Top Chef: You can never have TOO MUCH dessert! Presenting to you cupcake basket

Always room for dessert no matter how much you’ve eaten? This one’s for you then!

I’m the type of person who’d go anywhere for (hopefully free) dessert, it’s called having a serious sweet tooth. So no wonder, looking at these gorgeous frosted red velvet cupcakes is making me want to order in a huge box. 

The well-arranged basket looks like it would definitely steal the show at any spread!

Let’s congratulate our winner with the most votes, Simra Qaiyum! A 2nd year student majoring in psychology here at Monash, Simra added her own twist to a classic sweet treat. 

Honestly, I cannot wait to dig into one of these. Imagine this: you’re biting into pillowy soft cream cheese frosting and getting a taste of the velvety crimson base that only a combo of non-Dutched cocoa powder and butter can achieve.

Even better? Having a beautiful hand-picked selection of edible flowers complement this solid cupcake, it’s a treat for all the senses! (Getting extremely hungry as I type this out, send help). 

Before I blow up my kitchen attempting to bake these, let’s get to know a little more about the cupcakes from Simra herself:

Q: Any reason(s) why you went for this category? What’s the story behind your baking talent?  

I love to eat desserts. I’ve been baking since I was a kid, not much of a story there. My main inspiration has to be MasterChef Australia (I took the “dream big or go home” thing to heart).

I am a super fan without a doubt, but the twist is, I don’t want to be there as a contestant. I want to be the judge. I can’t even begin to describe my fascination with all that delicious food! Maybe somewhere in my subconscious I feel like baking will help me replace a judge some day? :P 

But honestly, I started baking because the dishes I saw on TV were the ones I wanted to eat and since they were not available anywhere near where I live, I had to get my own hands dirty. 

Q: Edible flowers are a unique twist, where did the idea stem from? (Pun totally intended)

Ahaha love the pun! I just wanted to elevate the dish a bit more, you know? Add that MasterChef worthy twist to a seemingly normal dessert.

I’ve seen people use edible flowers on cakes and totally wanted to try that out. After “snacking” on two flowers and feeling just a bit sick, I came to know that not all flowers are edible…but all’s well that ends well right? Looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses feels a bit too real now. 

Q: You’ve obviously got a good eye for arrangement and visuals, have you developed a personal style of baking? 

Contrary to the way the dish looks, ‘messy’ is the word I’d use to explain my style. I like to wear white while cooking because the splatters on my clothes give me a feeling of accomplishment, a feeling of freedom. As if in that moment, all is in control (even though that’s never true, but who are we to stop ourselves from taking life one dance at a time?) 

Also, that mess is kind of a parallel for life, like how life gets messy sometimes and we start scrambling for pieces, but in the end (more often than not), things turn out well. Just like freshly baked cakes!

Q: For those who would want to try their hand at these cupcakes (and not cause a fire hazard like me), would you please give us a recipe?

Okay so this is the best recipe ever and it’s so easy that I’m 101% sure you’ll thank me later. 

  1. Take eggs and measure that (with the shell), whatever the amount is just take equal amounts of butter, flour, and sugar. 
  2. Mix butter and sugar together first until it’s fluffy, then add eggs. 
  3. Then mix in the flour (use a spatula for this part) and a few tablespoons of milk and voila! 
  4. Transfer the mix to your cupcake moulds and after 30-40 mins of anxiety (at 175°C) you’ll have the most delicious cake ever. 

Also, when in doubt, YouTube it out. Cupcake Jemma’s Victoria sponge cake is the way to go. 

Q: Thanks for the easy recipe! Anything else you’d like to add for the other bakers out there?

Bake whenever, and whatever your heart (read ‘stomach’) wants!

Also, there are days when things in the kitchen don’t turn out well, and on those days we stay calm. We remove the burnt part of the cake, call up our friends/family, and make them finish that thing in all its entirety because they don’t want to miss out on free desserts (this is totally not a personal memory). Plus, everybody can use a free win (and a sugar rush) on such days! 

A huge thank you to Simra for being so much fun to interview! I hope all of you, like myself, gained a fresh perspective into the world of baking.

Article by Avi
Featuring Simra Qaiyum

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