I’m not a sugar snob or anything, but on most days I carefully and responsibly watch my sugar intake, which means small daily doses. Last Sunday, 22 mini cupcakes later, I officially fell off the wagon.
There were yellow cupcakes, red cupcakes, cupcakes injected with champagne, and even those topped with bacon. Peanut butter cupcakes, vegan cupcakes, brie-topped cakes and ones that looked like a creamsicle. Why did I do this to myself you ask? It was the mini cupcake edition of the SF Food Wars competition at the Stable Cafe, and I wanted a bite out of each and every one.
You can read more about the competition here, but basically 22 competitors baked enough cupcakes to feed about 200 hungry guests and 4 judges. After recovering slightly from the dizziness of sugar overload, you submit a ballot, voting for the cupcake you think, well, takes the cake.
Once again, my top choice did not take home the blue ribbon. Light, airy and totally delicious, the red velvet cupcake, called Tiny Treasure, left me weak in the knees. I’m a sucker for tradition. If you can take an everyday, traditional cupcake like the red velvet and make it spectacular, well that just takes talent. Marianne, the baker of the tiny treasures, told me she used a combination of buttermilk, vegetable oil and butter to get the texture just right. Her soft and rich cream cheese frosting was mixed with butter and a tad of salt, and lacked the graininess that usually comes with cream cheese frosting.
And now that I think about it, I ate 24 cupcakes. Two tiny treasures, and two of my second favorite, the peanut butter and jelly cupcake.
These sweet little morsels were baked up by team “Double the Yum,” made up of Noelle and Nicole Matthews. If you close your eyes, you just might think you were biting into the best PB&J ever. The two-toned icing combined a peanut butter buttercream and strawberry jam buttercream, and the inside of the cake was also filled with the gooey, delicious strawberry jam. Noelle and Nicole took home the people’s choice honorable mention award.
I tried to get a sense of which little cake people were enjoying the most, but everyone seemed to have a different opinion. Some were all about “My Grandma’s Banana’s,” a cupcake version of bananas foster, and others were swooning over the chocolate granache with passion fruit and blueberries.
But one thing was clear, no matter who they were voted for, it would be at least a week before anyone can safely say they are back to normal sugar levels. Maybe two for me, I sneaked in a few peanut butter cookies when I got home. Check out the full list of winners over at the SF Food Wars site.
Surprisingly, no one mentioned cupcakes as their guilty pleasure in response to my last post on potato pancakes. Ice cream was pretty popular, as was French fries. I think the most creative comment came from Kate, who admitted that when no one is looking, her guilty pleasure is canned vanilla frosting on saltines. Nice Kate, I hope you get to indulge sometime soon!
And for the winner – I put everyone’s name into hat, and who did I pull out?
Comment #4: Kelly, from www.pink-apron.com. Congratulations Kelly, enjoy the Chestnut jam!