Saturday, 19 July 2008
Martha Stewart Collection Cupcake Tree from Macy's
Ooohh cupcakes, I just love the word cupcakes don't you, isn't it just the cutest, but didn't we used to call these little lovelies fairy-cakes when we were little? I know I did!
Ooohhh and butterfly cakes remember those? I think they were my favourites of all. I used to think of them as flying away when you weren't looking and so you had to keep tight hold of them and eat them quickly, although picking the wings off and licking out the inside was the way to do it! (Quite gruesome really, tee hee!)
Anyhoo, wondering where the name 'cupcakes' originates from I found this info.
There seem to be two theories about the origin of recipes titled "cupcake:"
1. The name comes from the amount of ingredients used to make the cake (a cupful of flour, a cupful of butter, cupful of sugar etc.). This is very similar to how pound cake was named. In fact, the recipes for cup cakes and pound cakes include pretty much the same ingredients and would have produced similar results.
2. These cakes were originally baked in cups. Old cookbooks also sometimes mention baking cakes in small cups. These cups may very well have been earthenware tea cups or other small clay baking pans. These would easily accommodated baking level oven heat and produce individual-sized cakes. This is not the same thing as contemporary metal cupcake pans, enabling cooks to bake a dozen small cakes in one fell culinary swoop.
Which is true? Both! We have historical evidence (old cookbooks) that support both theories.
This food historian agrees: "Cupcake ~ The name given in Britain and generally in the USA to any small cake baked in a cup-shaped mould or in a paper baking cup. In the USA the term may have originally have been related to the American measuring system, based upon the cup." Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson
So there you go quite obvious really, but I just can't decided whether I like the term cupcakes or fairy-cakes the best. Obviously both are equally as yummy so does it really matter what we call these little delights of tea-time?
So which do you prefer cupcakes or fairy cakes, I'll pop the kettle on while you decide shall I? x