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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cupcake Wars Goes to Sea World

Last nights Cupcake Wars centered around the twelfth birthday of Killer Whale Sumar at Sea World San Diego. All of the nights challenges centered around not only looking the Sea World part but very much tasting the Sea World part.

After Hollis Wilder's lemon-scented lox cupcakes I was beyond excited for "the taste challenge", where the first chosen flavours were borrowed from the sea and the bakers were given sea weed and sea salt. Instantly, plans for sushi cupcake creations swirled around my mind (which would be in terrible taste for the Sea World theme).

Allyson Fiander
's idea of rimming the cupcakes with brown sugar and sea salt didn't sound as appealing as it did plain. I thought the idea of rimming a cupcake with salt would be fantastic for a Margarita cupcake of some sort - "to-cook" list you just got bigger.

Bret Thompson chose to break out some spirulina, an idea that was only a taste the originality he had to dish up. He then powdered the spirulina and mixed it with vanilla as the base for his cupcake. This is a cupcake I may just leap at the chance to taste.

When it came to baker, Lindsay Morton, I got distracted by her choice to use honey frosting which is a refreshing change from so many butter cream frosting's that seem to await you atop a cupcake. The cake underneath however, didn't sound as special to me.

The star of the "taste & presentation" challenge for me was once again, Bret Thompson with his cherry coke ice cream cone cupcake with cream cheese frosting and hot fudge ganache topped with a maraschino cherry, pink lemon aid and cotton candy cupcakes with marshmallow frosting, and dark chocolate squid ink infused cupcakes topped with a Sumar marzipan garnish. Squid ink is an ingredient I have been dying to get my hands on for my own at-home use. I agree with the judges that these all came out looking a bit more fun-at-the-fair than they did see-Sumar-at-sea-world.

This round left me sick of seeing lemon and fondant. It felt like nearly everyone was using it and none of it really "popped".

Here's hoping the next episode is much better than last nights which despite the culinary inventiveness of Bret Thompson, left me unaffected.