I recently had the awesome opportunity to work with new Cuplettes baking trays. I'll admit that I was skeptical at first, until I started cooking. It seems like every kitchen tool out there promises to easily cook, chop, or slice your food, but none of them ever work as “easily” as they advertise. Here is a product that claims to help you make fillable confections. The last time I tried to fill a baked item, I made exploding jelly doughnuts. This could be dangerous… Or at least, really messy.
But, the design of Cuplettes actually does create perfect cups of almost whatever you want to bake! Cakes, breads and pastries can all be turned into amazing little cups waiting to be filled with frosting, filling, or whatever you can think of. The flexible silicone material makes it super-easy to pop your cakes and confections out of the trays. And they're amazingly easy to clean in case of sticking, as I did experience.
I could have tested this product the easy way, but I wanted to push Cuplettes to their full potential. Although I didn’t use paper liners for my cakes and pastries, all of them came out of the trays with minimal sticking. A few of my non-cake experiments didn’t work so well, and left me with a horrible mess. Even though it looked like a disaster, just a few minutes of cleaning returned Cuplettes to their original condition!
I had a really great recipe idea requiring cups of meringue, which is already difficult enough to make in humid Florida heat. I was worried that the meringue would deflate when installing the Cuplettes inserts into the trays. With a chilled bowl for mixing, and gentle movements while assembling the trays, I succeeded in creating the meringue, filling the trays, and snapping in the inserts without disaster.
But… I failed to think about the science behind meringue. It dehydrates while cooking at a low temperature, more than it actually bakes. After leaving the trays in the oven for the usual cooking time, I tried to remove an insert. The top of the cup came out with it, exposing what looked like raw meringue inside. I returned them to the oven at a higher temperature, assuming that they would need a longer cooking time in the silicone trays. When the house smelled like toasted marshmallows and the edges of the cups were a beautiful golden-brown, I set them on a rack to cool.
I removed another insert, only to see sticky meringue after the top came off again. Knowing I couldn’t bake them much longer without burning them, I sacrificed the top layer of all of them. Once returned to the oven without the inserts, the meringue hardened in twenty minutes. But what were beautiful cups before, now looked like deflated disks. Much of the meringue was left stuck to the trays, and I threw them in a sink of soapy hot water in disgust. Defeated, I took the dog for a walk to think about what I would do next.
I feared the mess I had to face when I returned. How surprised I was to come back to beautifully clean Cuplettes! Every bit of the meringue was released from the trays and was left floating in the water. In just a few minutes, I had my Cuplettes clean and dry; ready for another experiment. I attempted a few more batches of meringue at different cooking times and temperatures, but never succeeded in making anything other than a mess. The neighbors enjoyed my deflated meringue “cookies”, and I abandoned the recipe.
Cuplettes gave me another surprise when I tested them with angel food cake. Forget all the work of making the batter - I skipped that and used a boxed mix. But, angel food can still be tricky because you have to turn the pan upside-down, without touching a surface. Many choose to turn a Bundt pan over a bottle, or prop square pans on their sides. At first, I was disappointed because the three trays of Cuplettes would take up more room while cooling. Then I realized: The inserts keep the trays elevated from the surface, so you can turn them upside down on a cooling rack with no trouble! This was the easiest angel food cake I’ve ever made.
I can admit that I made a few mistakes along the way, and made a couple of messes. But in the end, I’m still excited to try more recipes in Cuplettes. Now that I know the silicone trays and inserts are so easy to clean, I won’t fear a disaster. What can we make fillable next? Meatloaf cups? Stuffable dinner rolls? Ooo, what about fudge? From sweet to savory, the possibilities are almost endless. Almost. Those meringue cups still need improvement.
There are too many reasons to list why Cuplettes are so great! You can make fancy appetizer bites for entertaining. Get kids to eat more fruits and veggies by making “surprise” cups. Impress the family with your amazing creations. Bake red and green Christmas cupcakes, or spooky creations for Halloween! And best of all, you can get 10% off of your order of Cuplettes by using the coupon code GUIDECENTRAL at checkout (US residents). Just go to www.cuplettes.com to order yours, and you’ll be making awesome sweet and savory filled cups in no time!
Head on over to Guidecentral to check out the recipes I've created with Cuplettes! Keep your eye out for more coming soon!
|Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake Stuffed Brownie Cups (Brownie cups filled with easy no-bake cheesecake filling; topped with a peanut butter glaze)|
|Make Strawberry Custard Filled Cupcakes (Angel food cupcakes filled with strawberry preserves and stirred custard; topped with an optional chocolate glaze)|
|Make Southwestern Egg and Cheese Cups (Phyllo dough cups filled with re-fried beans, picante sauce, egg and cheese)|