The Jew And The Carrot

'Cupcake Wars' Goes Kosher This Weekend

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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If you are a fan of the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” and are into kosher baking, then there is an event for you. SweetUp, is holding a kosher cupcake bake-off at on February 3 in on Long Island at noted kosher baking supply center Breezy’s as a fundraiser for the Achiezer Five Towns Hurricane Relief Fund.

The contestants, Staten Island’s Cake a Bite, The Bronx’s Lil’ Miss Cakes, Brooklyn’s Cake My Breath Away, and Lakewood, NJ’s Cup of Cake will fire up their ovens this weekend and work to bake the cupcake that will wow kosher food celebrity and head judge Jamie Geller. So what does Geller look for in a cupcake?

“A great cupcake is soft, moist and spongy. It should spring back when touched lightly in the center. The icing and decorations shouldn’t be overdone — cupcakes like food are all about balance, in this case it’s about ‘cream’ to cake [ratio],” Geller wrote to the Forward in an email. “I’ll be looking for a cupcake that’s not sickeningly sweet that features interesting flavor combinations and that makes me smile.”

Creating just the right cupcake to please the judges’ palates will be a real challenge since, much like “Cupcake Wars” contestants won’t know the flavors they are working with until a few days before the event. “We don’t want them to get any ideas ahead of time,” said SweetUp’s Esti Berkowitz.

The contestants will bake the cupcakes in their own kitchens and bring them to the bake-off for Purim-themed decorating. “We don’t want to say much at this stage,” Berkowitz insisted. “But I can assure you that these will not be your usual cupcake baking ingredients and supplies.”

An additional challenge will be the fact that the cupcakes must be dairy-free. “Everyone automatically thinks, ‘butter cream,’” with cupcakes, but our bakers are going to show you can make delicious ones without milk products,” Berkowitz said.

“It’s going to come down to taste, consistency, balance of ingredients and design,” said Berkowitz.

The winning recipe will be featured on the Joy of Kosher website.

For more information or to buy a ticket to the bake-off, click here. The event will be limited to 100 guests.


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