Advice From The Trenches
You never know, someday in the very near future life may require that you make six batches of cupcakes or more. It may sound daunting but it isn’t so bad if you’re prepared. I have managed to pull off up to 300 cupcakes in a handful hours, and I don’t have a fancy oven. If you do have a fancy oven you’re better than me and you don’t need my advice.
1- Write down the doubled recipe in big fat sharpee and put it in a place that’s easy to see. I tape mine to the kitchen cabinet.
2- Make two dozen at a time. Batters get all ferkakte if you reduce or increase the quantities too much.
3- Mise en place. How come the French have words for everything? I mean, if that phrase didn’t exist I would have to sit here and type “put everything in it’s place.” That doesn’t sound like very much fun. Mise en place sounds fun. So keep an assembly line of your ingredients ready and waiting. The instant you’ve put one batch in the oven make someone do all the dishes for you so that you have clean, dry equipment ready for the next batch.
4- Focus! You only really need to focus when you’re putting the all the ingredients together. It’s easy to forget if you added one cup or two, one teaspoon or six. Let the phone ring, let the baby cry, let the house burn down. Just make sure you measure your ingredients accurately.
5- Get an ice cream scooper for equally measured out batter.
6- Start measuring out your next batch about ten minutes before your previous batch is done, but don’t mix the wet and dry ingredients together until your finished cupcakes are safely out of the cupcake tray and new liners are ready and waiting. I have four cupcake trays and that’s probably the best way to do it, but I know most people have at most two because most people have better things to do than bake 20 zillion cupcakes everyday. I also have hands of Teflon and I am capable of lifting cupcakes out of ridiculously hot cupcake trays, much in the same way that mothers can lift cars if their children are stuck under them. You, however, will probably need to wait for the cupcake to cool.
7- If you have leftover batter, this is kind of a crap shoot, but you can reserve it in a bowl. Add the leftover batter from each batch to the bowl. At the end of your cupcake making add a little baking powder (a 1/4 teaspoon sounds like a safe bet) and use up the remaining batter. The cupcakes aren’t guaranteed to turn out right, but they might. And it’s a chance worth taking because, hey, free cupcakes.
8- Make sure you have tons of space for cooling and mixing and decorating. If you have a small kitchen with limited space, clear everything off the counters, bring in an extra table if you have to. Just make sure you’re not cramped in so much as you can.
9- I know you have an oven thermometer so I won’t bother to remind you.
10- I like lists of 10. I find music to be really helpful when baking. I especially recommend Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning.”