Monday, September 5, 2011

Suki Maman cupcake class at Afisha Eda Food feast (Афиша: Праздник Еды)

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In the last post I already said a lot about the Food feast, an amazing food festival organized by Afisha Eda magazine in Moscow last weekend. Now I would like to say more about the master class of Suki Maman (the pastry chef of Upside down cake bakery and Montalto pizza). The class was about mini cupcakes, the key speciality of Upside down cake, which I'm completely addicted to. That was something I just couldn't miss.


Suki Maman came to the main stage at around 5 p.m. Looking perfectly calm and relaxed despite that he spent the whole noon at Montalto stand together with Isaac Correa making delicious pizza for impatiently waiting fans. He chose to make a flavor, which is different from those currently offered in Upside down cake - orange cupcake with cream cheese topping and strawberry.

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As these tiny creatures bake over 5-6 minutes, Suki was able to show almost the full cycle at the class. The translation process looked really funny. Suki would give his comments in English. Then Alexander Gavrilov would give his translation (plus elaboration) in Russian, which made the thing sound 3 times as long. Then Suki would ask "What are you talking about?" - "It sounds like you are inventing those things...".

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Luckily at each step of the process someone from the audience insisted - "How many grams of flour?" or "How many grams of butter". That's why I actually got the recipe and can share it - for those who would like to try it out one day.

At first Suki made fragrant orange sugar by mixing 80 grams of sugar with the zest of one orange by hand. In a separate bowl he mixed together 140 grams of flour with some baking powder and 35 grams of butter (also by hand). "It must be like this wet sand, you know, when you walk on it at midnight". To prepare the liquid ingredients he whisked an egg (a bit, just to get it combined) and mixed it with 75 ml of cold milk.

Now it was time to put everything together. Suki mixed the flour sand with the sugar sand and poured in the milk with egg. Here it was important not to over-mix the batter. The dry ingredients only need to get wet, but there is no need to get it perfectly even. If the batter is mixed for too long the cupcakes can come out too dense.

The ready batter got piped out to the small-cupcake baking pan, slightly buttered. The cups need to be approximately half filled as the cupcakes rise a lot while baking. They need to go to 160C oven for 5 - 6 minutes. It is important not to over-bake the cupcakes, to get them soft and moist as they should be.

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I loved the decoration process. The topping was made in advance (of Philadelphia cheese, beaten together with butter and icing sugar). Suki explained that it takes up to 30 - 45 minutes of beating to reach the right texture of this topping.

He was using a piping bag with a round tip. "You hold it some 3 cm above the cupcake. Then you squeeze and let it fall. Then - pull up" - this turned out to be the way to create those elegant drops of topping beautifying the UDC mini cupcakes. A tiny elegant piece of strawberry on top - "You see, the topping drop is a bit asymmetric - so I place the strawberry from the side it is asymmetric from". Plus cookie crumbs on top - "to give it an ultimate cheesecake effect".

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At the very moment Suki confirmed the cupcakes were ready, they got blown up by a wave of charmed audience. Not even one was left in 30 seconds. This video demonstrates this unbelievable cupcake effect in action. So I can't really tell, how they tasted. Well I'll come to UDC soon and correct this unfairness. Hopefully with the new upcoming "fig and white balsamic mini cupcake".

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For those interested in trying their hand on the cupcakes, here are the proportions once again.

Mini cupcakes - orange and strawberry cheesecake (by Suki Maman at Afisha Eda food feast - to the best of my ability to take notes)

80 g sugar
zest of 1 orange
140 g flour
baking powder
35 g cold butter
1 egg
75 ml cold milk

Bake at 160C for 5-6 minutes.

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