Cupcakes are individually portioned confections that have a long and venerable history. Diminutive iterations of popular traditional baked goods are particularly enjoyed when portability and ease of service is appreciated.Cookies, teacakes, petits fours and cupcakes all spring from the same basic idea. There seem to be two theories about the origin of any recipe titled "cupcake". The first one is that 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. The second theory says that these cakes were originally baked in cups. Old cookbooks also sometimes mention baking cupcakes in small pans, indicating an individual portion.Which is true? Apparently both! We have historical evidence (old cookbooks) that support both theories.

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Sans egg

What is the alternative for an egg in an eggless cake?Meera
Paigha ColonyOne can use the eggless cake mixtures that are readily available in the market.

Making mayonnaise

Could I have the recipe for eggless mayonnaise that is used in Veg Burger?Vandita
KothapetIngredients: Flour - 10gms, salt - 2gms, mustard - 5gms, cold water - 60 ml, water - 180 ml, lemon juice - 30 ml, white vinegar - 15 ml, oil - 120 ml, Method: Combine flour, salt, mustard, sugar in a saucepan and stir to make it smooth with cold water. Add boiling water and cook until mixture is clear. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm temperature. Add lemon juice, vinegar and oil beating consistently. Season with salt and pepper.

Excess salt

Can you help me handle excess salt in my curries?Damodaram
BHELExtra salt in a curry can be minimised by using tomato puree, lemon juice or by adding a small ball of dough in a curry. It can also be reduced by adding a whole potato to the curry, which can be removed later on.

Dhania time

At what stage should dhania powder be added to the curry?Veena
SithaphalmandiDhania powder should be added in a curry depending on the colour and ingredients used. But you should make sure that it is bhunaoed (roasted) well to enhance and extract the flavour. Generally, in most recipes it is added with other powdered masalas and cooked with very little water. Whenthe water dries some more drops are added only to make sure that dhania powder is properly cooked.

Preserving dough

How does one preserve chapathi dough in the fridge for a long period? Salma
PunjaguttaChapati dough should not be kept for more than two days otherwise there will be a growth of bacteria called Bacillus Cereus that is a gram negative bacteria.Write to Metroplus Foodline column to clarify all your doubts on food. The queries can be mailedto hydphoto@thehindu.co.in
Or snail mail to Foodline,
Metroplus desk, THE HINDU
Begumpet Road, Hyderabad - 500 016
Or call between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on 23403902

PRADEEP KHOSLA

Executive Chef, Taj Krishna

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