Since starting my blog, I have spent a lot of time following other bloggers and seeing what they have to say for themselves. During one of my blog trawls I found out about Iron Cupcake, which is a competiton started in the USA, entered by both amateur and professional bakers. The idea is that ‘Each month, a theme or key ingredient is announced and entrants have to bake a cupcake that meets the theme or uses the key ingredient. You can be as weird and wonderful as you like, as long as you meet the brief.’
I love the idea of entering myself but wanted to suss out the format and see how strong the competition is before I take that plunge. Hence my recce visit last Monday.
Me and my friend were a little too keen and turned up a bit early to the Cuban in Moorgate, which actually worked out for the best as it meant we could watch the steady stream of bakers pass us clutching exciting looking tupperware cupcake holders. Registration for bakers takes place between 6 and 6.45pm but more importantly, eating commences at 7pm. When my excitement got too much we paid our £5 entry fee, were presented with an ‘eater’ badge and directed to the free tea and coffee.
It turns out we had chosen a most auspicious date to attend our first Iron Cupcake event as it was their first birthday…and the theme was ‘Celebration’. The array of cupcakes lined up along the bar were very impressive…
I don’t think we had quite prepared ourselves for the ‘harrods sale’ style scrum that took place once we were given the go ahead to start eating! It was insane! However much I may love cupcakes, I refuse to fight for them and instead took the more civilised approach of asking people at the front of the crush to pass the ones I had my eye on back to me, which they very kindly did.
We tried to make sure not to go too over the top and take more than we felt we would could realistically eat, unlike others who piled their plates high, took a tiny taste of each and then discarded the rest…that made me a mad!
We compiled a shortlist of about 6…
The ‘Happy Birthday’ cupcakes were very impressive and ended up winning the ‘Best decorated cupcake’ prize.
I loved this bakers idea of cupcakes baking her cupcakes in ice cream cones in a brilliant twist on the classic 99 flake. Unfortunately the reality was that it made the cones a bit soggy…I still managed to eat every last bite though 🙂 and they were awarded the best amateur runners up prize.
I completely fell in love with these pretty pink champagne cupcakes. The sponge was actually a delicate shade of pastel pink had was strawberry flavoured, they were filled with a white chocolate ganache and topped with pink champagne and strawberry buttercream. They looked so professional and classy and very rightly won her the winning prize in the Amateur category!
These 4th of July cupcakes were marbled peanut butter and chocolate sponge yummmm…they won the runner up prize in the professional category.
These popcorn cupcakes looked amazing….unfortunately they suffered from a case of style over substance as the sponge was disappointingly dry with a sickeningly sweet blob of marshmallow fluff inside that nearly tipped me over the edge of my sugar overload. However, I found myself nearly forgiving the negative aspects as the little pots of popcorn looked so darned good!
We also tried a dark chocolate sponge infused with creme de menthe and topped with minty butter icing. They were pretty powerful but extremely tasty. I’ve found out since that they were also vegan…for some reason I have always (wrongly) assumed that vegan cakes wouldn’t be as tasty but I was very impressed as it was really squidgy.
By 9pm we were suffering from sugar coma’s and I was feeling incredibly sick but it was most definitely worth it. A full run down on the event can be found on The Caked Crusader blog. I have been completely won over by Iron Cupcake and am already plotting an entry for July’s theme of nuts and seeds… watch this space…