Tuesday, 8 June 2010

That's the curse of tequila

I practiced my cupcake for this months Iron Cupcake challenge (theme - celebration) a couple of times, but kept changing it and wasn't happy with the end result.

First I tried to make the margarita cupcakes using the recipe from Eat Me - all I can say is I will never use that book again. End of. Btw not sure why I've linked to the book, I'm not the only one with disasters from this book - unfortunately Twitter is awash with them too!

Then I had a thought, use a lemon cupcake recipe, but replace the lemon for lime. Which I did. The first time I did it I added tequila to the batter - you couldn't taste it as it cooked out. The second time I made the batter with milk, then made a tequila sugar syrup and spread it on top. Unfortunately I felt this just made them sweet but it was too late as it was the day of IC and it was either carry on or chuck them. I carried on and made the frosting. I made a lime, tequila and cointreau (ie a margarita) butter frosting with a bit of lime zest grated in. We packaged them up and set off for Iron Cupcake.

When we arrived there were already a few people there but we managed to get a good seat and get the cakes prettified up with their cocktail umbrellas (I know how original - I had intended to get some cute toppers from Bake it Pretty but left it too late to do an order). I already had my eye on the creme de menthe cupcake - my mum is always taking the mickey out of me cuz I like CDM mixed with Baileys - yum!

More and more people arrived, but I think there were more eaters and less bakers than last time. This could perhaps explain the scrum when the "you can begin eating" announcement was made. I gave up after a while as people were just grabbing mounds of the same cake and passing others to friends in what can only be described as rather selfish manner. While myself and a friend stood waiting with others who didn't really feel the need to push I counted 4 of the same cakes on one girls plate, as she stood passing at least two from each plate to friends behind - the same group ended up wasting quite a lot of cake, which as a baker who uses really high quality ingredients I find heartbreaking. Thankfully for our table Manny, Lucy and Dennis weren't quite so reserved and managed to get us a few cakes although we missed out on trying quite a few, including the amateur winner, which we had our eye on. We did manage to get a few - most of which were shared between 6 of us. My favourites of the night were the celebrations (with actual celebrations baked in), the creme de menthe and the apricot rice pudding.

Amateur runner up was the orange cake in ice cream cones with the flake - Manny and Dennis really enjoyed this one - I found it a little sweet. These were made by Rosalyn and really were very cute!

Amateur winner - pink champagne and strawberry (we didn't get to try it boo) was made by Andrea.

Andrea was also the winner of the special first birthday category of prettiest cupcake was the Happy Birthday cupcake - this was also my friend Dennis's favourite cake of the night and a well deserved winner - very cute and everything was edible!

Runner up in the professional round - peanut butter 4th of July celebration cupcakes. This one was very yummy and Manny loved this one, as did I.

Winner in the professional was the rice pudding and apricot (top left of pic) - so thankful I got to try this as when you read the name you think "really" but when I tried it I thought "wow" - really nice, moist, flavoursome with lovely juicy apricot bits! The lady who baked this (sorry I didn't get her name) based the cake on food she fed her children when they were one years old which is a lovely idea. I was very glad she won!

Finally special mention goes to Gemma for the decoration of her brownie cupcake. She was late arriving and there was quite a scrum to get one of her cakes and thankfully Manny managed to get one which we shared between the 6 of us - the topping was fab and had a special surprise of popping candy inside. You can see better pics of the cake on Gemma's site - sorry it was a bit of a quick snap - was worried someone might come and snatch it ;)

All in all I really do enjoy Iron Cupcake but it really saddens me to see food go to waste in the way we spotted on a couple of tables. I'm not sure how you can stop people being so greedy, perhaps one way would be to put a tray of cupcakes on each table so they can try one of each flavour? Then go back for more if they want to? And I don't want to appear like I'm just being picky but it really is annoying as a baker to see people putting cakes into tins to take home even when they've been specifically asked not to. I'm not the only person that noticed it last night (in fact it was pointed out to me by someone else) and from speaking to another baker its the same group that were doing it last time - seriously guys isn't it a little bit sad to go to such a wonderful and joyous event as a cupcake competition and steal?

I honestly love Iron Cupcake and all respect and thanks to Sam (aka the Caked Crusader) for organising it but I really do hope some of these issues can be sorted out - I felt a bit upset last night that I dragged friends over from Essex (and America!) to eat about 1/6 of a few cupcakes rather than the cupcake extravaganza they were expecting! I hope people whose eyes were a bit too big for their belly and left a lot of cake sat uneaten on their table read this and rethink their actions for next time.


The Caked Crusader said...

Thanks for your feedback - we'll try and sort these issues out but, ultimately, it relies on people being nice (which of course most are).
Hope everyone realises that if they behave in a way that upsets bakers the event won't survive. What would ICL be without happy bakers?

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

Oh wow, I have just seen that yours are the umbrella ones - I thought they were so cute! Sorry you thought they didn't turn out as well as you'd hoped (I hate it when that happens!) and I'm afraid I didn't get to try them but I certainly thought the umbrella was a nice touch!
So it wasn't just me then! I was really disappointed I didn't get to take a pic of them all plated up! I had been worried that if I got there late people would be too full up of cake already to eat mine but from the sounds of things from your comments it was the opposite! Glad I wasn't around for the grabbing, it doesn't sound too fun! Hopefully we'll have lots of bakers again next time and people will be calmer about things! Yes I should have come over for a chat but just wasn't feeling up to it...next time for sure!

I heart cupcakes said...

Hi Sam
thanks for commenting :) That's the thing it relies on people having manners and being nice - which I kind of expect from people who love baking and cupcakes!
Exactly - I really love Iron Cupcake and for me it's all about the taking part - its nice that people eat my cakes and I enjoy that. Would just be nice if people could be a bit more civilised!

I heart cupcakes said...

Hey Gem
Thanks - some people seemed to enjoy them but I really amn't that fond of overly sweet cupcakes!
I saw you arrive and then get swamped! People were actually following you to the photograph bit - I was going to come say hi but I thought you'd probably had a nightmare journey so left you to it! I really loved your balloons - they were stunning and I'm upset we didn't get a better pic for you (I dropped my camera y'day and all pics are a bit blurry).
Hope you are feeling better and yeah next time we'll say "hi!". It'd be nice if more of the people mingled I think (We were discussing this on Twitter today).

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

Well my sister attends Iron Cupcake Leeds. Their set up is a bit different, everyone brings their cupcakes and their own stands/displays...however they want to arrange them and then the baker stays with their cupcakes all night. The eaters come round trying them and my sister gets to talk to everyone there which seems quite fun! but it's a smaller affair than London that's for sure. I do feel it's a shame that I just spend the whole night talking with the people I came with rather than mingling!

Leanne said...

I love the umbrella, it's such a cool idea! Thanks for the tip on Bake it Pretty - their website is lovely :)

Baking Addict said...

I really liked your cake. What can I say I have a sweet tooth and a definite weakness for chocolate hence my many favourites from this month's ICL. Agree with all your comments. There was definitely a higher eater to baker ratio. Last month I thought everyone was much more civilised but this month it was back to madness again. Really must say hi to you next time - I didnt even realise your entry was next to mine! and to Gem as well. Perhaps a bakers convention ;)

Andrea aka Made With Pink said...

Hello, Just wanted to say I really liked your lime & margarita cupcakes. I mentioned them in my blog, but didn't know who made them. I didn't think they were too sweet at all - just right for me actually! I'm hoping another Iron Cupcake event will be organized in the next several months. A fresh start perhaps...

Manny said...

I loved your cakes too, I certainly didn't think they were too sweet!

It was a shame we didn't get to try so many because some people were being so greedy, we can't let a handful of selfish people ruin such a great event like Iron Cupcake!

Baking Addict said...

Hi again, just wanted to let you know I've added a link to your site.