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Killer cupcake wins baker a meeting with Cake Boss.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Penny Webster baked her first wedding cake as a senior at Floyd County High School, when her only training in cakemaking had come from a course in home economics.
Fortunately, the 53-year-old native of Copper Hill has learned much more over the years.
“I’ve probably baked 500 wedding cakes since then,” she said.
All that hard work and experience have earned Webster an exciting early Christmas gift: two tickets to see Buddy Valastro, aka the “Cake Boss,” at the Salem Civic Center this Sunday, as well as a meet-and-greet with the reality television star after the show.
Webster won the prize in our autumn cupcake contest because her design was deemed the best of the finalists by Valastro himself. The cupcake, which looks like a tiny wooden barrel stuffed with autumn leaves, was the miniature version of a wedding cake she was making in October, when she heard about the contest.
“The amount of detail shown in this cupcake is second to none,” Valastro said of Webster’s entry. “Job well done!”
The leaves and wooden boards on Webster’s cupcake were sculpted from gum paste, while the black bands around the “barrel” were made with homemade fondant. Webster said she likes to make her own fondant from marshmallows and confectioners’ sugar because the packaged version doesn’t taste as good.
One of Webster’s best friends, Kathy Link, was the mother of the groom in that October wedding. Because the two women both enjoy cakemaking and have helped each other with baking projects over the years, Webster is taking Link with her to the Cake Boss show, where they will meet Buddy together.
“I’m kind of excited about that,” said Webster, who is a fan of TLC’s “Cake Boss,” though she still isn’t sure what she will say to Valastro. “I’m going to play it by ear because it’s kind of nerve- racking.”
Webster, a soft-spoken 4H instructor who grew up on a dairy farm, said she was surprised by the win because she figured so many people would enter that she wouldn’t have a chance. Her husband of 30 years, Ed Webster, had a different reaction when she told him.
“He just looked at me and grinned and said, ‘Well I knew you could.’ ”
But Penny Webster was right about the stiff competition.
To enter, contestants had to decorate a cupcake in an autumn theme and send us a picture. We received more than three dozen entries from bakers as young as 7 years old. They ranged from simple yet lovely leaf designs to a gorgeous cornucopia display made from cupcakes, crispy rice treats and fondant.
While the elaborate sweet scenes were beautiful and obviously difficult to make , we felt it was important to stick to the original idea of creating a single cupcake design.
However, we were so pleased by the number of beautiful entries we received that we had to share photos of several here. I want to thank everybody who entered. I hope you had as much fun decorating your cupcakes as we did seeing them!
On the blog
Check out a recipe for delicious Ancho Chili Chocolate Crackled Cookies on the blog at blogs.roanoke.com/fridgemagnet.
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