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Sunshine in a Cup

Cupcakes go designer with specialists dishing them out in sumptuous flavours.

Written by Jagmeeta Thind Joy |
August 27, 2011 12:01:41 am

It was by far the most colourful bouquet in the room. Little surprise,it took pride of place on homemaker Gurpreet Dhindsa’s centre table last week during a coffee meet at her Sector 38 residence. Even though the bite-sized multi-grain sandwiches tasted good,it was the sinful looking bouquet that had the ladies reserving space in their tummies. Tiny and irresistible cupcakes,beautifully decorated with frosting made out of colourful roses,tulips and marigolds,all of which were edible,completed the bouquet that tasted as good as it looked. “Initially,I thought that cupcakes were more suitable for casual eating but when I saw these pretty designs,I couldn’t resist ordering some for my party,” mentions Dhindsa,one among a growing tribe of adults,who have developed a taste for cupcakes.

While muffins have been around in every possible flavour and best reserved for kiddie bashes,cupcakes are fast turning into a major treat,even for the grown-ups,given the new variety on offer in the city. Pastry chef Vibha Pahwa,who trained at the prestegious Le Cordon Bleu,can vouch for their popularity. Her ‘Cupcake Diva’ workshop held at Kids’ Own in Sector 17 ran to a full house with ladies queuing up to learn designer cupcakes in exotic flavours like chai masala. “Internationally as well,cupcakes are best-sellers and there’s a lot of work that goes into their presentation,” says Pahwa,who bakes cupcakes that are styled like floral bouquets and loves to experiment with unique flavours like chai masala and mint. “Theme-based designs are a big hit. Recently,I dished out cupcakes for a tea party with luxury label designs on them,” mentions Pahwa,who is going to host another workshop in the city soon.

Another versatile baker and a big fan of culinary shows like Travel and Living’s The Ultimate Cake Off,Panchkula-based Radhika Uppal’s new line-up of goodies include designer cupcakes and cutesy lollipop cakes. Having recently upgraded her skills at The Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionary Art,USA,Uppal is dishing out theme-based cupcakes that specialise in fondant style of dressing. “The best part about cupcakes is that they are styled like mini-cakes and easier to serve and style,” says Uppal,whose spring-summer collection of cupcakes are dressed like flower baskets and jewellery boxes. They aren’t just pretty to look at but come in flavours such as chocolate fudge,vanilla cream and strawberry mint. “My training at Wilton helped me polish my design on cakes and I am sourcing all the ingredients from abroad,as it’s hard to get fondant and gum paste here,” says Uppal,who has also added Ferrero Rocher cakes and a milky Mexican cake to her repertoire of special bakes. The latter would best remind you of the Indian kalakand.

Also finding an increasing number of cupcakes in her line-up of orders is culinary expert and Masterchef India finalist Kandla Nijhowne. Her specials include styles for both children as well as grown-ups. “The girls love butterflies,flowers and stars on their cupcakes while I have dished out cars from the latest flick Transformers for the boys. Grown ups prefer more elegant cupcakes in pearl finish in flavours like chocolate,rum and spice,” lists out Nijhowne,who now finds an array of choices to dress up cup cakes available in city stores too. From silicon cup cake trays,sprinkles in every possible hue,fondant sheets,icing guns in multiple options,baking,it seems isn’t just for keeping afternoons busy. It is now a serious business. But if you would rather order in a dozen,prices start at Rs 45 per cup cake approximately.

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