Monday, November 29, 2010

The 2010 Movember Manly Cupcake Champion!

mochallenge (9)

Three cupcakes stand tall. They overthrew seven other treats to become this year's Manly Cupcake Challenge Finalists. On Saturday, they were baked up and presented to a panel of professional cupcake tasters. Their taste buds were highly focused on the goal - to find and elect this year's Manly Cupcake Champion. Let me tell you, this taste testing wasn't pretty. I'm ninety-three percent sure that at least one of our judges went home in a diabetic coma. I think you bakers did your job.

Now, let's review the scores and crown our champion!

Cupcake #1
The Woodshed Prophets' Marble Swirl Cupcakesmochallenge (7)

Taste: 2.5/5
Manliness:  3/5
Design:  2.5/5

Judges Comments: 
  • "Interesting icing, not too sweet"
  • "Texture [of the cake] is too spongy and heavy"
  • "Pleasant, but not overly exciting"
Baker's Comments: The cake recipe could be improved, for sure. The fact that the sugar was not creamed with the butter made the cake a little tough. Adding the butter with the milk was a bit of a flub - I had to slightly melt it together because the butter was not combining nicely and I was worried that their might be chunks of butter in the cake if I didn't mix well enough. The icing, however, was super awesome. Like I said before, I never worked with a flour base icing. At first, I was scared - especially when the milk/flour reached the "booger" stage - but, in the end, this frosting recipe will be one I will work with again.

Cupcake #2
Beer and Pretzel Cupcakes
mochallenge (5)

Taste: 4.5/5
Manliness: 4.5/5
Design: 4.5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

Judge's Comments:
  • "Outstanding, but harder to eat than a lobster."
  • "Was surprised at how good the beer tasted. Not a typical dessert flavour, but oh so yummy."
  • "While heavy, the complex flavours of the beer and caramel are incredible"
Baker's Comments: Now, where do I start with this one? There is so much going on - but in a totally awesome way. The cake recipe was my favourite out of the bunch - light, but still deep in spice flavour. The beer custard totally turned out to be a sort of beer pudding, which is totally cool with Mr. C. I actually did not like the cornstarch in the custard - I would try it again with just yolks next time and see if the texture turns out better. The frosting was super sweet, but balanced well by everything else. The pretzels were a bit plain - my suggestion: add a bit of cayenne, let it rise twice, add flour after kneading, and take out most of the baking soda from the boiling water (you only need a couple tablespoons - anything more makes it a bit gummy). Overall, I could really get behind a lot in this recipe!

Cupcake #3
BBQ Football Cupcakes
mochallenge (2)

Taste: 3.5/5 
Manliness: 4/5
Design: 5/5

Judge's Comments: 
  • "Wasn't sold on the matcha and beer combination."
  • "Really enjoyed the spiciness of the cake."
  • "Best design overall" 
  • and, my favourite comment on the design: "Oh man. Fire! FIRE!"
Baker's Comments:  I was a bit relieved I didn't have to recreate the original design of this cupcake. Let's face it - those cupcake toppers were awesome.  Especially, as one judge eloquently put it, the fire. The cake recipe itself was lovely. The spice really came through. Next time, though, I think I would use a brown ale or porter instead of a pale ale. That way, the beer flavour would be able to compete with everything else going on in the recipe. The matcha frosting was simple and a lovely shade of green (I didn't even need to add food colour), though it took me a while to really get sold on it's marriage with the spice cake. In the end, I loved the   uniqueness of the flavours.

Now let's add up the points and see who's cuisine reigns supreme!

Cupcake #1: 11/20
Cupcake #2: 18/20
Cupcake #3: 16.5/20

Congratulations to Ashley of Sugar Comma!
Your Beer and Pretzel Cupcakes are the Manliness Cupcakes of 2010!

To all our finalists - Susan, Alyssa, and Ashley - thank you for really making this an amazingly exciting contest. We all had an absolute blast, and I hope everyone out there in blogland did as well. Now, to the good part. The prizes:
I will be emailing you and the sponsors on the night of the November 30th to get the gravy train moving. If the finalists could email me your addresses preemptively, that would help get everything to you much quicker. YAY FREE STUFF!

Much love to all our prize sponsors, everyone who entered, and everyone who set eyes on our blog during the month of November. You really made the Movember Foundation proud! Remember, only 365 days until the Next Manly Cupcake Contest! You better get planning, because we sure are!


Monet said...

Yay! My favorite. What a great contest. Thanks for sharing, my sweet friend! Have a great Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

happy to see the creative cupcake win. marble cake? booooring....

BakingWithoutABox said...

That's sooo cool! I meant manly, tough, rough, you know.

Unknown said...

Congratulatons to the winner.. They all look delicious!!

Carrie of Bella Cupcake Couture said...

We can't wait til the 2011 event again. It's going to be a hit once more. Cheers!

Lola said...

I like people sharing such information, it is very nice of them.

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