If I ever win Powerball or Mega Millions I like to think the first thing I’ll do is find the nicest standalone cupcake shop I can and negotiate with the owner to purchase it. After successful negotiations I will find the closest Komatsu dealer I can and rent a D575A-3SD Bulldozer (world’s largest) which I will then take and run right over the top of my newly acquired cupcake shop. “Hey Pav… passive aggressive much?” No, I guess you could just say I’m not really into cupcakes…WHY DO YOU ASK?!
But I see some lucky so-n-so down in Maryland bought the winning ticket to the 640 million dollar jackpot, which is why I’m writing this post. Instead of in my private jet heading to the Beverly Hills to be with “my people,”(I’m assuming they have the same affinity for Jameson and Ben and Jerry’s as me?!) and arguing with the pilot as to why I should be able to open a window so I could see what would happen to a cell phone dropped from forty thousand feet. Probably in all actuality the last thing I’d be thinking of, would be cupcakes…
I have never been much on cake ever since I was a little kid. I preferred instead to have a birthday ice cream cake or some kind of birthday pie and ice cream. When I got older my parents didn’t bother with the dessert aspect of birthdays and instead I was allowed to pick a restaurant of my choice…It’s probably a good thing we lived in East Bumf’k, NH instead of New York City or this tradition probably wouldn’t have lasted past the front door of Le Cirque!
The problem I had with cake was no matter how “moist” it supposedly is… it is always far too dry for my taste. Anything I have to drink that much milk with to wash it down, may as well be in a box and have a rabbit named Trix on it. I can eat cake just fine provided it has a ton of frosting or some ice cream served with it, or even some of the aforementioned milk. My strategy is always the same in eating cake and that is to eat all the cake first and as quickly as I can, saving the frosting for the last few bites. With me everything gets eaten in order, always saving the best things for last… Helloooooo OCD!
Enter the cupcakes…I was in second grade and besides day dreaming about how pretty Miss Silk was (Seriously, that is her name) the other thing I remember was a Valentines party. My mother made these cupcakes that were inside ice cream cones and after cooling and frosting looked like…well, ice cream cones. I already mentioned I was the chubby kid (I preferred the term “husky”) in grade school until about ninth grade. Being short on Valentines cards from the girls in my class and long on party food, I must have eaten about five of those cupcake cones. My classmates gobbled the rest up quickly and some had to go without…you see what happens when I don’t get a card and candy?!
The best part about those cupcakes was that those little cones could only hold so much batter, but to make it look like a true ice cream cone you had to add a little extra frosting which resulted in a perfect cake : frosting ratio.
I made them one time for a friend of mine whose son was in second grade and they were a huge hit. Not because I’m a baker by any stretch of the imagination (damned near failed patisserie class) but because I never got the memo that said it was a healthy snack party. WTF is a healthy snack party teacher’s? Is that what you’re having at you’re house?…I thought not… How about let kids be kids and eat crappy stuff once in a while. You can impose your awful tofu dip with carrot sticks on someone that truly deserves it…like your boss.
Anyway that was the only cake of sorts I would eat, but transportation of these things was a logistical nightmare as they were top heavy and small base and because of my ice cream and pie fetish the cone cakes were thankfully relegated to the second grade pile of good memories. Well, there was that and the story Miss Silk told of being in a T-shirt and jeans…I forget what else she had to say with regards to her outfit. I remembered thinking I would love to have seen that outfit…even if I would not have had a clue why.
Good bye Miss Silk and fast forward maybe twenty five years and I’m at a wedding for a friend of mine in Alabama. The typical southern wedding (or at least the four or five I went to) are rather short affairs. There is the ceremony with a brief reception afterward with drinks, finger foods, and perhaps a modest cake. Well at this particular wedding there was a tiered tray with cupcakes covered in fondant and all I could think was…HOLY S#!T, someone must have dropped the cake and this was all they could come up with at the last minute. Come to find out this was no accident but rather, they planned it this way.
I was thinking, well maybe they were short on cash so it seemed like a viable option, albeit silly. Why not go with Ding Dongs or HO-Ho’s?! AH HAHAHAHA…yeah…no, they didn’t find it funny either. So when they told me it was damned near as much as a medium sized cake I was floored. I remembered thinking I made a mistake in giving an envelope with cash in it as they were obviously insane. I had visions of them spending their wedding money on Hello Kitty cards and bubble gum.
Since then cupcakes have been on the rise and now they are everywhere. I see them at the mall, craft fairs, church suppers (yup, been inside a couple churches and only got struck by lightning once!), Christmas fairs, weddings, funerals, concerts, cocktail parties, blogs, ten different TV shows devoted to them, and friend’s parties. The one place I don’t see them are at my parties… as my friends have the good sense to know any cupcake brought to my house, will end up as Purina Quiet Chow for my neighbor’s loud assed St. Bernard.
“Sheesh Pav, why do you have all this anger towards cupcakes?” “They’re just cupcakes for the love of Peking duck!” Thank you for making my point for me…They’re just cupcakes. TV shows like Cupcake Wars or Extreme Cupcakes, I mean seriously, calling a show that is the same as saying Extreme Bunny Hopping or Fists of Fury Baby Duckling Kickboxing! Also, the prices on these things are downright shameful. Paying anything more than two dollars for one of these little nightmares should qualify people for a free check-up from the neck-up.
I’m not saying people don’t deserve to make a little money at making these things. Heck, I say if some dolt is willing to pay anything over three washington’s for these things, you ought to have a three card monte table sitting next to the cash register. I mean they’re a mini cake with frosting and maybe a filling or something delicious on top, like say…Bacon. Don’t even get me started with fondant people the only thing fondant belongs in are cracks in your driveway just before it gets sealed, and it tastes about like you’d expect driveway crack sealer to taste.
I understand cupcakes aren’t the only thing that’s everywhere, and trending crazy high right now. But pork belly, bacon and kale don’t have their own shows…although I would watch at least one or two episodes of a bacon and pork belly show. I also understand I am probably the only person willing to rent a bulldozer to put an end to some of this madness, but somebody has to do it.
So to you oh so annoying cupcake I have the following to say to you…This town isn’t big enough for both of us. So you need to pack up your fondant, your sprinkles, beads, bobbles, ribbons, fancy wrapping papers, fillings, toppings, doily’s and all those nasty little crumbs you leave behind and get out of here by sundown. There’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is… hell I don’t know, what ever is hip and happening in the pastry world this week……. and don’t you dare say cake pops!
P.S.~ And take your friend Lava Cake with you!