Test Kitchen: Third Time's a Charm
Oh gluten-free cupcakes. You are the bane of my existence! My first attempt at making GF cupcakes was on 4th of July. I was hosting a party and thought it would be a great opportunity to try a new recipe. My friend who is allergic to gluten was going to attend, so I thought she'd be a good critic.
Well, they didn't turn out so great. They turned out so bad that I didn't even take photos... and I take photos of everything!
The overall verdict was that they tasted GREAT, however when I baked them, they rose too high, then overflowed. I basically had to carve the cupcakes out of the pan. They also seemed to fall apart in your fingers. But my friends encouraged me by telling them they tasted great, despite the fact they were crumbling.
The second attempt was when I wanted to make a test batch for an upcoming order. I decided to tie it to girls' weekend so we'd have some sweet treats for the road. Another fail! The cupcakes overflowed again, however they also sunk in the middle. Big time. Bummer.
Before the third and final attempt, I scoured the interwebs for ideas. Why did my cupcakes sink? Why do I have such a hard time with GF cupcakes? Why aren't there more recipes for GF and vegan cupcakes? The task seemed impossible and I was very close to just buying a box mix, but as someone who bakes cupcakes to sell, I believe that my creations should come from scratch.
So finally, the third attempt. I crossed all my fingers and toes, I did a wishful dance around my living room, I sent positive vibes into the oven. PLEASE turn out good. Okay they're rising, they're rising, don't rise too much!! I was on the edge of my seat.
And by golly, these baby cakes turned out great!
Third time's a charm, right?
I'm still getting used to the taste, but I think that is just how gluten-free cupcakes are. Since they are without wheat flour, the recipe relies on a blend of other flours and starches: garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, and fava flour. So yea, it's going to taste and feel different.
I also happened to be decorating sugar cookies for the same order that night, so since I was experimenting with the cupcakes anyways, I decided to play around with the decorating. I took some leftover royal icing, lemon slices, and some almonds I had laying around and viola! New decorating ideas put into good use.
I'll be bringing the experimental 'cakes into my full-time job. I'm sure the boys will be very happy. :)