Iron Cupcake Milwaukee

About a year and half ago I got involved in something really cool.  I stumbled across  Sandy Ploy’s blog.  The Milwaukee Cupcake Queen as she’s affectionately known, for all cupcake goodness.  I competed in my first Iron Cupcake in August of 2009, and the challenge was Summer Fruit.  I was excited and wanted to take an elegant approach to the challenge.  I knew instantly what I wanted to do my white chocolate strawberry cheesecake with brandy apricot reduction and white chocolate cupcake.  Then it hit me when I was brushing my teeth.  I have this weird thing, where my design ideas seem to come to me when I’m getting ready.  I have no idea why, but the bathroom seems like this mystical place where I actually have real thoughts, either that or there’s something special about the toothpaste I use.  Anyway, Strawberry Shortcake popped into my head.  I knew I had to do it.  As a little girl I loved Strawberry Shortcake, and recreating her as sugar would be something so sweet.  I turned from the elegant approach and went  into cute and fun.  I felt that perhaps the crowd would intentify with it, and it was a great idea.  Then, I was contacted by a producer of a local television show called Wisconsin Foodie.  They were doing a segment on Iron Cupcake and were looking for volunteers to have a film crew come in and film bakers getting ready for the challenge.  I thought, “why not!?”  So I e-mailed the producer back and promised to duct tape my husband and kids in the closet if they chose me.  I guess crazy kids make for great TV, or maybe it was my sparkling personality, but either way, Wisconsin Foodie came into my home and the corners of my kitchen.  You can see the video to the Wisconsin Foodie Iron Cupcake segment on my press page.  So not only did I win for presentation, but I won the partner pick, taking home a double win on my first time out.  It was a great time, and I decided that I wanted to compete again.  You see Iron Cupcake isn’t all about the winning and competition, it’s a charity event.  Part of the proceeds go to a non-profit organization.  Each month is a different theme, and a different sponsor.  Not only was I able to have fun, I got to be a part of something much greater than myself, and it felt good.  Since then, I can’t believe how much it’s grown.  I’ve had the pleasure of being able to showcase some of my best work there, and have meet some wonderful friends, and people that are doing such positive things for the community.  I can’t even being to express how much it’s change my  life, and I can’t thank Sandy enough for starting something so incredible, and feel  fortunate to be a part of it.

SO…all that being said, let’s talk about the Pro/Am Iron Cupcake coming up on Feb. 13th.  In case you haven’t heard by now, there are going to be some pretty rocking people there.  Michelle and Vinny Garcia from Bleeding Heart Bakery in Chicago are going to be there.  Yep, that’s right, Food Network Challenge winners!!  Let me tell you how cool Michelle is.  Last year for Sandy’s birthday, some of the regular Iron Cupcake bakers wanted to surprise her with a little celebration and give back to her for all the fabulous things she’s done for us.  I admit, I stalked Sandy’s blog…A LOT.  More than a healthy person should.  I went back and tried to find all the famous people and chefs that she’s possibly met and see if my some small miracle they would be willing to come help us celebrate Sandy.  I found Michelle, and e-mailed her.  Not only did she say she’d come, she offered to surprise Sandy with a cake!!  How flipping cool is that right?  After Feburuary’s  Iron Cupcake Bacon Challenge last year, we bombarded Sandy with birthday celebration and Bleeding Heart made a jaw dropping incredible cake.

The thing I like most about Michelle and her equally talented husband, Vinny, is that they are so down to earth.  They are the kind of people you can just talk to and be yourself.  I love that they take every opportunity to be themselves too.  They stay true to who they are, no matter what people say or think.  There aren’t enough people willing to take risks like that any more.  Not only being wicked talented, business proprietors, but a family.  They just welcomed a brand new baby, and I couldn’t be happier for them.  Can’t wait to see them again in a few weeks.

This past summer I decided to join forces if you will with another ICM baker.  Her name is Melissa Martin.  She’s has this profound way of combining flavors to make your taste buds sing.   I approached her after my right hand was crush in a fondant sheeter.   I still wanted to compete in Iron Cupcake, I just knew I wouldn’t be able to go at it alone with my injuries and disability.  Between the two of us, we had a large number of wins.  Melissa is known for her rocking out the box flavors, and I for my elaborate displays.   We got together, and she helped me through the most difficult time of my life.  I was going through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, just had 3 pins yanked from my fingers, and was a mess at best!  Mel had calming effect on me.  She got me and we thought on the same wave length, which is frighteningly scary.  Oh yes, and she puts up with my crazy kids and having to listen to Wonder Pets on the TV every time she’s here.  (As a disclaimer, I do no try to torture her with such obnoxiousness, it just happens that the TV senses when she’s coming….I swear!!)  Anyway, Mel and I developed a great partnership and friendship.  She’s my partner in crime and cupcakes.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Onto Duff.  Um, wow.  I’m sure it’s all been said before, and he’s heard it all before.  How and what could I possibly say other than, “Thank you!”  If it hadn’t been for Ace of Cakes I wouldn’t have had that spark ignited inside me.  I wouldn’t have taken the initiative to put myself out there and take a risk.  And what can we possibly come up with in order to impress him other than getting  Harrison Ford dressed as Hans Solo himself to feed him our cupcakes personally?!   Well we’re stirring up some ideas.  I’m putting together a display that should be my most over the top yet, even though Pro is not judged on display like the regular ICM is.  I’ve toyed around with elegant or whimsical, because you never know what mood the crowd will be in and it could go either way.  The idea is to not only have the most kick ass cupcakes anyone has ever crammed into their mouth, but to entice the crowd.  Doesn’t matter how great they taste, if they look funky…people won’t want to try them.  Again part of the challenge is getting people to open their minds about flavors.  This isn’t Betty Crocker, or even Martha Stewart.  We’re trying to push the envelope without sending people running for the hills, and yet it’s kind of a fine line.  If you have the chance to check out the Pro/Am Clash of the Cupcake challenge on Feb. 13th, we would love to see you.  Come by and say, “Hi!”  not just for the cupcake mother load and sugar comma, but to also meet some incredible people that I idolize in the industry.  Duff Goldman, Michelle and Vinny Garcia, and Sandy Ploy.  A fun time will be had by all….I mean it’s cupcakes!

2 Responses to “Iron Cupcake Milwaukee”
  1. Jesus Spry says:

    Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include approximately all important infos. I’d like to see more posts like this .

Leave A Comment