Successful Meetings - April 2010 - (Page 17)

PLANNER’S WORKSHOP food & beverage Pastry Chef Nancy Slatsky, One Ocean Resort Hotel & Spa in Atlantic Beach, FL Cupcake Crazy By Andrea Doyle upcakeries are all the rage. This sweet trend is spreading faster than frosting on warm red velvet cake. With flavors like chocolate-covered strawberry, tiramisu, and caramel apple, it is easy to see why. The cupcake craze is here to stay. Despite the tough economy, cupcake sales have increased, and the confections will be the fastest-growing part of the baked goods industry between 2008 and 2013, according to Mintel, a Chicago-based market research firm. Pull apart cakes, which use cupcakes as the base and are then frosted as one cake, are just as popular. They are easy to divide and don’t need utensils when serving. Baking cupcakes is being used for teambuilding at One Ocean Resort Hotel & Spa in Atlantic Beach, FL. The experience starts with a Red Velvet Cupcakes C reception complete with champagne, and the group then puts on keepsake aprons and chef hats and gets busy. Once the culinary team, led by Executive Chef Ted Peters and Pastry Chef Nancy Slatsky, has made their introductions, ingredi- ents are revealed, and the recipe is explained. “Learning to bake and decorate is the perfect teambuilding opportunity because team members must use precision in the baking portion, while decorating allows them to use their creative side,” says Slatsky. Although the entire group prepares the batter and pops the cupcakes in the oven, because of time constraints, freshly baked and cooled cupcakes are presented for decorating. This is when the creative juices start flowing, says Slatsky. Participants can make their own colored fondant, use stencils, imprint tools for texturing, and use whatever other ingredients they find in the kitchen for decorations. “Everyone gets really excited and competitive. It’s the people you don’t expect that really get into it,” explains Slatsky. “People with no kitchen experience can really impress you. They create some true culinary masterpieces.” Some groups have competed for prizes in categories including most creative and best tasting, while others take part in the activity just for fun. When the baking is complete, lunch is served, and then it’s time to let them eat cake, or in this case, cupcakes. SM Cake Ingredients (2 1/4) cups all-purpose flour, sifted (1) teaspoon salt (2) tablespoons cocoa powder (2) ounces liquid red food coloring (1/4) cup vegetable shortening (1/4) cup unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2) cups sugar (2) large eggs (1) cup buttermilk (1) teaspoon vanilla extract (1) teaspoon white vinegar (1) teaspoon baking soda Method: Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin pans with cupcake papers. Combine sifted flour and salt. Set aside. Put cocoa in a small glass bowl and add food coloring, stirring until mixture is smooth. Set aside. Cream together shortening, butter, and sugar, beating for four minutes with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time, beating for at least 30 seconds. At low speed with mixer, add flour mixture to sugar mixture, alternating with buttermilk and vanilla. In a small bowl, mix vinegar with baking soda. Stir briefly to mix, and then fold into batter; do not beat. Pour batter into cupcake pans and bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before frosting. Frosting Ingredients (1 1/2) cups sugar (1/2) teaspoon cream of tartar (1/8) teaspoon salt (1/2) cup water (4) egg whites at room temperature Method: Combine sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and water in heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Let mixer continue to run and slowly pour sugar mixture in a thin stream down the side of the mixing bowl. Continue beating until stiff peaks form and frosting thickens to desired consistency. Photo: I April 2010 I SM I 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - April 2010

Successful Meetings - April 2010
Editor's Letter
Strategic Travel Symposium
Personal Success
Incentive Insights
Food & Beverage
Cover Story: Change Makers
Game Meetings: Betting On Green
Spreading Out
Golf Resorts: For the Birds

Successful Meetings - April 2010