Exciting news: My assistant entered her very first cupcake competition! Not so exciting news: She didn't win (I told her that boozy cakes, while delightful and certainly our specialty, don't appeal to everyone). However, her entry received a lot of rave reviews from tasters, the most frequently heard one being, "Mmmm..." and her personal favorite being, "Now that's a cupcake," said by a man with a nice glob of frosting hanging on his beard.
CupcakeCamp was nothing short of awesome (it's things like these that make me wish I weren't imaginary) -- with around 70 bakers and over 700 attendees armed with forks, plates, and little cups of milk, it was a cupcake wonderland! Batches of cupcakes were released in 15-minute intervals, creating something of a highly organized free-for-all. However, there was no pushing, shoving, or flagrant-line-cutting--just patient waiting, free-flowing conversation, lots of eager anticipation, and big frosting-specked smiles from tasters and bakers alike.
Now for my assistant's entry: She wanted to enter the "Best Breakfast-Inspired" category and went with another iteration of what we love to call the "Breakfast of Champions" because, well, seriously...you're some kind of champion if you have bourbon first thing in the morning. Inspired by Humphrey Slocombe's "Secret Breakfast" ice cream flavor and by yours truly, my assistant whipped up a batch of what was essentially spiked milk and cereal: rich, buttery bourbon cupcakes filled with vanilla milk pudding, topped with a bourbon buttercream frosting, crushed Vanilla Almond Special K flakes for lots of crunch, and get this--a bruleed banana slice. I can't think of a better cereal topper than fresh banana slices sprinkled with sugar and browned under a hot, hot broiler. Yum!
And from another angle:
Well, the Maker's Mark didn't do the trick: the winners in the "Best Breakfast-Inspired" category were both savory, with first place going to "Gruyere and Mushroom" and second place to "Bacon and Maple." Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and my assistant would like to give a couple of shout-outs and thank-yous to friends in order of appearance:
Justin - Food buddy! Thanks for coming out and partaking in cupcake madness!
Natsuki - It was awesome meeting you the day before (that was so much fun!). Thanks for coming with your friends.
Nav - Thanks so much for coming and for saving me from the brisk cold with your fleece pullover. Sunshine can be deceiving in the city!
Pandas - I was so stoked to see you all! Congrats on winning your game, and thanks for coming out, showing your support, and making room for cupcakes even after a hearty lunch.
Eric - I'm so glad I found you towards the end of the event with my very last cupcake. Thanks for coming.
Okay, okay, Little Miss Exclamation Point. That's enough now. You're cramping my style ;)
Just teasing -- I'm so glad you entered and am proud of our entry. Can't wait for the next one!