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Cupcake Wars judge Candace Nelson is the founder and pastry chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the world’s first cupcake bakery. She joins us on the FN Dish each week to recap all the sweet details of the competition from her seat at the judges’ table. Here’s what she had to say about last night’s episode, Hard Rock.
There’s nothing more rewarding to me than cupcakes to support a great cause. This week, Hard Rock’s Pinktober event for breast cancer research inspired plates of rosy-hued cupcakes by our equally colorful bakers. In one kitchen, we had burly Bruce in camo, prepared for battle. In another, the demurely aproned Dorothy. It was a reminder that, just like the cupcakes we see on the show, cupcake bakers these days come in all varieties.
Bruce’s cupcakes packed a punch…his Pink Velvet from round one was gutsy with the beet mousse and salmon roe, and the flavors really sang. But his muscle proved his undoing in round two. He showed no restraint with his edible glitter and really doused the plate, making it unappetizing. Dorothy’s cupcakes were diminutive but they each revealed a surprise with their miniature cookie interiors, a cupcake style I have never seen before. The cookie added another textural element but sometimes fell to the bottom of the cupcake and got lost.
Needless to say, with two such different styles, Florian and I were on the edge of our seats awaiting their 1000 cupcake display. With a theme like Hard Rock, maybe Bruce’s irreverent style would have the edge. But our eyes popped when we saw Dorothy’s pink Cadillac roll into the kitchen. Guest judge Romy revealed to us that the pink Cadillac is a major theme at Hard Rock restaurants and particularly at the Universal City Walk – which Dorothy explains was her inspiration. Dorothy was right on the mark and zoomed away with the night’s win. But why do I have a feeling that Bruce will be back…?