Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cupcakes, Butterflies, Winning a Bakeoff....Oh My!

I haven't blogged much this week, but I have been baking!

I made Janna from Honeyed Hashette's Strawberry Cupcakes again...this time I used a lot less gelatin and really liked how they came out...barely a pink color with just a touch of berry flavor. Last time the gelatin was a little too overpowering for me...but people loved it!! I am a crazy nut like that.

Next time I will try buttermilk instead of the milk, as I did last time, because I liked the texture and moisture from the buttermilk better last time. But people loved these things. Topped with Strawberry Cream Cheese frosting using a premium berry jam for the flavor. Next time I will bake Chambord into these babies too! Mmmm drunken strawberry.

I also made Banana Cupcakes, from the Cupcake Deck...which I think is adapted from the 500 Cupcakes book. It's my first try with a recipe from there. They came out quite nice, but not as good as my fave cupcakery's banana...have to work on that!! People seemed to like them though. I made a strong Cream Cheese frosting, aka way more cc than butter and they were tasty.

Then starting yesterday...and through until today, I have been baking nonstop. I'm entering the Yelp Cupcake Bakeoff for the SF BayArea. It's for charity, for the Teachers of Yelp and should be a wonderful time.

There are 20-25 contestants and the showdown is this afternoon. I made three types of cupcakes to enter...and I am about to start frosting them. I even made those pretty Hello Cupcake! Monarch butterflies, my first time designing on my own with chocolate, and I have to say while they were a surprising amount of blood, sweat and tears...they came out quite pretty! WHEW.

I have pictures of all of this OF COURSE...I just haven't had the time to get them uploaded from the camera. In the next day for sure. Wish me luck today!!!!

BAKEOFF UPDATE!!! So the bakeoff was super fun..I had a fab time. That could have been partially because I won 3 out of the 7 categories! Each one of my entries won a prize. It was so surprising because there were some really awesome entries..but I am a fiend when it comes to presentation and I think somehow people respond to that. I try to really make my cakes taste as good as they darling hub says I do a good job of it, I sure hope so!

Anyway, finally pictures!

I made stamped round fondant disks, brushed with glitter and dried curvy in egg carton, thanks to CB at I Heart Cuppycakes for that awesome tip!!! I have been wanting to try doing this for a while and what better chance than a competition??

I also tried these new Martha Stewart cupcake liners I have...I really did not like how they baked up. The liners seem 'bigger' than the typical ones and so if you don't have like some funky sized pan that takes a slightly bigger liner, I felt like the paper curved in on itself a bit. No one seemed to notice but me..I'm anal like that.

Woman, husband and dog cannot live on cupcakes matter what anyone said. I took a break from cupcaking to make Sunday AM breakfast for us, of one of Greg's favorites, chorizo and eggs.

My winning 'Glamour Cake' or 'Prettiest Cake' award for my Lemon Drop Cupcakes. This shot doesn't even do it the right kind of justice but it was the best I have so far...I know that there was a photographer at the event, so maybe he got a better shot of the Glamour Cake!

My Vanilla PB Buttermilk beauty, with Vanilla Bean Buttercream drizzled with honey and filled inside with a PB Cup...won 'Best All Around', so I guess it's the big champ of the took the grand prize!!

And this one, everyone loved raving about, it is like a meal in and of itself! It's what I call a Million Dollar Mint Chocolate Cupcake. A chocolate cake..adapted from Chockylit, her hard core adult Vahlrona recipe, filled with an Andes mint chocolate ganache, and then topped with Mint Buttercream, and on top of that, the Mint Chocolate Butterflies. Whew!! This one won the 'Most Ambitious' award...people loved the butterflies. I wasn't keen on the way the bodies came out, they looked a little too odd for me...but people didn't seem to notice.

Some of the other fabulous cupcakes that were there. There was a strawberries and cream one that looked divine, I got a little taste and it was vanilla with strawberry I think...and there was a chocolate with raspberry frosting, made with fresh raspberries. It was a little runny and not so pretty, but it tasted good. Someone used Nutella inside, someone else put a dollop of cream cheese and choco chips baked in...there were some really yummy Ginger Peach Spice ones..the day was a success!

And here is Princess P...modeling these cool hand sock things I got as one of my prizes. My fave prizes were these fun crocheted cupcakes that one of the talented Yelp gals made..I took home three. They are gracing my kitchen now. Here's a shot of me being goofy with one. Like my shirt?!

Overall, $400 was raised for the Yelp teachers charity so far, but they are also selling the cookbook for the event, so I'm sure more money will be raised there as well. Yay!


Janna said...

I can't wait to see the butterflies and hear all about the Yelp event!

Janna said...

Congrats! I think you should do a separate post showing your winners and describing the contest. :)
The cuppies were beautiful! What did you use for the butterfly bodies?

Mo said...

Congrats on an awesome post. I have started a petition in your honor...can't wait to try some of these fun creations! I knew you would win, just not You got best in show!

Dulce De Leche on deck!

Ivy said...

I love the pink swirls with little hearts in the middle. So petite and girly. :)

Amelia said...

3 wins! Congrats! So you'll have to enter next year to defend your 3 titles ;)


Hello purdy lady! Congrats on all the wins! I love them all (the Glamour Cake is my favorite)! Like I said, you are definitely inspirational. Love the shirt, too. hehe :)

Gigi said...

Congrats on all your wins! All the cupcakes were gorgeous!

April said...

Hey congratulations, the glamour cake really is gorgeous. If you don't mind, how did you do the icing?

Kristina said...

Those cupcakes were amazing, Mara! You deserved the win!

Anonymous said...

So cute!