Thursday, September 4, 2008

Curious and Curious-er

Oh, the humble cupcake! 

On the offside chance you haven't seen any in your city yet, cupcakes are *IN* these days. Actually, they've been getting more and more popular over the past few years, so much so that:  bakeries are designing and baking "signature" cupcakes; cupcake-dedicated bakeries and cafes are popping up all over the place; brides are now choosing "cupcake wedding cakes" instead of the huge sheet and tiered cakes; you can order cupcakes on the internet; you'll find cupcake biscotti and cupcakes in a jar; there are probably as many new and different flavors as there are cupcakes (Think Sweet Potato, Banana Split, Nectarine, Snickerdoodle, Fat Elvis, etc) and there is a company the makes cupcakes for canines (YES!!), calling them dogcakes.  (By the way, have you heard of frosting shots?)

The Curious Gourmet Cupcake Cafe (above) recently opened in downtown Franklin, and I got a chance to stop in last weekend when we attended the Jazz Festival.  They offer different flavors daily (Peanut Butter Cup, Strawberry Shortcake, Pretty Pretty Princess, Italian Cream, Red Velvet, and more!), but always have Vanilla Bean, Devil's Food and Dulce de Leche.  Since I don't eat stuff made with sugar (That leaves out sooooo many great desserts. . . .and calories!), I didn't try them.  One of my friends bought a dozen for her adult daughter's birthday, and she said that the Red Velvet was delicious.  You can read more about Curious Gourmet by clicking here.  The cupcakes run $3.25 each, although a dozen will cost you $36.

HISTORY OF THE CUPCAKE:  The humble cupcake has been around since the 19th Century.  The original ones were quite a bit smaller and not as decorated as the current cupcakes.  Originally, they were called number cakes because of the ingredients:  one cup each of butter and milk, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, four eggs, one teaspoon of baking soda.  The origin of the name "cupcake" is disputed.  Some say it is because they were baked in cups, while other say it is because the ingredients were measured by cups.

It's believed that the "new" cupcake craze started in 2000 when a cupcake was the featured dessert on Sex and the City.  Whatever started the craze, it's still going strong.  Now, if someone would come up with a sugar-free cupcake that tastes as good as the "real" thing.

What is your favorite cupcake flavor?


Olivier said...

malgré mon régime, cela me donne envie ;o)...Hummmm
despite my diet, it makes me want o) ... Hummm

Lady Di Tn said...

Since I never watched Sex in the City, I did not know that tidbit. I think you do a wonderful job showing off our city and surrounding areas. Thanks for all the good info. Are the dogs gonna go to the Mutt Strut? Peace and again Thanks for the great job of showcasing our area. Peace

Halcyon said...

I really hate all these food fads and such. A thousand cupcake stores will open and then in two years, they'll all be gone.

I like cupcakes ok, but I'm not crazy about them. I'll take one in chocolate, but hold the icing. I'm not fond of really sweet stuff.

Kelly said...

For extra fun, we bake them in ice cream cones (the plain variety) and then frost them!

Kelly said...

I love this shot, and your photos too! Have been catching up on some of your posts!

Virginia said...

My granddaughters love to make them at my house. I bought one of those super duper Texas size muffin pans. I like yellow with choc.icing.

Ming the Merciless said...

I normally don't buy cupcakes because I'll only eat the top (caps) and throw out the bottom (stem) -- like that Seinfeld episode. For some reason, I like the crust with a little cake, ergo the caps. I don't like the dry cake at the bottom.

That said, I've had some really good red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing from a little bakery in Brooklyn. But that was when I used to work in Brooklyn and the secretary there brought us the cupcakes.