Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Harrisburg Cupcake Cup 2010

"...because Wonka would!"
Hot Chocolate Cupcakes by Teri Jakob
A moist dark chocolate cake with a hint of ancho chile, with a swiss meringue cinnamon buttercream frosting and topped with a homemade marshmallow chile pepper and a Hershey chocolate square

Last year I heard about the first ever Harrisburg Cupcake Cup and wanted to enter, but I was already committed elsewhere on the date. So when I heard about it this year I made sure I was free!

Sunday October 3rd..

I was a little overwhelmed going into this past weekend. I knew what cupcake I was going to make, but I was trying to polish my idea and tweak anything I needed to. Since the scoring was 1/2 taste and 1/2 presentation I wanted to work on the presentation. What could I do that was fun, different and would work on my cupcake? Usually I just top it with a red hot candy and a marshmallow, but I wanted something more polished for this.... I got it!!
Candied Pink Peppercorns! How perfect! It took some searching but I found them in the organic section at Wegmans. I whipped up a batch on Tuesday night, they looked great! I even made a batch of cupcakes incorporating them! Perfect, right?

NO!!! Disgusting! My son wouldn't even eat it, and he's my biggest fan! I threw it all away!

Wednesday was devoted to school and studying so no time to work on cupcake ideas...

Thursday I had a my first test in A&P lab on identifying the parts of the skeleton, plus it was an oral test. Who knew there were sooooooo many names and parts of the bones to learn!! I was a bit worried about this test.

Thursday morning not long before the test, I got a wonderful phone call! I was offered a part time position at Pinnacle Health!! I was so excited! Then on to my test! I didn't to as well as I'd hoped, but a B is not toooooo bad. That night I spent getting some things together since my son was leaving for a weekend camp with Boy Scouts, his first big boy scout trip.

Friday our house's electric was being updated. This was a great thing for us, but was putting my baking schedule behind. Scratch Friday...

Saturday was it! My day to bake and get prepared for the competition. I was so excited because my sister was also going to come into town on Sunday and she was going to try to make it in time for the competition! Well, then my Saturday became consumed with helping my husband put in a ceiling in our basement. He's been wanting to do this for almost two years now and was finally ready to do it. (The ceiling collapsed a few days after we moved into the house.) Since Tina and her husband were coming he really wanted to have it done before they arrived, since that's the room where they sleep. So most of Saturday was scratched...

10 pm Sunday night and the kitchen is all mine! So here goes! I was going to make my favorite, my Hot Chocolate cupcake! My husband isn't a fan of cupcakes and didn't really agree on which one I picked to bake, but it's my personal favorite. While running errands on Friday the idea came to me and I finally knew what to do for the top! This is a dark chocolate cupcake with a hit of spiciness so I decided I would make a homemade marshmallow fondant shaped like a chile pepper! Hot chocolate isn't complete without a marshmallow, right??

I couldn't decided between two ideas for this recipe so I Saturday night I made them both. One was ok but the other was wonderful! My last minute tweaks paid off, I loved it! Now while I was waiting for them to bake I got to thinking about the apron I had been wanting to make. I've been pouring over patterns trying to find one that appealed to me. Recently my son got me hooked on Cupcake Wars, and when I saw Wendy from Whodidily I was in love! With her, her husband, her store and HER APRON!!! So much so that I even emailed her and asked her where she got it, but a friend had made it for her... So to the drawing board I went, to design my own. So after my cupcakes finished baking, at 1 am I headed to my basement and amidst the mess of putting up a new ceiling I laid out and made myself a wonderful apron that I am just in love with! It's pink and white poka dots, with a tulle petticoat underneath and pockets on the front! I love it! My husband thought I'd bought it. Yay me!

Back to the kitchen, about 3:30 am and now I am up to my elbows in marshmallow goo trying to get it the right consistency to make my pink peppers for the top. They looked so cute, I was pretty pleased when I finished them. The wrappers for my cupcakes were dark brown with pink and green poka dots, so I decided to go with pink peppers and green icing. When asked why the green icing my answer ... "because Wonka would!"

I crawled into bed at 5:30 Sunday morning to nap until about 8:30 am and then get up and finish up. I was so excited, I don't know which I was more excited about the cupcakes, the contest or my awesome apron!

I got them all ready to go and waited for my son to get home from camp to
come along. We arrived just after 1 to check in. The bookstore was already crowded.
After checking in we headed to a pizza place a few blocks down to get something other than cake into my stomach. My sister who lives in New York and Arizona text me to say she was a few minutes away. I told her she didn't have to come, that these cupcakes were crazy awesome and I felt more than a bit out of my league, but she insisted on being there. What a great sister! We walked back to meet her. The line was out the door to get into the place!!! It was crazy!

We wandered about and looked at the cupcakes, watched the judges, perused the books... It seemed forever before the announcement was made for the winners. I waited anxiously, hoping to hear my name called. Joey managed to work his way up to the sample table and spent the afternoon volunteering and helping out. Tina even waited in line to pay her $2 to get a cupcake from the sample table, it only took her about 45 minutes to get it! And that was after she waited for the line to go down!

The big moment finally came and Erica Streisfeld, Founder of the Harrisburg Cupcake Cup stepped up to the microphone to announce the winners, she even made them little trophies! My name wasn't called, :( but I wasn't too disappointed because I loved how everything came out and wouldn't have changed anything about what I did! Though, I must say a trophy would have been nice. I had a great time and loved my cakes.

We came home and everyone tried the cupcakes I had at home... because when I woke up at 8:30 I decided that they didn't look full enough in the cups so I re-baked the whole thing before leaving for the competition.

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