People say it to me all the time: Guests will remember two things about any wedding -- the entertainment and the food. So, it should come as no surprise that a reporter bride would take notes (and lots of them) during cupcake tastings.
Hey, I never said my shorthand was pretty.
What are pretty are the cupcakes Jenn from SweetPea Sinsations brought not once, but twice, to the city for a pair of tastings involving us, my sister and my mom.
Bear in mind, Steven and I will marry on the cusp of fall, so we were purposeful about choosing fall-esque flavors. Eventually, after two sugar-iffic mornings, we settled on six seriously tasty varieties. The plan is to serve 140 bite-size cupcakes so that guests may try more than one flavor after dinner.
Feast your eyes upon the s'more variety:
That's chocolate cupcake filled with ganache topped with a marshmallow buttercream, mini marshmallows charred with a blowtorch, graham cracker crumbs and a Hershey chocolate bar. Bonfires remind me of fall because high school football in my Ohio hometown always involved a bonfire.Up next is probably my all-time favorite (if picking a favorite is even possible): cranberry orange, which is cranberry- and orange-infused vanilla cupcake, orange buttercream and a sugared cranberry garnish. The cranberry orange flavor was so crisp tasting, so fresh, and I can tell from the cupcake ballots my family and future groom filled out that it was an instant favorite. Yes, I made cupcake ballots. Similar to the voting signs I created for my dress shopping, I figured these would help my budding cupcake connoisseurs organize their thoughts, which in turn helps me to organize mine.
This is Jenn. She is as sweet as she looks. She has bent over backward to ensure she delivered to us enough samples so that we could discern the flavors we really prefer.
But it isn't her sweet nature alone that has her business booming. Jenn is culinary school-trained and worked for some big-name Cleveland restaurants before launching her own company about a year ago. She talks cheerfully about the flavor dictionary she uses, and it comes across loud and clear that those who hire her will taste quality. The apple compote in the caramel apple cupcakes she'll bake for us involves fresh apples of varying varieties, she explained. The carrot cake cupcake is melt-in-your-mouth good and is created with fresh pineapple, golden raisins, carrots (does that need to be delineated?) and walnuts. Then, she tops it all off with cream cheese buttercream and a walnut garnish. Bunnies rejoice.
First up: the caramel apple (apple-spiced cupcake, apple compote filling, caramel buttercream and an apple chip and caramel garnish):
And the carrot cake:
Rounding out our six flavors are chocolate pumpkin (which was super moist and filled with some incredible pumpkin cream cheese), pictured immediately below, and turtle (a chocolate cupcake with a caramel center, caramel buttercream frosting, chocolate and caramel drizzle and pecans on top).
The turtle cupcakes are to the bottom left of the container.
Those turtle cupcakes inspired my artistically inclined husband-to-be to doodle turtles of another variety:
Doodles and notes aside, the taste and professionalism of Jenn's work is bar none. Lucky us, she and I have arranged a barter. She'll cook up and deliver the bite-size beauties, and I'll create for her a Story of Your Life about her business and its early successes. Want to taste why she's so busy yourself? Order here, or visit her Facebook page, where the number of compliments from satisfied customers is as plentiful as photos of her attractive treats.Beyond her willingness to bake up for us many more flavors than the six we actually chose, Jenn also was prepared to take charge of finding us a rustic cupcake tower. Luckily (again!) for us, Meredith, one of the wedding planners on whom I'll be leaning in these final months, has three towers she's willing to lend to us to keep our decor consistent. Fitting, right?