“A combination of rich and sweet dishes that celebrates fresh ingredients and produce that are currently in season.” This is Selena Khan’s idea of Easter cooking.
Khan is the owner of The Cupcake Faerie, which creates artisan cakes and cupcakes.
The chirpy Khan started cooking at nine, so she has been doing so for over 20 years. At 15, she was already an accomplished baker with a dream of a career in culinary arts and having a café/restaurant.
“Life, of course, had other plans and kept this teenage aspiration in the background,” Khan said. “I, instead, studied Spanish, gender studies and film.”
Her career in cake artistry began in 2015 while she was simultaneously working as a laboratory technician in a biosciences agriculture and food technology department.
Based in Chaguanas, Khan has since been mastering the skills of a self-taught cake artist and has been working full-time as The Cupcake Faerie since 2019.
“Fast-forward a few years later: I revisited my core passion in cooking/recipe development and paired it with my skill set in food photography and videography,” explained Khan.
“My creativity in the photographic, videographic and social media world is driven by my love of cooking/baking and my style showcases a selection of vibrant colours, bold spices and a combination of local and international cultures.
“While I do not possess any formal culinary training, my years of working and experimenting with food has furnished my adeptness in the epicurean domain.”
Living by the motto “Do not create a home for things that do not belong in your space,” Khan loves cooking and working with food (whether preparing a meal or creating digital content) as it unites people, brings cultures together and educates people to nourish themselves and others.
“It is a colourful and tasteful expression of what is meant to sustain the world,” Khan explained. “It is a wholesome craft where I engage and challenge my artistic expressions, not only in a visual setting but also appealing to all senses. Preparing a meal is not only about feeding hunger, but it is also a full sensorial experience in which the intrigue extends beyond visual and taste stimulation. It is an opportunity to see people smile and to bring a satisfying fulfilment that positively impacts their lives.”
For Khan, cooking is synonymous with abstract art that is uniquely cohesive and narrates heartfelt stories.
The Cupcake Faerie is based online. All cakes are delivered to clients.
Retail items, such as masala chai spice blend, are available at Bubble Cupps, Price Plaza and Boba & Brew, San Fernando, and vanilla essences, charcuterie boards, board oils are retailed at Crème Fraîche, Brentwood Mall. Food content creation and recipe development is accessed via e-mail at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Khan shared her carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and a cinnamon caramel pecan topping recipe.
For the cake:
2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ cup golden raisins
1 piece of cinnamon bark
2 tsp grated cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp grated tonka bean
1 ¼ cups of room temperature extra virgin coconut oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups of shredded carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple
For the frosting:
¼ cup softened butter
8 oz softened cream cheese
¼ tsp fine salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla
For the topping:
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp of cubed room-temperature butter
½ cup room-temperature heavy cream
Pinch of salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup or more pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Rehydrate ½ cup golden raisins with hot water and a piece of cinnamon bark for about 20 minutes.
Remove the bark, strain plumped raisins and grind/pulse in a food processor or grinder until coarse.
Sift together 2 cups of flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt.
Whisk in 2 tsp grated cinnamon, ½ tsp grated nutmeg, ½ tsp grated tonka bean.
In a separate bowl, beat 1 ¼cups of room-temperature extra virgin coconut oil, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 4 eggs, 1 tbsp vanilla. Add the flour mixture to this wet mixture.
Fold in 3 cups of shredded carrots, the ½ cup of crushed golden raisins and 1 cup crushed pineapple.
Pour into two 8-inch greased, floured pans or three 6-inch pans. Bake for about 45 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
Whip together ¼ cup softened butter, 8 oz softened cream cheese, ¼ tsp fine salt and gradually add in 3 cups powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Fold in 1-2 tsp vanilla. Frost cake when completely cool or chilled.
To make the topping, melt 1 cup granulated sugar in a heavy-duty saucepan on medium heat while stirring constantly. Quickly and carefully add 6 tbsp of cubed butter when sugar is melted and turns to an amber colour (mixture will bubble vigorously with some splashes).
Gently and slowly pour in ½ cup room temperature heavy cream when butter and sugar are completely mixed through. Stop stirring and allow to cook for 1 minute after all the cream has been added.
Remove from heat and fold in a pinch of salt and ½ tsp ground cinnamon. Toast and chop about ½ cup pecans or more, drizzle in desired amount of caramel sauce and toss.
Allow to cool to room temperature before adding as topping to frosted carrot cake.