Monday, January 24, 2011

My Little Cupcake...or What would YOU Do If The Winner Of Cupcake Wars Was In Your Neighborhood?

   This is the story of an obsession. I don't normally think about cupcakes. I am not a regular watcher of Cupcake Wars. In fact I've only seen one episode in my whole life. I guess as they say, it just takes one.
Anyway I was surfing around one evening and stumbled across the show. I watched fascinated, as several teams of bakers from cupcake shops across the US competed to create the most gorgeous mouthwatering cupcakes. I was going nuts from craving and was about to flip the channel when I heard the winning bakers say, "Well, we do a lot of weddings here in Wine Country..." What? Wine Country? Wait a minute....I live in Wine Country. Which Wine Country are we talking about here? Upstate New York? Santa Ynez Valley? Washington State? Somewhere in Oregon? Sift was the name of the bakery and a quick punch up of Lord Google told me that the Wine Country they were talking about was my Wine Country right here in Sonoma County. Uh oh... this could mean trouble. I'm not kidding. When I get an idea in my head I just can't get it out. The cupcakes I'd seen on Cupcake Wars had definitely stuck in my head and I had to have them. There was no question about it.
   Sonoma County is pretty big... not a lot of people but a lot of space. It's not always easy getting from here to there. Distance might be the only thing keeping me from these insanely tasty looking cupcakes. I Google mapped. Sonoma County contains nearly 1800 square miles I had a decision to make. Unless these cupcakes were somewhere north of Fort Ross, near the Mendocino border, I was getting those cupcakes.
   As it turned out the cupcakes were about a 50 mile round trip (acceptable) and wonder of wonders, they were located about two blocks from the only Indian Grocery in Sonoma County. I've just been chosen to be one of the participants in Foodbuzz's 24 x 24 Dinner Event this month and I'm going to be cooking a big Indian feast on the 29th, so of course I had to make a supply (cupcake) run. I had to! Really. So on Saturday morning, I did.
   Of course being a disciplined person I did all my Indian grocery shopping. See. Really. I had to go.
   Once my groceries were safely stowed in the trunk, I drove (very safely and not too fast) over to Sift. It was a wonderland of cupcakes. When they crowned these people the Queens of Cupcake Wars they weren't kidding. They were A-mazing! Such beauty, such fragrance, such color and those names!
"Knock Your Box Off", "Black Cherry Jungle", "Carbomb""24 Carrot", "OOOh LaLa""Peanut Butter Ripple." I was stunned. They also had huge whoopie cookies and those little cups with spoons on the cake carousel are... wait for it... Frosting shots.
   I don't usually freak out around stuff. I've learned over the years in my business to keep my cool. In Hollywood that's how we roll, but "Ohmygodthere'sredvelvetwithcreamcheesefrosting! Samoawithcoconuttopping! Oh My God I loved you on Cupcake wars!!!!" I mean I may as well have been gaping at Brad Pitt on the Red Carpet.
   "Almondcupcakewithblueberrysandtequillafilling!!!!" These cupcakes were like movie stars.
We made our selections. For me the red velvet cupcake I'd seen on Cupcake Wars. For Alan, the Black Cherry Jungle.
Outta the box!
A moment later.
   Yes, that is frosting on my knuckles... I don't know how it got there.
   So in short, is a 50 miles round trip worth it to get down and dirty with the winners of Cupcake Wars? Yes, though I think I would be able to go more often if I walked over there.Yeah. walking. That's the ticket. In fact if I walked over I could buy a whole dozen, and then as I was walking I could eat them and I'd walk if off right? Sure. As they said in Brokeback Mountain. "Damn you Sift Bakery..I can't quit you!"

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