Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The 2011 Movember Manly Cupcake Champion!

Mo (1)

Shhhh! Do you hear that? That, my friends, is the sounds of trillions of tiny hairs being scrapped off upper lips. Today is the day that men everywhere finally shave off those really nasty porno 'staches and come back to the world of socially acceptable facial hair. Together, Canadian Mo Bros and Sistas raised $32 million for prostate and testicular cancer research, as well as other not-so-nice men's health issues. Pretty cool huh?

The end of November means the end of our Movember Manly Cupcake Contest. Which also means you finally get to know who the true champion of champions is. I've taken all the judges scores, added them all up and averaged the points. Let's run down the scores and get down and dirty:

Cupcake #1
The Anchorman

Mo (2)

Taste - 4 / 5
Decoration - 3 / 5
Overall Uniqueness - 3.5 / 5
Overall Manliness:  4 / 5
Judges Comments:
  • "[The scotch is] a bit strong tasting . . . perhaps I'm not manly enough for this cupcake."
  • "A bit heavy, but somehow adds to the manliness."
  • "It's delightful lingering hint of scotch has given me a lady erection."
Baker's Comments:
I love acorn squash. So very much. I was a bit cautious about putting it into a cake, though - I thought the delicate flavour of the squash would be over-powered by the spice. But, nope, that squash shined through just fine. The overall flavour was lovely - I would have kicked a bit more spice, but that's just splitting hairs. The texture came out a little heavy and spongy for me. The scotch frosting was amazing. Very sweet, yes, but the flavour of the liquor was Spot. On. A little too strong for some of the judges, yes, but not for me. But I'm a booze hound.

Cupcake #2
The Doc Holiday
Mo (3)

Taste - 2 / 5
Decoration - 4 / 5
Overall Uniqueness - 3.5 / 5
Overall Manliness: - 2 / 5
Judges Comments:
  • "Pleasant enough . . . icing was too sweet."
  • "It takes a real man to wear pink and a mo."
  • "Taste didn't quite live up to it's rootin' tootin' decor."
Baker's Comments: 
I have a confession to make: using shortening in baking kind of frightens me. And, when I saw how much shortening was used in the Doc Holiday, I was indeed a little frightened. But, after baking the cake, my anxiety was eased. The cake had a good crumb and nice vanilla flavour. It did, however, end up being way too sweet for my tastes - I'd actually take out a quarter to a third of the sugar just to balance things out a bit. The frosting had promise, but I believe a mellow icing - like a swiss meringue - would have treated the berries way better. The deadly amounts of confectioners' sugar overwhelmed the delicate huckleberry. That said, I believe this cupcake would be very much loved at any birthday party. 

Cupcake #3
The Clint Eastwood
Mo (5)

Taste - 4 / 5
Decoration - 4.5 / 5
Overall Uniqueness - 3.5 / 5
Overall Manliness -  3.5 / 5
Judges Comments:
  • "Too much butter in the icing . . . delicious cake."
  • "Best cake of the bunch."
  • "Did not cause me to immediately sprout a mustache. May need more guns."
Baker's Comments:
I love it when I get a chance to smuggle beer into my baking. This cake had a lovely texture, crumb, and a perfect chocolate flavour. The smell of the stout really hugged the cupcake, but the taste wasn't quite there. Of course, I have yet to figure out how to get a really bold beer flavour out of my baked goods (please someone tell me!). The frosting had an amazing flavour - the texture, however, wasn't quite right. I think it had something to do with the ratio of butter to everything else. I am sad to say I never got to make the whiskey ganache that went with this cupcake - the recipe on the blog link did not include directions, and I had to stay true to the recipe. Next time, though, that whiskey ganache is mine!

Now that we've seen the point break down, lets finally find out WHO'S CUISINE REIGNS SUPREME . . .

Cupcake #1 : 14.5 / 20
Cupcake #2: 11.5 / 20
Cupcake #3: 15.5 / 20

Congratulation to Shaleena of Sweet Catastrophe Cakes!
Your Clint Eastwood Cupcakes are the Manliest Cupcakes of 2011!
Yay you!

To all our finalists - Shaleena, Dez, and Beth - thank you for making this such an amazing contest. Your creativity and cupcakes were all truly off the hook. We had an absolute blast, and I hope everyone out there in blogland did as well. Now, to the good part. The prizes:
I will be emailing you and the sponsors  to get the gravy train moving. If the finalists could email me your addresses preemptively, that would help get everything to you much quicker. YAY FREE STUFF!

Much love to all our prize sponsors, everyone who entered, and everyone who set eyes on our blog during the month of November. You really made the Movember Foundation proud! Remember, only 365 days until the Next Manly Cupcake Contest! You better get planning, because we sure are!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

2011 Manly Cupcake Finalists

The votes are in, people. We finally have our three supreme cupcakes that will face off in the ultimate bake-off this weekend. Without further ado:

The People's Choice
If you've been watching the votes all week, you know that this was an amazingly close race. In fact, I believe The Anchorman came into first place with just a few hours left! Wowwy wow wow! I'm super excited about this cupcake - perhaps because I love squash cake, perhaps because Anchorman is the bee's knees. Congrats Beth for being the People's Choice!

The Baker's Choice
This was another super close race. Like, within two points close. This giant monster of a cupcake came screaming into the lead on Friday, guns a-blazin'. I think it's how Clint would have done it. Both Mr. C and I are excited about the Stout and Irish Whiskey combo - it means we have an excuse to buy more booze! I thank the sweet lord that I don't have to recreate the decor - that shit is bananas!

C&C's Choice
Mr. C and I grumbled over this decision all week long. There were so many cupcakes we wanted to try - Mr. C will hate me forever if I don't eventually bake up that Yosemite Sam recipe - but there was one that did stand slightly above the rest. The Doc Holiday's decor was impressive, but beneath that lay a pretty tasty looking recipe. We're rum people in this house, and that huckleberry frosting is super bright (especially during the dank Vancouver winter we've been having). Plus, I've got two words for you: Val Kilmer.

Before we go off to collect ingredients and warm up the oven, I've really got to give a giant thanks to everyone who took the time to enter this contest! No mater how many people voted for you, you've got to remember that you all really have worked hard and put a lot of effort into Movember. Don't worry too much about not making it to the finals, you've done more than enough by raising awareness and money for men's health! Each and every cupcake recipe here will be kept in our recipe bank, because I definitely want to be tasting them all ! The creativity of this year was outstanding - I hope we see you all next year!

As for the finalists, we will be baking your cupcakes throughout this weekend. We're bringing in a team of professional cupcake-testers who will be judging each manly morsel by taste, uniqueness, manliness, and overall design. We'll only be recreating the taste - the pictures and blog post you've sent in will take care of everything else. 

Now then, we've got a handful of judges to put in a sugar coma! We'll chat again soon!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The 2011 Movember Manly Cupcake Roundup

Ten marvelous bakers have decided to put on their big boy britches and dive in head first into a pool of testostorone and frosting. We're going to let them wrestle around for a bit (maybe they'll tire each other out?). Meanwhile, it's now up to you to vote for your favourite! Remember, we're looking for something extra special. Something that's full of flavour, character, originality. Oh, and manliness.

A reminder to how the final voting works: You, the people, can vote for one cupcake each. The bakers will also vote by email, and will choose a cupcake recipe (that's not their own) to be the Baker's Choice. Finally, Mr. C and I will choose a third cupcake to battle in the final showdown, which will take place next weekend.

So, take some time. Read through the contenders. And get with the voting!

Orange Clove Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and Cloved & Candied Orange Peel
Clove is mainly identical with men. In Indonesia, we also use clove to make cigarette. This is why I choose this recipe to join this contest. Clove in the cupcake will give a strong after-taste (it does, really). The Mo from the Movies that perfectly suited this recipe is Chuck Norris. I choose him because the orange color from the orange peel represent his blonde hair and especially his bold mustache. The blue color on the buttercream represent his bright blue eyes.

Toffee Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting and Toffee Peanuts
Our cupcake is sexy, bad's Samuel L. Jackson's SHAFT, "SHUT YO MOUTH" good! The cupcake is a peanut butter cake with toffee peanuts on top. The icing is also a rich peanut butter icing and a toffee peanut on top. I figured, if it's going to be manly it has to have nuts!

Brown Sugar Brown Butter Beef Jerky Cupcake with BBQ Cream Cheese and fondant decoration
A rootin' tootin' good time for all you varmints! 

Vanilla Bacon Cupcakes with Bacon Buttercream and Candied Bacon
I made a Vanilla Bacon Man with No Name Cupcake decorated in honor of the manly mustache of the Man With No Name, as played by Clint Eastwood in the Fist full of Dollars Trilogy Films, A Fist Full of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).

Dark Rum and Eggnog Cupcakes
Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has an awesome mustache and I thought I could come up with some cool ideas. The DVD’s are in the photos to hint that it actually had a MOS OF THE MOVIES theme, not to mention the rum in the cupcakes and in the butter cream. Jack sparrow (Johnny Depp) is all about the rum when in the movie.

Double Chocolate Stout Cake with an Irish Whiskey Butterceam and filled with an Irish Whiskey Ganache sprinkled with cookie crumbs
The Theme this year is Manly Mo's of the Movies so automatically I thought of Clint Eastwood in The Good , The Bad , And the Ugly I decided on a Double Chocolate Stout Cupcake , topped with a Irish Whiskey Buttercream, filled with a Irish Cream Ganache with a dusting of cookie crumbs for the Ugly ha! That's as cowboy 'd I could get this cupcakes well, without throwing in a Steak and a cigar ! So behold the finished product the art work is all freehand painted.

Southern Comfort Red Velvet Cupcakes with Southern Comfort Frosting
When I think of mustaches in the movies and all things manly, I think of Clark Gable's character, Rhett Butler, in Gone With the Wind and I think of a good southern bourbon.  With this in mind,  I decided to make Bourbon "Rhett" Velvet Cupcakes.  They are rich and smooth with a little bite to them, just how I like my men, haha.  Is it wrong to have more than one?  Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Vanilla and Rum Cake with Huckleberry Buttercream
After much consideration and brainstorming, my mind kept going to one character in particular from one of my favorite movies...Tombstone. No, its not Wyatt Earp but it's his friend Doc Holiday. Val Kilmer played Doc in that movie. He has really been the best Doc that I have seen so far. I love his phrase in the movie, "I'm your Huckleberry."  I decided to make a Vanilla Cupcake drizzled with Rum topped with a Huckleberry Buttercream. Add a hat, mustache, tin cup, and a gun belt...and *POOF* have a Doc Holiday Cupcake.

Rum Cupcakes with Rum Glaze, Cinnamon-Vanilla filling, and Apple Cream Cheese Frosting
As soon as I read it was a movies theme, I immediately thought of my favorite movie: The Princess Bride. In my opinion, the most memorable- and glorious- mustache in the movie graces the lip of Inigo Montoya, although Westley sports a sharp little blonde ‘stache as well. Naturally, a swordfight brings to mind pirates (although, technically, only Westley was a pirate at that point) and what could say “pirate” better than rum? So I started with a rum cake with rum glaze, filled it with cinnamon-vanilla pudding, and topped it with apple cream cheese frosting. 

Spiced Squash Cupcake topped with a Brown Sugar and Scotch Frosting
 I took inspiration from the movie Anchorman and picked squash because a male friend suggested it and I thought it was unique enough to be worth trying out (definitely worth it because they were delicious) and scotch because it's Ron Burgundy's drink of choice. The cupcakes were DELICIOUS!! 

A super big thank you to all our amazing contestants for taking the time to support the Movember Foundation and men's health! This really wouldn't have been successful without all of you!

A reminder that the winner of this contest will be receiving some super sweet stuff. Check it out:

The Manly Cupcake Contest Prize Sponsor's Include:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Prince Charming's Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes

PumpkinCupcakes (2)

I don't understand the appeal of Prince Charming. I guess he's kind of dreamy, in a sexless, Ken Doll sort of way? But why oh why are all those girls in the Cinderella kingdom climbing all over each other to be with this dude? There must be something going on that we're not seeing. Let's take a closer look.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Barbarian Bars

 This is the last weekend you can send in your entry to our 2011 Movember Manly Cupcake Contest. Hop to it!


If I had to ask you to think of the most rough, tough, and manly movie start out there, who would you picture? Maybe Clint? Sly? Bruce? Chuck? There are a lot of options out there. I just hope to god you don't think of those little pussy boys from those Twilight movies. I'll never forgive you if you do. In fact, you can leave right now. Go on.

Now that there are just the cool guys in here, let me tell you a secret. If you asked me to name the number one manly actions star, in my heart of hearts, there's only one man.

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