SF Food Wars Mini Cupcake Clash; Only the cute and adorable survive

19Oct09
Cinnaholic Sweets / “Blueberry Dragon Fruit Chocolate Ganache Cakes”

Cinnaholic Sweets / “Blueberry Dragon Fruit Chocolate Ganache Cakes”

I make no secret of my disdain for cupcakes. They are the most overrated thing since, well, take your pick – the Lakers (self-explanatory), Apple (doesn’t make you cool), fixed gear bikes (there are hills in San Francisco), Entourage (you’re not Ari Gold), and froyo (it’s fucking froyo). However, that doesn’t mean cupcakes aren’t good. In fact, they can be quite tasty. Local food and travel blogger Caitlin from Roaming Tales may have put it best:

They look pretty but they generally taste rather boring – dull and dry with excessive amounts of icing to compensate. I have had cupcakes from these famous bakeries and I have had well made homemade cupcakes and my attitude is the same. Give me real cake any time.

Proper cakes are far more interesting – they are usually much moister and have greater complexity of flavour and texture. Cupcakes have their uses – they’re great if you are catering for a fifth birthday party – and I’m not saying they actually taste bad (if I had to pick a favourite flavour it would be red velvet). However, there isn’t a cupcake on the planet that wouldn’t taste better as a full-size cake.

Now with that out of the way – I love eating cupcakes. They’re cute and tasty, most of the time. At SF Food Wars’ Mini Cupcake Clash event, they gave 22 teams the opportunity to showcase their best confectionery creations.  I skipped breakfast and lunch, and set out to Stable Cafe where a horde of hungry cupcake lovers were anxiously waiting in line.

Awaiting the treasure trove of treats that are about to greet us

Once the event was underway, I took my time visiting every table, examining and enjoying each cupcake.

L to R: Cinnamon Horchata, Autumn Apple, Triple Cheese & Bacon, PB&J, Churro

L to R: Cinnamon Horchata, Autumn Apple, Triple Cheese & Bacon, PB&J, Churro

These were some of the standouts:

Team HunnyBunny / “Piggycakes” (Bacon & Maple): Maple syrup and bacon, it tasted just like breakfast. A really, really sweet breakfast.

Sweetiecups / “La Vie en Brie” (Pear & Whipped Brie): These were beautifully presented, and topped with walnut and pear. They were also served with a tiny cup of Sauvignon Blanc, which paired well with the moist cupcake.

L to R: Maple & Bacon, Pear & Brie, Green Tea

L to R: Maple & Bacon, Pear & Brie, Green Tea

Team Mustache / “Guinness Gasm” (Guinness): The sweet malty flavor of Guinness worked well as a cupcake.

Yahtzee, Bitchcakes! / “Tossed Salad (Dressing)” (Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinaigrette): I was a bit skeptical of this at first, but it turned out to be pretty interesting. It was as sweet as any other cupcake, but you could actually taste the olive oil and vinaigrette. It also left a subtle oily feeling in your mouth, which was a nice surprise.

L to R: Mocha, Vegan Chocolate, Strawberry Shortcake, Blueberry Dragonfruit, Vegan Orange Creamsicle

L to R: Mocha, Vegan Chocolate, Strawberry Shortcake, Blueberry Dragonfruit, Vegan Orange Creamsicle

FTW / “Vampire Bites” (Chocolate & Sriracha): Vampire Bites? These had to be good! The chocolate was okay, but they finished with a bit of heat in your throat, thanks to the Sriracha sauce used in the mix.

Cinnaholic Sweets / “Blueberry Dragon Fruit Chocolate Ganache Cakes” (Chocolate): I thought these were the best looking cupcakes, see the first picture. They were very neat, and I loved the contrast in color from the blueberry and dragonfruit. The chocolate was way too rich, but the cool burst of juice from the blueberry gave it a nice kick of additional flavor.

All the the cupcakes were good, but those stood out as my favorites in terms of flavor and originality. However, there were three cupcakes that I felt absolutely stole the show, based on pure flavor:

Double the Yum! / “It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!”

Double the Yum! / “It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!”

Double the Yum! / “It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!” (PB&J): It was just like biting into a PB&J sandwich! The center was filled with actual peanut butter and jelly that oozed into your mouth, which was a very pleasant surprise.

Team TimeCube / “Autumn Apple”

Team TimeCube / “Autumn Apple”

Team TimeCube / “Autumn Apple” (Caramel Apple): Beautifully prepared, presented, and mindblowing. It had an intense apple flavor with a smooth caramel finish. The cupcake was incredibly moist, not too sweet, near perfect!

Team Pound / “Fromage et Trois”

Team Pound / “Fromage et Trois”

Team Pound / “Fromage et Trois” (Triple Cheese & Bacon): The only savory cupcake in attendance, it was also the most memorable. Full of cheese, chives, and (most importantly) bacon. I tried this multiple times, it was that good. This was my vote for the best cupcake, and it didn’t even get Top 3 honors. Fuck everyone who didn’t vote for this one!

These are the official winners of the event, from the SF Food Wars website:

– People’s Choice: Team #11: Hella Fat / “My Grandma’s Bananas”
– People’s Choice Honorable Mention: Team #5: Double the Yum! / “It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!”
– Photog’s Choice : Team #21: Cinnaholic Sweets / “Blueberry Dragon Fruit Chocolate Ganache Cakes”

– 1st Place: Team #21: Cinnaholic Sweets / “Blueberry Dragon Fruit Chocolate Ganache Cakes”
– 2nd Place: Team #11: Hella Fat / “My Grandma’s Bananas”
– 3rd Place: Team #8: Mission Minis / “Cinnamon Horchata”

I’m incredibly bitter that none of my Top 3 favorites made the cut, but the real winners were definitely the attendees. I didn’t think it was possible, but following the event I suffered quite possibly the most intense food coma+sugar crash in history, which kept me glued to the couch the rest of the day and rendered me absolutely useless. Totally worth it.

To find out about future SF Food Wars events, follow them on Twitter at @sffoodwars

Also check out these other popular articles:

Reviews
The Legend of the Bacon Hot Dog Cart
Street Food Redefined – The Creme Brulee Cart
New School Food Peddler – The Magic Curry Kart
Cha Cha Cha Tapas Restaurant and Bar in the Haight and Mission
Brenda’s French Soul Food Review; Best Southern Brunch in San Francisco

Features
Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations in San Francisco Episode Recap
Oktoberfest by the Bay 2009 at Pier 48 – A Survival Guide
Cops Ready to Bust the San Francisco Street Food Scene; What Vendors Must Do to Adapt
The Official Hoodscope List of Free San Francisco Museum Days
The Definitive Guide to Enjoying Oysters on the Cheap in San Francisco
The Ultimate SoMa Happy Hour Gameplan
How do you know you’re a San Francisco Hipster?
A Newbie’s Survival Guide to Bay to Breakers

Advertisements


5 Responses to “SF Food Wars Mini Cupcake Clash; Only the cute and adorable survive”

  1. 1 Hunnydu

    Thanks for the props! VIVA PIGGYCAKES!

  2. 2 Jessica L.

    I’m glad you liked my apple cupcakes – the way you described it was precisely what I went for in that flavor combination. 😀

  3. 3 rommel

    dude what did the cinnamon horchata taste like? haha i love horchata.

  4. 4 rommel

    dude what did they horchata taste like? haha i love horchata.

  5. I’m going to at least temporarily buy into the concept that regular sized cakes are always better than cupcakes, but WHY IS THIS? Does it follow that giant-sized cakes are always better than regular sized cakes?

    I demand answers. Where is the RESEARCH?!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: