Kumquat cupcakes by Bea’s of Bloomsbury. photo by Chris Osburn via Londonist
Londonist has announced their big winners of their Cupcake Throwdown: Fair Cake, Bea's of Bloomsbury and Sweet Things.
Here's some of what they wrote:
Coming in second was the pride of Theobald’s Road: Bea’s of Bloomsbury. Bea’s masterful chocolate Grand Marnier cupcake with candied kumquats presented in “one flavour - three cupcakes approach” wowed the judges with a choice of über decadent Valrhona 66% caraibe buttermilk cake with Grand Marnier ganache and piped icing; the more considered gluten-free and lactose-free chocolate Grand Marnier cupcake with chocolate shavings; and a vegan version with gold dust...
Our totally informal and utterly unscientific throwdown did yield some sweet advice for our contestants and any potential cupcakers out there: Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. The main complaints from our judges were “too much icing” and “too much sugar”. Yes, that formidable mega-dollop of icing topping a cupcake might look pretty, but a true foodie can see right past it. Food colouring is pretty much a no-no as well, unless used in the pursuit of the most noble of extreme artistic endeavours.
What seemed to impress the judges most was real flavour independent of sugar and the overall “cake-ness” of the entries. An effort to go gluten free was welcomed. As for butteriness, consensus could not be achieved. There were those that really really (really!) liked a buttery flavour and others that viewed it as a cheap crutch.