Monday, September 14, 2015

Cupcakelicious - Woodstock, Georgia

Over the Labor Day weekend, I got a chance to visit some family in Atlanta, Georgia. My family knows how obsessed I am with cupcakes, and especially with red velvet, so they made it a point to visit some cupcake bakeries during the visit.

Our first stop was at Cupcakelicious in downtown Woodstock, Georgia.

Photo via Google Images
I was hopeful for this cupcakery since it looked like it was local and not run by a big chain. I've found in my adventures that big chains tend to have the not-so-great cupcakes, while the smaller, local places are able to really dedicate the time and energy to make a good cupcake.

Cupcake Variety Pack
Upon taking a look at the variety in the display window, I was even more excited. They have a mix of traditional flavors, like red velvet and vanilla birthday cake as well as more adventurous flavors, like almond wedding cake and salty sweet caramel.

Red Velvet from Cupcakelicious
When I looked at the cupcake, however, I knew I was going to be disappointed. The cupcake was a very bright shade of pink, almost neon. The top of the cupcake looked burnt and the frosting wasn't even cream cheese! When I took my first bite, I was sad. The cupcake was dry and had absolutely no chocolate flavor.

In the end, I was sad, but I wasn't going to give up! There was a newly opened Georgetown Cupcakes in Atlanta, and I knew that was going to bring up my mood. I moved on quickly to one of the other delicious flavors Cupcakelicious had to offer and looked forward to my visit to Georgetown Cupcakes. Spoiler alert...I was not disappointed.

Price $2.99/cupcake
Cake: dry, too bright color, no chocolate
Icing: plain vanilla buttercream
Decorations: simple butter cream with cake crumbs
Overall Rating: 1/10
Website: Cupcakelicious

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Cupcakes and Cocktails - Epicurean Hotel

This month, the Epicurean Hotel had a very classic menu for its Cupcakes and Cocktails event.

Cupcake Menu:
Bananas Foster bourbon banana cake, cinnamon bourbon cream cheese frosting

Jack & Coke Coca Cola chocolate cake, whiskey buttercream

Gin & Tonic gin spiked cake, lime buttercream

Chef Beth demonstrated the bananas foster cupcake. Again, she actually used the oven this time. I was really curious to see how all the pieces would come together in one cupcake. There were so many parts to this cupcake, it seemed like so much work! I was happy to wait to see the payoff...let me tell you, I was not disappointed!

Bananas Foster
I was really excited about the bananas foster cocktail. I had tried a bananas foster margarita last month at a margarita competition and I really liked the flavor. I have never tried the actual dessert, but now that I've had some version of the flavor, I know I'd enjoy it. The cocktail and the cupcake were amazing. The cupcake could actually be a muffin for breakfast if I didn't put the frosting on it. I guess that's the fat girl in me trying to make myself feel better for wanting cupcakes for breakfast!

Gin n Tonic
I was actually very nervous about the gin and tonic cupcake. I never really enjoyed the gin n tonic cocktail, even though I've only had it once or twice in my life. When the cocktail came out, I was pleasantly surprised. While it still had the classic flavor, it had a nice hint of blackberry to it. The bartender incidentally used blackberry infused gin in the cocktail recipe. The cupcake too was a pleasant surprise. The gin and tonic flavor wasn't too overpowering, making the cupcake a nice treat.

From left to right: Jack n Coke, Bananas Foster, Gin n Tonic
My favorite cupcake of the night was the Jack and coke cupcake. I was really interested to taste the cupcake because of the addition of coke in the recipe. There was a slight hint of the coke but overall it tasted like a very moist, almost devil's food chocolate cupcake. The cocktail we were given was a classic rum and coke, which is always a pleasure to have. 

Showing off my decorating skills

Getting better with each class 
I have to say, this Cupcakes and Cocktails have been one of my favorite discoveries in Tampa. It's a fun thing to do once a month and it's always nice to find fun, new experimental recipes. I consider myself to be a mad scientist with my oven. I always like to take classic recipes and change something, whether its replacing a liquid with an alcohol or using something to replace eggs or butter. Either way, I really enjoy experimenting and it's nice to not have to clean up the mess afterwards!

I'm looking forward to September's Cupcakes and Cocktails class. I can't wait to see what Chef Beth has in store for us!

Info on Cloud 9 Confections:
Made to Order Bakery
Telephone: 813.833.8002
Web: Cloud 9 Confections
Visit Cloud 9 Confections on Facebook.
Follow Chef Beth on Instagram @bethlukens