Reporting Liam Mayclem
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KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast:
Mention Kara’s cupcakes to anyone in San Francisco and eyes widen, a childlike excitement brims from the core, palms sweat, tummies rumble…need I say more.
The phenom is ON because people are sweet on Kara’s delectable creations. Varieties are a plenty; java, Kara’s Karrot, pumpkin pie, sweet chocolate. sweet s’mores and my fave – red velvet!
Kara’s Cupcakes is the vision of Executive Pastry Chef Kara Lind. Though she always had a love for sweets, being the daughter of a dentist meant that her sweet tooth was a little deprived!!
However her passion for baking went beyond the home and soon become a career. A graduate of Tante-Marie cooking school in San Francisco under the eye of the great Mary Risley, Kara swiftly found a way to fulfill her sweet dream.
“A good cupcake is moist and filled
with amazing frosting.”
- Kara Lind, Founder of Kara’s Cupcakes
Soon a small, word of mouth cupcake catering business was born and rapidly become so popular she had challenges keeping up with the orders. Her first cupcake stop was a store on Scott street in San Francisco’s Marina district in 2006.
Six more stores, six KARA-vans, and a few million plus cupcakes later this mom of one is on a roll, she’s taking the cake and eating it or rather sharing it. Giving back to community is an important part of Kara’s Cupcake’s story. Some 300,000 cupcakes were shared with various community groups and charities this past year alone and every month a cupcake is sold with a percentage of profits going to a cause. For the month of December
“Raphael House” is the beneficiary; a home providing family support for families and children experiencing homelessness.
Of course it takes a village of bakers to keep up with the cupcake demand, but in the trenches with her team is Kara, wearing a smile and a few cake crumbs on her apron!
Listen to the podcast with Kara and Foodie Chap for more on her cakes and philanthropy and my attempt to play baker – oh dear! It was indeed a sweet way to begin my day, cakes and conversation one wet San Francisco morn with Kara.
Five Tasty Questions with Kara Lind
1. A good cupcake is…?
A good cupcake is moist and filled with amazing frosting.
2. Its midnight and I go to your fridge at home, what will I always find?
Definitely milk and eggs, but you’ll probably also find Pellegrino and iced tea. I drink a lot of beverages and maybe a tasty dessert in my refrigerator depending on what I’m in the mood for that day.
3. Your desert island disc, one artist, one album, what would you choose?
It’d have to be Madonna. She’s amazing and if I was stuck on that island it would have to be Madonna.
4. In a second life, if you weren’t making cupcakes, what would you consider doing?
If I weren’t’ making cupcakes, I’d be living in New York City on Saturday Night Live. That’s where I’d be working.
5. At your last supper, you can have a few guests, past or present, who would they be, what would you eat and what will be that last cupcake?
I’d have my great grandmother from Italy and I’d probably have President Clinton, because I think he would be interesting. I’d also have Britney Spears, because I think that would make it really interesting and maybe just a few close friends, husband, daughter; some colorful people. And we’d be making, but of course homemade pasta, sauce and all the fixings that go with it and enjoying my great grandmothers food and conversation. We’d have cupcakes for dessert. The sweet vanilla and the vanilla chocolate cupcake would be on the menu.
Kara’s Chocolate Cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup ( 6 oz) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 c warm water
1 c cocoa powder
Sift dry together (not cocoa powder)
Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. Set oven for 325 degrees with 2 racks. Gather cupcake liners and cupcake pan, ice cream scoop.
Sift together dry ingredients flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to mixing bowl.
In mixing bowl with a flat beater:
With the mixer in low speed add the eggs one at time, beating well for 2-3 min and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Beat in the melted butter for 2 minutes.
Beat in the warm water on speed 2 for 2 minutes until a smooth batter appears.
Fold in the cocoa powder mix on speed 2 for 2-3 min until light and fluffy.
Use an ice cream scoop and fill lined cupcake liners 90% full.
Bake 12-15 min or until toothpick comes out clean or cake springs back when touched.
Make sure to do a turn rotation in the oven. Each oven is different, a few min more or less may be needed.
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