ve got in a Good Housekeeping book – Favourite Cakes, Bakes & Cupcakes. The recipe I used usually makes 18 cakes. I think perhaps I need to reduce the number of cakes and put a little more mixture into each case. Before I consider doing that however I’m going to try it a few more times to make sure it’s not something I’m doing wrong. I think it is me rather than the cases.
The cakes themselves however were very nice, a nice spongy feeling to them and the melt in the mouth texture was just right, and they came out a nice golden sunny yellow. I’m afraid I haven’t any pictures of this last batch as the evidence has been eaten (the cakes not the pictures, I didn’t have time to get one). I think that pretty much proves that the cakes tasted OK.
One thing the cases had going for them is that the cake did shrink away from the edge of the case, making it easier to remove in one piece without having to peel bit’s of paper casing off the base of the cake. However, their size meant we had to peel the case back over itself to push the cake out in one piece – they still stick to the bottom of the case a little. This is why I’m not entirely sure the cases I have are the right size for the recipe I’m using, but again it could be that the mix has not risen enough. There are mini-cases available, I’m going to see if my budget will allow for some, then I can try those with the same recipe and compare the results.
The other things I liked about the cases is that they’re very colourful, and they cut down on the mess, reducing waste. I can clean these cases out and re-use time and time again, and they’re dishwasher safe.
If I make any cakes for parties what I’ll be doing is removing the cakes from the cases before serving to make sure I’ve got them all back (saves me a shopping trip). I’m going to either put the cakes into paper cases (assuming I can find some) or I’m going to make my own.
Cupcake case 1
What I’m thinking of doing is creating caramel baskets by standing the silicon cases upside down on a tray and drizzling caramel over them to form the baskets for each cake. Be very careful when playing with caramel, it’s very hot and can burn you easily on touch. It’s easier to do the basket on the outside of the case than on the inside of the case as it’ll be easier to lift the caramel off than risk breaking it by removing it from in the case. You can still make any of these cases inside the silicon case if you want to as the cake mixture will shrink away from the sides allowing a small amount of room, but the fit might be a tight one so be generous and allow extra room by making them on the outside of the case. It’s also easier to cut around the outside of the case when it’s upside down than to cut around the case the right way up.
Cupcake case 1 (part 2)
You can make some circles from chocolate, caramel, etc., to fit inside the base of the basket. To do that fill the bottom of the case with a thin layer of whatever you are using, allow to set and then remove from the case and put into the bottom of the caramel basket below the cupcake before serving.
Cupcake case 2
Use white, milk or dark chocolate. Depending on how you like it, you can melt some mixed with a bit of butter, brushing it over the case, letting it cool in a fridge and removing the silicon case after cooling. You can adjust that by mixing different chocolate to get a marbled effect. If you want you could introduce some crushed biscuit or cereal to get a crunchy case. Why not go serve two cases, one with a cupcake in it and one with a spoon of ice-cream and a slice of fresh fruit or a sprig of mint ….. oh, now there’s a good one, chocolate mint cupcake base, there must be a way of utilising After Eights for that one.
Cupcake case 3
Another case alternative is to create some brandy snaps and mould it onto the cup cake cases, allowing it to set on or in the case to create the necessary shape, then remove the silicon case when it’s set.
Cupcake case 4
Now, this is purely theoretical, but am guessing it’s possible to make a jellied fruit case using two cases to sandwich the mix prior to setting. It needs wafer thin slices of fruit arranged around the inside of the case, coated with a jelly, pressed in with another case then allowed to set in the fridge. I’m thinking it’s a good one for Wimbledon with Strawberries and Cream being the norm, we could make strawberry and butter-cream cupcakes in a strawberry fruit jelly basket drizzled with a strawberry ice-cream topping. I don’t think ordinary jelly will do it though and I think a little gelatin will need to be added. I’m also unsure as to the effect it’d have on the cakes themselves. I think I’ll chalk this one up as a nice idea, not sure about the implementation, I probably needs Heston’s scientific approach in order to pull it off. Might need a vacuum pump and a freeze drier.
Cupcake case 5 – the ultimate extravagant cupcake case
You could probably coat any of these case ideas with edible gold or silver flake/leaf if you wanted to for special occasions but then that’s quite a time absorbing thing to do.
I’m looking forward to experimenting with more silicon cases and I’ve found plenty of shapes and sizes available on-line in places like Cakes, Cookies & Crafts. I think one dessert I could do for the summer is a 99 cupcake (butter-cream and a flake) in a caramel basket alongside one more basket with a spoon of ice-cream and a flake, two 99’s together with a very different taste to each.