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Has The Internet Changed How We Bake?

Looking into how the internet may have impacted how we discover new recipes and how we enjoy baking as a hobby. Includes a Gingerbread cupcake recipe!

One of my favourite hobbies is baking. Whether it is for others or for myself there is nothing I enjoy more than creating an edible masterpiece. My love for baking started when I was young. My sister and I would use Betty Crocker cake mix to make our favourite chocolate cake. It’s hard to get wrong when you just need to add an egg and some water. As I got older I would search the internet for new recipes to try and master. From simple recipes like Easter nests to a more complex lemon drizzle loaf, which always goes down well with the family.

Can Vegans Still Bake?

The internet truly opened my eyes to another side of the baking world, which was especially useful when I became vegan for a short period in 2015. Without the aid of the internet, I would have never found out that I could carry on making some of my favourite recipes without the use of animal products. Eggs are often crucial to most cake recipes as they act as the binding agent. However, eggs can be replaced by an array of other ingredients such as bananas or applesauce. These ingredients are not hard to find in supermarkets or even in your own kitchen cupboards, meaning that my love as baking could go on – even as a vegan.

Obviously, by 2015 there were many vegan cookbooks available, some of which were entirely devoted to desserts. However, the recipes in these books tended to be more on the healthy side. Funnily enough, as a 16-year-old I didn’t want my cakes to have dates or sweet potato in them. I wanted the full works. Thankfully not all the recipes online were like this and all of my vegan wishes were granted.

The YouTube Baking Scene

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YouTube has opened the door for people who love baking to share their recipes with others. The video sharing platform has channels devoted to most hobbies, but baking channels/videos seem to be particularly popular. There is access to amateur bakers as well as professionals. Pro chefs such as Gino D’acampo and Jamie Oliver upload their baking videos either through their own channel or others. By uploading to YouTube these pro chefs are gaining a whole new demographic to their already existing audience, as a younger audience may not be interested in their recipe books or TV shows.

My Opinion

Personally, I don’t see many cons to how the internet has impacted baking as a hobby. It allows people to discover new recipes or even old classics! The internet also is a great way to learn tips or tricks. YouTube has become the perfect platform to teach others how to bake as seeing how something is done can be more useful than just reading it. This is especially true when the technique is tricky to master. Professionals have the ability to use YouTube as a marketing tool as well as to gain a wider audience. On the whole, the internet has enabled more people to discover their love for baking and gives them the opportunity to advance as an amateur baker.

Gingerbread Cupcake Recipe

It’s now under a week till Christmas and in my opinion, Christmas is the best time to experiment with baking. Browsing the web, I found the perfect Christmassy bake, combining a festive favourite with a personal favourite – gingerbread cupcakes. The warm, comforting flavours of the cinnamon and ginger compliments the cake perfectly. There’s nothing better to do on a cold winters night than cosy up with a cake and a hot chocolate! I’d recommend baking the cakes either Christmas Eve, and have a cosy night in with your family whilst watching your favourite Christmas films. Perfect for all ages! (Recipe from Zoella)

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:
75g unsalted butter, softened                             1/2tsp ground allspice
100g caster sugar                                                    1/2tsp ground nutmeg
125ml black treacle                                                 1 1/4tsp ground ginger
1 large egg                                                                 1tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg yolk                                                         1/4tsp salt
175g all-purpose flour, or plain flour                1tsp baking soda
1tbsp cocoa powder                                                 25ml cup hot milk

For the Buttercream:
240g butter, softened                                           2tsp vanilla extract
400g icing sugar, sifted                                       4tbsp milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 175C/Gas Mark 4 and prepare the cupcake cases in a cupcake tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and the sugar until they are smooth. Then add the treacle, egg, and egg yolk. This bowl contains the wet ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. This bowl contains the dry ingredients.
  4. Heat the milk being careful not to let it boil, then add in the baking soda.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir till they have just combined, then add in the hot milk.
  6. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases, try to get an even amount of batter in each case.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool on a wire rack. It is important to let the cakes cool fully before icing them to prevent the icing from melting.

Top Tip: To test if they are cooked insert a knife into a cupcake and if cooked it should come out clean. If the knife comes out with batter on bake for longer until the knife comes out clean.

  1. For the buttercream, cream the butter in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Add the icing sugar and continue to cream until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla and milk and cream until combined.
  4. Spoon the buttercream into a large piping bag and fit a nozzle of your choice. If you don’t have a piping bag you
  5. can simply ice your cakes using a butter knife, carefully spreading an even amount onto each cake.
  6. If you want to go all out you can decorate the cakes using sprinkles or a light dusting of ginger.

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