Monday, April 12, 2010

The first Wellington Bake-off - Cupcakes!

Last night was the first of what will hopefully be many bake-offs in Wellington (since we've abandoned the Christchurch ones. Nine of us gathered with six varieties of cupcake to try, and it was great (if a bit sugary!).

First up there were my Masterchef Tribute cupcakes. I was really pleased with the taste of them, even if some of them look a bit wonky. ;-) The marquise is very rich, and the cake at the bottom was perfect to offset the richness without detracting from the flavour - and the toffee gave a wonderful crunchy texture.

Mr Cake made these (and I quote) "Lemon-yoghurt cupcakes of DOOM!". They didn't taste very doomy, in fact they were light a fluffy and delicious and had a filling of lemon curd. I maintain that cupcakes should be iced but they were good so I won't complain too much. ;-)

Julia made blueberry and cream cheese cupcakes. The cake part was fruity and delicious (I love blueberries!) and cream cheese icing is all good. She also did a funky swirl thing with the icing which you can barely see due to my terrible photography, but there's sort of a multi-colour effect as some of the icing is blueberry and some not - it was very pretty, anyway!

Fred and Oakley made these mini Mojito cupcakes - perfect bite-size (but still plenty so we could go back for seconds!). They were very zingy and definitely represented their namesake - lime, mint and rum were all identifiable and did a good job of cutting through the sweetness of the icing.

Charles and Sally made these dainty-looking lavender-citrus cupcakes - I love the simple decoration, I think it makes them look like perfect high tea food (just to confuse Sally further, since we had a lengthy discussion on the night about how confusing it is that New Zealanders say 'morning tea', 'afternoon tea' and 'tea' and don't necessarily mean anything to do with tea (the drink), and 'dinner' which can be interchanged with 'tea' on normal evenings and with 'lunch' on Christmas Day (and Sunday for the traditionalists) - 'tis a perplexing thing!). These were also very tasty!

And last but certainly not least, Sylvia and Mark came up with these cupcakes squared, which were lemon yoghurt cupcakes with almond buttercream and were moist and tasty - and came in a cup! Sylvia apparently made baking cups out of baking paper to match the shape of the teacups, baked the cakes, then put them in the cups and painstakingly made miniature cups out of cake and fondant to make the second recursion. See how the miniature cups even have flowers painted on them to match the teacups? That's dedication to the cause!

There was a fair bit of discussion around voting and winning categories and we came up with so many categories that everyone would have taken out at least one - but somehow the actual voting never happened (and it didn't matter - all the cupcakes were tasty and we had fun in both the making and the eating!).

After some discussion it was decided that bread would be a great theme for the next one, as there's lots of room for improvisation and variation, and it wouldn't be so deadly! Mark and Sylvia offered to host so look out for details of that one in a month or so, Wellingtonians!

Which cupcake flavour do you think sounds best?


  1. Well they all look pretty darned good!

    'Tea' is definately one confusing concept. My mother refers to the lunchtime meal as 'dinner' - which is still more confusing, as most of the rest of us refer to the evening meal as 'dinner'. Even more confusing as when I was growing up Dad would say "come on, your dinner's ready" at EITHER MEAL. Sort yourselves out!

    Rosa - totally not related, but emailing didn't cross my mind until now, and its too late for that: I see they are currently taking entries for the next series of Nestle's Hottest Home Baker. I'd enter, but I'm great at a few things and average at the rest. I think you should enter :)

  2. WOW!!! I'm blown away by the cupcake cupcakes... something my brain would think of, but not in so much detail! And mojoto cupcakes... and all of them. Mmm.. baking time?

  3. Michelle; I'm not sure I'm destined to be NZ's Hottest Home Baker either, sadly - not the biggest fan of television cameras and not convinced I'd be good enough anyway. But thanks for the link and the vote of confidence! ;-)

    Belinda, maybe you should enter. ;-) Also, maybe you should start an Auckland bake-off... What do you think?

  4. there's actually a show called NZ's Hottest Home Baker? Sheesh. I didn't watch Masterchef so I don't know what your cupcakes should look like!

    For the bread bake-off though I recommend sourdough. I have been having lots of fun with mine lately. Have you ever tried making it?

  5. Reading this makes me remember how full of cupcakes I was. Uggh. But they tasted sooo good. Mmmm.

  6. NZ Hottest Home Baker was, we think, TV3's (poor) effort to claw back some of the foodies following NZ Masterchef - and when I talk about Masterchef I'm talking about the kiwi one so wouldn't have expected you to see it. ;-) But there is a photo of the proper dessert on yesterday's post in case you're curious. I haven't made sourdough but I have a few ideas up my sleeve already for the bake-off - definitely want to try it sometime, though!

    Sylvia; we just ate the last two cupcakes we had. They tasted better today because we didn't have any others! Our neighbours are possibly a bit overwhelmed by the amount of cake we gave them yesterday, though... ;-)

  7. Yum! I just had one of Rosa's cupcakes last night and got to re-experience the chocolately goodness! And thank you for the summary of our confusing tea is definitely going to take awhile to figure out the various usages of the word "tea."

    Looking forward to the bread bake-off!

  8. Thanks for coming, Sally! Hope you enjoyed it... We certainly enjoyed your cupcakes. :-)

  9. I paid the price of those cupcakes for the following 2 days... too much sugar! But later this week I did enjoy the cupcakes of doom I took home, after the heartburn calmed down :)

    The mojito cupcake recipe is here:

  10. I love Cream Puffs in Venice, such a great blog! My workmates were especially appreciative of the leftover mojito cupcakes (well, the ones we couldn't get through ourselves) so I'll have to let them know where the recipe came from. :-)


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