Pinch me, I must be dreaming!

Iron Cupcake Milwaukee Pro/Am Clash of the Cupcakes was the most amazing event to date.  Seriously, the best weekend of my life!  I got to meet Duff Goldman at a private reception the night before.  I refrained from crawling in his lap and asking him if I could stow away in his suitcase.  He’s just the nicest, funniest, down to earth guy.  The kind of guy that you could totally have to your house for a back yard cook out…yeah, he’s that cool!  If that wasn’t enough, Michelle and Vinny Garcia of Bleeding Heart Bakery in Chicago were there just to add to the awesome.  They just had a little bitty baby, and have two other children.  I love the energy and magic that the kids have.  It amazes me so much that the Garcia’s are highly successful in the industry, and balance their family.  They make it seem effortless, which I know first hand it’s the furthest thing from.  I’ve had the privilege of meeting them before, but the awesome in one room was overwhelming.  Listening to Duff, Michelle, and Vinny talk about the good, the bad, and the funny in the cake world and being able to step for step identify with them was incredible. 

Onto the big event.  We had 2,100 people in attendance.   A complete sell out!!  The entire weekend went seamless.  I wasn’t stressed or nervous, and even given my severe lack of sleep, I felt perfect.  My partner Melissa Martin and I came up with an Alice in Wonderland idea to our cupcakes and display.  The theme of the event was perfect pairs.  We ended up doing a red velvet cupcake with a black vanilla caramel tea hazelnut mascarpone filling.  Topped with vanilla buttercream and a chocolate, sea salt tea cookie for garnish.  Pairing chocolate and caramel together.  Our other flavor was a white velvet rose tea infused cupcake with homemade strawberry, orange, coriander preserve filling, finished with a strawberry, mandarin, cardamom buttercream.  Pairing strawberries and coriander.  Both cupcakes were made using teas, and it was only fitting to use the Mad Hatter tea party scene from the Disney movie as our display.  We were incredibly fortunate to have some very generous friends that helped our display come to fruition.  A New Leaf floral donated flowers and greenery to help this magical woodland party come to life.  Donna Erickson, owner of From Scratch Catering, donated her personal collection of tea cups, saucers, and tea pots.  I purchased a few extras for the table like clocks, and plant stands to hold cupcakes and plates.  As part of my madness, the center had a gumpaste rendition of Alice and all her minions at the tea party.  The Cheshire Cat’s head spun, the Caterpillar had a smoking hookah, and there spinning dials on a clock on the table.  The display part was a ton of fun to make….mostly because I got to curl up on the couch and watch a Disney classic with my daughter for inspiration.   

So how did we do?  We won best Pro cupcake voted by the crowd, AND Duff’s choice for best cupcake all around!  Getting that affirmation from someone I respect so much in the business is the highest compliment of all.  It was the most amazing feeling in the world coming from someone that I look up to so much.  Who knows, maybe I’ll find myself in LA in a few years ;)  More than anything, I could never had done any of this without my partner Melissa.  Her talent in baking never stops impressing me, and makes my taste buds sing.  She’s a wonderful friend, support system, and I’m so grateful she’s in my life.  Robert Klemm, one of the owners of Industri cafe, was also gracious enough to allow Melissa and me to represent their restaurant, as we are the pastry chefs there.  I don’t think that anyone is as great as thoses that love them, and I can honestly say that I am one truly loved and blessed individual. 

However, just incase Milwaukee didn’t get all their filling of Duff…

He promised that if we had 2,000 people come to the event, he would come back next January and do the polor bear plunge.  Guess well being seeing A LOT of Duff in the future!

One Response to “Pinch me, I must be dreaming!”
  1. Amandalynn says:

    You and Melissa did an AMAZING, AMAZING job. I’m so glad I went, it was totally worth it to see your face when Duff called you guys, and it was well deserved. That red velvet cupcake is the BEST thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, for real – and that includes your other cakes.

Leave A Comment