I’m a Cupcake Wars virgin (not to be confused with a cupcake virgin, I lost that particular title a long, long, looooong time ago).
For those who haven’t heard of it, Cupcake Wars is a ‘reality’ show on the Food Network (yes, I did snack while watching, my troubles with the Food Network are well documented on this blog) featuring bakers who have to bake THE BEST CUPCAKE OF THEIR LIVES at every stage of a tortuous competition.
There’s a team eliminated each round and the tasks become more difficult as the numbers dwindle.
The final challenge is just ridiculous and, perhaps because I’m new to this, I did find myself gaping at whether they would pull it off.
Spoiler alert: of course they pulled it off. It wouldn’t be much of a show if they didn’t and the final shot was of distraught bakers weeping into raw cupcake dough while frosting hardens in their eyebrows.
In the episode I watched recently (which was probably a repeat, I dunno. If you want serious tv criticism best look elsewhere) the beleaguered bakers had to produce cupcakes for the LA Auto car show.
There was much talk of ‘themes’ which translated into using lots of food dye, shiny edible baubles and saying genius stuff like: “well LA is known for its orange groves so we made an orange cupcake”.
Finally it was down to Smiley Lady With Very Shiny Hair or Anxious Tall Guy.
In the final round, they had to design a car show themed display featuring 1,000 cupcakes in two hours.
I mean sure they had four assistants each and a carpenter (who rather suspiciously managed to put together real works of art from some very vague instructions) but that just seems crazy to me.
I take a good hour to produce 20 cupcakes, a thousand blows my mind.
By then I was riveted and rooting for Anxious Guy – no harm to Smiley Lady but I’m a sucker for an underdog.
The panel based their decision on something silly like the actual quality of the cupcake and disagreed – although by that stage, they’d eaten so much cake they were probably insensible from a diabetic coma – and they gave Smiley Lady the honour of presenting her design at the LA Auto show as well as a whole heap of money.
Great for her business (Bake You Happy…ok,ok I’ll plug it here) but perhaps giving unrealistic expectations to future customers.
“Hello, Bake You Happy, how can I help?”
“Listen lady, I need 1,000 cupcakes and a kick-ass custom made stand and I need them both IN ONE HOUR.”