What an unconventional way to spend my Saturday morning. Apart from my sister, I really am not usually the type of person who would wake up to start baking but as for last Saturday, I found myself driving all the way from Shah Alam to Desa Sri Hartamas for a baking class on how to make cupcakes with Celcom's 1Malaysia Cupcake Challenge!
I must have not been a productive little kitty lately, sleepiness took the best of me but I quickly dashed out and thought of just watching people bake while snapping some photos. Who would've thought that seeing a lot of familiar faces (and also how awesome the setting at The Cooking House looked) made me put on the chefs hat, start fiddling around with the wooden spatulas attempting to mix my batter and had some major fun.
What has Celcom got to do with the ingredients and baking apparatus in the photo below, you ask?
Well, here's the thing - in conjunction with the 55th year of Malaysian Independence Day and this upcoming Malaysia Day on the 16th September 2012, Celcom is hosting an exciting online contest to challenge talented and skilled Malaysians to submit their photos of creative cupcake designs in the spirit of 1Malaysia.
So to start this campaign, Celcom has invited about 50 bloggers and media to get their hands and sweet tooth at the attempt of baking our own cupcakes at The Cooking House, under the professional supervision of Lu Soo Chee, resident cake artist in The Cooking House, a member of ICES (Interntional Cake Exploration Societè) and the British Sugar-craft Guild so that people like me, who cannot bake, can still come up with a decent looking cupcake! =P
Psst, that's Mei from the famous Cumi and Ciki blog!
According to Zalman Aefendy Zainal Abidin, Chief Marketing Officer at Celcom Axiata Berhad, Celcom is opening this contest to all Malaysians, including the pros and the newbies, as they do not necessarily have to be a Celcom customer. Now that's the spirit of uniting all Malaysians together with a fun activity! Contestants will have the chance to put their patriotism and skills for public viewing on Facebook so *ahem*, we will be able to view beautiful designs and vote by liking the photos soon! I will tell you about the prizes later in the blogpost but first and foremost, I will "teach" you how to make the most basic vanilla cupcakes, complete with buttercream frostings (don't mess yo!):
Making the cupcake batter
110g......... Plain Flour
1 1/2 tsp... Baking Powder
1/2 tsp..... Vanilla Essence
2 tbsp...... Milk (or buttermilk)
How to make cupcakes:
Step 1 - Cream all the butter and sugar until it becomes white and fluffy, this is the important part that would make or break your batter.
Step 2 - Beat in the eggs into the butter+sugar mix and whisk well.
Step 3 - Sieve the flour with the baking powder, then fold in the flour into the mix in step 2. Make sure you fold it slowly at first to avoid the flour from flying around (which happened to me cause I thought I was as strong as the machine mixer haha). Add in the vanilla essence, and if your batter is looking dry, add the milk, one tablespoon at a time. Do not over-add the milk or it will become watery.
Step 4 - Pour in the batter into the paper cups, about 2/3 full, or a generous dollop off your usual tablespoon.
Step 5 - Bake the cupcakes at about 180c (160c with fan) for about 10-13 minutes. Use the toothpick method if you're unsure if it's fully cooked or not and you're done with the cakes! If it rose above the cups, just use a knife to cut the excess on top or risk having it looking like muffins instead =P
While you set the cupcakes to cool, now it's time to make the frosting!
95g............... Salted Butter
260g............. Icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tbsp..... Milk (optional)
Step 1 - Beat the butter until it becomes creamy and soft (not melted), like a spreadable buttery goodness and then add the icing sugar and keep beating until it turns into a solid texture like in the photo below. Add sugar or milk if needed to get the particular consistency for you to be able to pipe the icing.
Step 2 - Split the icing sugar according to color. And add gel coloring. Lu So Chee said that it's best to use gel coloring for cupcakes icing.
Step 3 - Mix them well, unless you want a marbleized effect like in the photo below.
Step 4 - Add into the piping cones, squeeze the air out, cut the bottom and start piping! My favorite part of all.
Step 5 - Pipe on the cupcakes, according to your preference and creativity. Now is the time for you to try out piping heads with different sizes and patterns!
Be creative with your designs! Anything is possible for this contest, as long as you stick to the theme of National Pride and Malaysian spirit. Our challenge on that day, was to emulate the Malaysian flag as per shown by our baking sifu.
By the way, don't forget to enjoy yourself, nibble some of the frosting and get sugar high!
So here was the outcome that my team came up with. It was hilarious how other people's colors were so vibrant compared to our accidental pastel flag so we dubbed it the 'vintage' pastel flag to cover line -_-
Team vintage for the win! (But we didn't win that day's challenge, unfortunately)
Here are some details about the Cupcake Challenge by Celcom:
1. Participants only need to design a cupcake with their own creative interpretation of 'National Pride'
2. Upload the photo to http://www.facebook.com/cupcakeschallenge.
3. Be in the running to win prizes worth more than RM100,000.
4. From 30th August - 23th September 2012, 55 participants with the most 'likes' on their entries will be chosen to go to the Grand Finale on 29th September 2012.
5. At the finale, the 55 finalists will have to replicate their cupcake designs witnessed by public and also a panel of celeb judges.
6. Top 3 cupcake designs will be chosen based on creativity, uniqueness and the closest match to the photos they have submitted on the Facebook page.
So what would you win if you're the Top 3 winners?
Grand Prize - Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone + RM10,000 in cash
1st Runner Up - Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone + RM5,000 in cash
2nd Runner Up - Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone + RM2,000 in cash
Consolation prizes for the 52 finalists - LG Prada mobile phones.
Psst... there would also be free Celcom Cupcake giveaways this Malaysia Day at selected malls so you have to keep looking out for their announcements via
Now, bake away!