Now don’t go getting excited. Although I do enjoy winery tours, I had planned a trip suitable for a Frosting Fanatic.
I selected two bakeries to visit.
My first stop was a September 2013 winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, Incr-Edible Cupcakes.
Upon entering their Old Town Temecula shop, two cupcakes quickly caught my eye.
Before finalizing my order, I asked if any of the day’s flavors were featured on Cupcake Wars. The baker pointed to the Chocolate Dipped Banana with Banana Buttercream.
Tempting indeed. Yet not enough to sway me from my initial course.
I completed my purchase, and waited patiently until I was home to begin my critique.
I started with their Creme Brulee. It’s a vanilla bean cupcake with creme brulee filling and torched sugar on top, vanilla whipped cream frosting, and raspberry sauce.
Now I firmly believe whipped cream has no place on cupcakes.
Yet, I set aside my belief for this cupcake. I called it the creme brulee exception.
I was intrigued and wanted to see if it could be captured in a cupcake.
My first bite was mainly cake. It was light in texture and moist. I saw a few flecks of vanilla bean, but the flavor just average. The next bites contained whipped cream and raspberry sauce. I did enjoy the sauce, but the cream wasn’t as rich as I expected.
It took a while to reach the creme brulee in the middle. I’ve grown accustomed to dollops bakers call fillings. Still, this amount was disproportionately small. Between the cake and the whipped cream, it got lost.
After the Creme Brulee Cupcake, I wasn’t sure what to think of the Cupcake Wars winner?
Had Incr-Edible Cupcakes used their best work on the show?
I wondered, as I moved on to their Chocolate Blueberry. It’s a chocolate cupcake with blueberry preserves and blueberry buttercream.
I had never come across this combination before, so this was a must-try.
Like the vanilla, the chocolate cake was light in texture and moist. Like the vanilla, its flavor was just average.
The blueberry filling was sufficient in this cupcake. However, I didn’t like the taste of the preserves. It was similar to the jelly inside a donut. Perhaps something fresher or less sugary would’ve been better.
Now let’s talk about the frosting. It was unlike any buttercream I’ve had before. The thickness was there, but not the sweetness. Barely any blueberry flavor was present and there was a slight aftertaste.
My palate was perplexed. This did not seem like award-winning baking. I checked Yelp to see if I was alone. The reviews were mixed. Others had noticed too.
I give Incr-Edible Cupcakes 3 out of 5 stars. Perhaps my rating would’ve been different had I tried their flavor featured on Cupcake Wars. Nonetheless, shouldn’t the technique go beyond the show’s flavors?
And as consumers, are we wrong to expect better because of the Cupcake Wars clout?
Please share your thoughts, and join me next time for my second recon in Temecula.