Tip of the Week
With Halloween and other holiday parties coming up, now is a good time to decide what you’ll be serving your guests.
Everyone loves dessert, so mini treats — especially cupcakes — can be a great addition to a party or other celebration, such as a birthday or anniversary.
Farozan Jivraj, an experienced pastry chef and owner of Cupcake Novelties cake boutique in Winchester, Va., offers some tips on how to get a gourmet look (and taste) at home:
• Start with a basic recipe. “If someone is looking to make cupcakes the easy way, they can start from a basic vanilla cupcake recipe and add flavors to the frosting to jazz it up,” Jivraj says. “Various extracts are also available and can be added to a vanilla cupcake recipe to vary the flavor palate.”
• Improve a box mix. If you’d rather go the box mix route than make cupcakes from scratch, Jivraj recommends using butter instead of oil for a richer taste, adding a box of instant pudding to improve cake density and substituting flavored juice, milk or buttermilk for water for a flavor kick.
• Make your own frosting. “It is easy to make and tastes much better than store-bought icings,” Jivraj says. Try a simple swirl of icing with themed decorations to make your cakes stand out.
• Don’t forget to decorate. If you aren’t the best at piping or using fondant, candy comes in handy. “Fruit roll-ups are flexible and pliable enough to be shaped easily. Sixlets, M&Ms, Tootsie Rolls and licorice can all be used to create different elements of decoration,” Jivraj says.
Want a mix of different desserts? Make Rice Krispie Treats, chocolate-dipped marshmallows, caramel chocolate popcorn or chocolate-dipped graham crackers topped with sprinkles.
“These treats are easy to make and add variety to a dessert table,” Jivraj says.
— Amber Krosel, More Content Now