August 5, 2009
so it took me a few days to get around to it, but i finally got a chance to go through the photos Andréa took of the Cupcake Smackdown. included are images of my entries and the event itself, including me stuffing my face during the eating competition. check them out here:
many thanks to him and organizer Jennie Chen for their support, and belated many many many thanks to Andréa for her help with assemblage, transportation, moral support, as well as Brooke & Danielle for their logistical help too.
August 2, 2009
the Smackdown is over. the event was huge! One 2 One is relatively small bar, and it was packed with people, dogs, and cupcakes. there was hardly room to move around when i got there just after six, reportedly there’d been 500 visitors by 5:30PM.
i didn’t end up placing in either of the Amateur Baker categories that i entered, but i’m really glad that i participated. what better way to break my culinary competition cherry than with a cupcake contest. i definitely learned some lessons which will come in handy:
- Cuteness Matters: my cupcakes may be delicious, but honestly i’ve yet to get the visual presentation down. it seemed people where more likely to try tasting a cupcake that was cute and/or ornate (this should’ve been obvious to me, i know). my creations look messy and deceptively simple. it’s easy enough to get someone to try a vegan cupcake when you recommend it to them in person, but in a competition i need to grab the taste’s attention so they’ll give my cupcake a taste, then i hook ’em with yumminess.
- Be Mindful of Ingredient Substitutions: i’ve been making the Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with almond butter instead of almond meal, and while the flavor is amazing, it’s causing them to be structurally weak. this isn’t such a problem when i’m just sharing them with friends & family, but it became an issue for the competition since the Dulce Sin Leche glaze is dense and a bit heavy and the cakes quickly crumble as they’re eaten.
on the Cupcake Eating competition side of things i fared pretty well. placed 2nd during the first round by eating 9 cupcakes in 2 minutes. Chris Floyd got 1st place by eating 10 in about a minute and half. during the second/final round i hit a wall and only managed to put down 3 more cupcakes, coming in 3rd overall. Chris Floyd came in 1st again by eating another 10 cupcakes! apparently he’s done the eating competition thing before so i feel pretty good about holding my own against him.
you can see some pics of the event and me stuffing my face with cupcakes on John M.P. Knox’s Flickr album, i plan to post some of the ones Andréa shot soon.
more details about the results of the competition are available at organizer Jennie Chen’s site Miso Hungry Now.
August 1, 2009
cleaned up enough to call it a night. good thing i’m exhausted, otherwise i’d be to anxious too sleep. i leave you with the pics of the Dulce Sin Leche Cupcakes i made earlier last night for the Fox 7 promo.
August 1, 2009
almost done making cupcakes for the Smackdown. for the chocolate category i’ve made Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes spiced with my freshly ground home made garam masala and ancho chile powder, topped with Dulce Sin Leche Glaze & Shredded Coconut. for the vanilla category i’m entering the Agave Nectar Cupcakes with Blueberry Mousse. both cupcakes are vegan i should add (much love to the folks at Post Punk Kitchen for the inspiring recipes). feeling pretty good about what i’m bringing to the competition tomorrow. a couple of the hot chocolate ones had a minor structural collapse (that glaze is heavier than it looks, and this style of the chocolate ones are not as strong as the regular vegan chocolate ones), but i think it will work out during tasting since each cupcake has to be sliced up a few ways to get around to all the judges. won’t know exactly how the mousse turned out until morning tomorrow, but it looks amazing right now. will post pics soon.
July 31, 2009
this weekend i am competing in my first baking contest ever. for those of you who haven’t yet heard, the Cupcake Smackdown is going down tomorrow, Saturday, August 1st, at the One 2 One Bar on 5th & Brazos. i am entering in Amateur Bakers portion (one tray of chocolate, one tray “freestyle”) and also in the Cupcake Eating contest (for humans, as they have a canine category too). early this morning our local Fox affiliate did a couple of live promotion segments shot at Walton’s Fancy and Staple (where i might add, i had one the most riquísimo cappuccino in a long time, and the the Spinach & Feta croissant was scrumptious too). i was briefly interviewed in the second segment and one of the tasters had good things to say about my Dulce Sin Leche vegan cupcakes. Andréa participated as taster and can be seen sharing her thoughts on of Walton’s own cream cheese frosted chocolate cupcakes.
Fox 7’s Good Day Cupcake Coverage [note: the second segment (which features me and has my cupcake as the thumbnail, loads first. you should also watch the first segment (which has the cupcakes on a platter).]
July 31, 2009
no grandiose entrance. starting modestly and making it up as i go along, we’ll see where this goes…
so what’s my purpose? i’ve always loved to eat, since i was little i can always remember food being a crucial part of my experience. here i hope to share some of my favorite recipes (and experiments), my thoughts on places to eat, musings on things food related, and hopefully learn somethings too.
bear with me while i figure this out and the rewards should prove delicious :)