I keep hearing people talk about Cupcake Wars? Have I missed something? What are the Cupcake Wars?
Thanks for your question.
Cupcake Wars is an American television series where four bakers compete to make cupcakes with the best taste and presentation. The first two rounds eliminate a baker and the third round pits the two finalists against each other. In this final round the bakers have to bake and decorate a 1000 cupcake display. The winner gets to showcase their cupcake presentation at a major event and win $10,000.
The Food Network reality tv show started in June 2010 and has just completed its third season. The four teams chosen each week consist of a chef and a sous-chef. Bakers from around the United States are invited to apply.
As well as creating fantastic tasting and spectacular looking cupcakes, Cupcake Wars also challenges the bakers to use unusual ingredients.
In the first round each episode, the contestants must create a cupcake based on taste alone with a theme associated including a twist ingredient(s) in 45 minutes. For example, a date-night themed cupcake must include various aphrodisiacs, such as oysters, basil, dark chocolate or champagne.
The second round is based on both taste and presentation. In 75 minutes, the contestants must make 3 different cupcakes, each showcasing a different taste with an outstanding presentation.
The third and final round is naturally also the hardest, with the remaining 2 teams making 1,000 cupcakes in only 2 hours (originally 4 hours in the first episode).
Each team is assisted with the help of a 5-person team consisting of one carpenter and four baking interns to create the showcase for the cupcakes and help make the cupcakes for their corresponding contestants.
There are 3 judges in the series with 2 of them being permanent judges:
Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world's first cupcake bakery; and
Florian Bellanger, executive French pastry chef
There is public speculation that Cupcake Wars is capitalizing on the popularity of cupcakes, whilst others believe that the TV show is propping up an ailing industry.
Regardless of the reason behind the show it is interesting and worth watching. Do an internet search on the show and download some episodes. They are really fun to watch.
Lots of the cupcakes are beyond the home baker but the cupcakes will still inspire you.