Life as we know told by Heather

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gorging on Goodies

Remember awhile back I told you about my super fun friend Jen? Well she found out about early ticket sales for Cupcake Camp Columbus III and ordered us two tickets. Ten dollars sounds like a lot of money to eat your fill of cupcakes, but the proceeds went to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank so our sugar high was helpful to a good local charity.

The first half hour of the event you weren't allowed to eat anything. Most people were standing around scoping out the cupcakes, taking pictures, and doing lots of posting on Twitter and Facebook.

All of the cupcakes were displayed on tables, grouped by category, and you were able to walk around and see what was available while the judges started eating and scoring the edible entries.

Then at 1:30 it turned into a free-for-all when the green light was given to grab your selections. We had taken that first half hour to make a game plan, so we were ready. There was a particular table that had a few items we wanted to try, so we agreed upon who would grab which items, then we would split up and go to other tables for random selections, and meet back at a pre-determined spot. Jen and I are experienced at food adventures, so we knew we'd get to taste more cupcakes if we split them. Somehow we managed to each bring back a whole plate full of different cupcakes, and the bigger ones had already been cut in half or fourths which came in really handy. Between the two of us we were able to taste half of all the flavors, so we felt pretty good about that.

Cupcakes could compete in the following categories: Spring-Themed, Use of Bailey's or Bushmills, St. Patty's Day, Vegan and North Market Inspired (meaning they had to represent one of the vendors who sell food there). Some that we thought would be really good, like the Pad Thai Panache, were not so great at all. Others that we tried only because they sounded different, like Lemon Basil, were incredible. This one here, Chocolate Baklava, was not one of our favorites, but we liked that it was baked in phyllo dough and you could eat the wrapper. Good for the planet.

These honey bee cupcakes were very cute, but we determined they tasted like something we could make at home.

This cupcake here was one of my favorites. It was called Irish Neapolitan and was in the Bailey's/Bushmills category. Although I'm not a big fan of food coloring, the cupcake itself was the most gorgeous shade of dark green. It was in cute scalloped wrappers, neatly iced with yummy frosting and had Italian flags stuck in them. It not only tasted good but was pretty as well.

I couldn't narrow down to one favorite, but I came up with six:
Irish Neapolitan
Chocolate Stout with Irish Cream Icing
Lemon Basil
Jen Surprise (was a chocolate Vegan option that had a filling in the middle)
I Can't Believe It's Not Butterscotch (another Vegan one)
Belgian Waffle (tasted like it had belgian waffle batter in it)
Cardamom Sweater

We also tried:
Honeypot Lemon & Thyme (okay, but didn't even compare to Lemon Basil)
Hello Hummingbird
Gluten Free Bailey's Irish Cream (good, but then I tasted Irish Neapolitan)
Irish Coffee
Pistachio Lime (WAY too much lime, not enough pistachio)
I Can't Believe It's Not Bacon (not bad, just not a favorite)
Anything Goes - The Master & Margarita
Dark Chocolate Blackout (can't believe I'm saying it, but it was TOO chocolatey {if that's even possible})
Earl Grey Chip (Jen really liked this one, it was one of my least favorites)
Hot & Cool Mango (we thought this was horrible, it was mangoes and chili - it ended up getting 2nd place)
Citrus Serenade (very amateur tasting, like one of our kids could have made it)
Chocolate Baklava
Pad Thai Panache (very dry, nothing to differentiate it from a regular peanut butter cupcake)

After awhile of tasting and critiquing we noticed there weren't very many people left. Apparently we were taking this much more seriously than everyone else. And then it was over.

Jen came up with a great cupcake idea so we might try it out and enter the contest next year. If not, we still hope to be there to eat. It's an event not to be missed.

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