Competitive Edge

In addition to my participation in the FoodieFights challenge, my sister and I decided on a cupcake throwdown at her grad party during Memorial Day weekend. What better way to celebrate the fact that my sis survived an MBA program while working full-time than with a little sibling rivalry?

Truth is, she’s a damn good cupcake baker. This is really her kind of thing. In fact, she even wrote a guest blog on Irish Car Bomb cupcakes on The Food in My Beard. And she made really good chocolate peanut butter cupcakes for the holidays–chocolate cupcakes, filled with peanut butter cream and topped with peanut butter chocolate frosting. They put Reese’s to shame.

Together, we created some rules, score sheets and each proposed three ingredients for the cupcakes. I forwarded our ingredient suggestions to my mom without telling her who suggested what, and asked her to pick two of them for the cupcake creations Val and I will develop.

I spent nearly a week researching recipes and flavor profiles and finally made my first practice batch last night. 

I can’t tell you what the recipe is or what the ingredients are yet–after all, family members read this blog and will have to be unbiased taste testers–but I did identify one concern with the way my practice batch came out: my cupcakes are a little too dense and moist for my liking.

Now… this could be because my recipe doesn’t have baking powder in it or because there’s an ingredient that makes it extra moist. So, I’m thinking about adding a teaspoon of baking soda AND reducing the other ingredient or modifying it a bit. Yay for experimentation. 

I’m all for stovetop experimentation but oven experimentation intimidates me a bit–there’s more science involved. Baking soda and powder is necessary to rise dough, salt is needed to bring out flavor and then there’s that deal with balancing wet ingredients with dry so you don’t end up with a soggy mess (or, alternately, a dry brick).

Despite a high school curriculum of honors and high honors classes, I gladly registered for the regular version of chemistry. And now I suspect I might be paying for it. After all, all those cute football players in my chem class are long gone, and all I have to show for it is my ability to remember enough of the Periodic Chart of Elements to get a couple questions right in Cranium or Trivia Pursuit.

Despite that, I’m determined to win the First Annual Tormey Sister Cupcake Bake-Off. I’m firing up the bunson burner now!

P.S. Val: my colleagues gave me multiple thumbs up for the cupcakes. You should be shaking in your apron now.

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5 responses to “Competitive Edge

  1. I have two options… tell you what will make it better since i know what your ingredients are so i have better competition and win by a landslide… or i can let you bring your dense rock cupcakes to serve to my friends and our family and make you lower your head in shame… if only mikey were coming so i could upstage two siblings in one event… but wait i’m the favorite anyways…

    wow my response was snotty since you started out by giving kudos to my skills.. you’re the writer and i’m the baking, highlighting sister… 😉

  2. Note to readers:

    My sister is 6 years younger than I am and used to keep a copy of my high school transcript on her bulletin board. She color-coded it with highlighters to indicate when her performance was better or worse than mine or when she took a more challenging class than I did (ie: she took high honors chemistry and I took plain old advanced).

    This hopefully illustrates the seriousness of our competitive streak.

  3. Note to readers:

    That transcript competition started when Tina said I’d never be smarter than her… then when I beat her she was all “why you competing with me” or “at least i had the cute guys in my classes.” thankfully the cute kids my year were smart and therefore were in all my classes…

  4. this looks fun! I used to do the daring bakers online and loved it!

  5. You guys crack me up! I can’t imagine having a cupcake throwdown with my brother, although maybe I should. He’s a pretty darn good cook so the competition would be tough!

    May the best sister win!! 🙂

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