I am so happy to have finally found a warm, supportive niche in the Atlanta food blogging community, namely the newly created Atlanta Food Bloggers Alliance. This group was formed after we all met at the Food Blog Forum in September, and a few proactive members Mandy Lea Turchin, Self Trained Chef, Becky Smith, What's 4 Dinner Tonite, and Kristina Ackerman, Knuckle Salad, decided that it was silly to just let the experience end after the weekend was over and the AFBA was formed. We have had several fun meetings to date, including a cheese tasting and Sunday's Cupcake Challenge.
Chocolate Pink Pastry Cafe were so generous to host us for the Challenge, not only providing us with 8 tasty mini-cupcakes to sample and judge, but also sending us home with goodie boxes full of more cupcakes. They have an adorable, light-filled private event space above the shop, that would be perfect for a baby shower or bridal shower and that was where the event was held. As I walked up the stairs, my mouth started watering just looking at all the cupcakes on display.
We were served eight different flavors, four at a time. The first set consisted of chocolate peanut butter, which won three of the prizes, Best Flavor, Best Presentation, and Best Overall, Strawberry Poptart, Dulce de Leche and Cookies N' Cream, which won for Best Texture. Of that group, my surprise favorite was the Strawberry Poptart, I never liked the original toaster pastry, but these are a surprisingly grown-up and delicious version, I especially love the gooey strawberry jam layer and the housemade sable cookie garnish on top.
Then came the next four, Chocolate Nutella, Pumpkin Maple and Bacon, winner for Most Unique, Sweet Potato Brown Butter and Chocolate Fudge. I loved this group, from the souffle cake texture and ganache filling of the Chocolate Fudge, to the perfection of the applewood smoked bacon paired with maple buttercream on the Pumpkin Maple and Bacon. However, nothing compared to my overall favorite, the Sweet Potato Brown Butter. I could happily eat brown butter in just about anything, scratch that, I can't think of any exceptions to that and this was definitely not an exception. I especially liked the diced sweet potato in the cake that lended flavor and texture, and oh, that heavenly, nutty brown butter icing.
I would strongly recommend using the free cupcake coupon that Chocolate Pink Pastry Cafe was so kind to offer to our readers to try the Sweet Potato Brown Butter cupcake, but I'm sure no matter which one you try, you will not be disappointed.