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"Men in Blazers World Cupcakes" (excerpt)

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(Contestants for this episode included Claire Gates of Sugar Hall Cupcakes [Norfolk, VA], Jade Landry of First Choice Cupcakes [Glendale, AZ], Gary Allen of Lion Heart Cupcakes [San Jose, CA], and Zelma Hood of Cupcakes for Days [Houston, TX].   Zelma was eliminated in the round prior to this one.)


JUSTIN WILMAN: Bakers, in Round 2, you were asked to bake three cupcakes that captured the spirit of our guest judges today, the Men in Blazers, as well as the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will be held this year in Brazil.  Let's see if you crafted some howlers. Claire, tell us what you made.

[A show plate of Gates' cupcakes appears on screen.]

CLAIRE GATES: My first cupcake is a yellow spice cake cupcake infused with Blue Moon Belgium White beer.  To compliment the cake, I made an orange ganache that I piped in the middle of the cupcake.  The frosting is an orange cream cheese frosting with orange zest on top.

[Candace Nelson, Florian Bellanger, and Michael "Davo" Davies and Roger "Rog" Bennett, the Men in Blazers, are seen eating Gates' cupcakes.  Davo and Rog are cringing as they eat Gates' cupcakes.]

GATES (VO):  My second cupcake is inspired by Fuleco the Armadillo, this year's World Cup mascot.  It's a banana bread cupcake with an açaí berry filling and a pineapple buttercream frosting.  The blue fondant decoration on top of the frosting is supposed to look like Fuleco's head.  And my final cupcake is a chocolate cupcake with vanilla pudding in the middle and a peppermint flavored cream cheese frosting on top.  And I made a little soccer ball pattern with frosting on top of the peppermint cream cheese frosting.

CANDACE NELSON: My mouth is doing a samba right now, Claire.  Your flavors in your Blue Moon cupcake are balanced.  I can really taste the beer and the orange.  I was expecting the Fuleco cupcake to have a very bitter acidic taste, but you managed to make sure the more acidic fruits didn't overpower the banana bread.  And if soccer balls tasted like your soccer ball cupcake, I bet everyone would be willing to pick them up at a sports store. 

[Camera cuts to Gates smiling.]

FLORIAN BELLANGER: You know how I feel about tasting cupcakes, right?  I have to taste every single flavor that you put into these cupcakes.  I taste everything that you've said you put in these cupcakes.  I don't have to ask you where the flavors are.  The cupcakes are fluffy; they're not dry.  Your decorations are very intricate, and they are very appropriate for the World Cup. 

[Camera cuts to Gates, who is still smiling.]

ROGER "ROG" BENNETT: They're crap.

[Camera cuts to Gates, who has a tense grin on her face.]

ROG: All I taste is sugar, sugar, and crap beer.   I wish we could do pie science for the World Cup, Davo.

MICHAEL "DAVO" DAVIES: I wish we could do pie science for the World Cup too, Rog, but it is the World Cup, not the World Pie.  Therefore, we have to do cupcake science.   And I have to agree with Rog.  These cupcakes do taste like cupcakes.  But what they lack is true cupcake science—the ability to predict the outcome of individual games during the course of the World Cup.  We can't predict the future with cupcakes that taste like bananas and chocolate.  And if you're going to pour beer into a cupcake batter, don't go with a crap beer.

ROG: There's only one beer that we recognize above all others, and that is a Guinness. 

DAVO: The only beer of football, whether it's club football or World Cup football, is Guinness.     

WILMAN: Thank you, judges.  Thank you, Claire.  Okay, Jade.  What do you have for us?

[A show plate of Landry's cupcakes appears on screen.]

LANDRY (VO): I made for you three cupcakes representing three teams playing in this year's World Cup.  The United States cupcake has a United States flag on top of red fondant.  The edges are rolled around in red, white and blue sprinkles. 

BELLANGER: What's in the cake?

LANDRY (VO): It's yellow cake.  That's it.  The Brazil cupcake has a Brazil flag on top of pale yellow fondant.  It's rolled around in blue and yellow sprinkles.  And the England cupcake has an English flag on top of white fondant.  It's rolled around in red and white sprinkles.

[Camera cuts to Rog and Davo nodding their heads as they eat their cupcakes.]

BELLANGER: These are some of the worst cupcakes I've had on this show.  I thought you had some promise in the first round when you were able to combine licorice and Brazil nuts into a cupcake.  But it looks as if you've reverted to the basics.  The cakes are moist, but there's no flavor in the frosting.  There's no flavor in the cake.  And you had to use mass-marketed sprinkles around the edges of the cupcake.  The only things I can commend you on are your flags.  They're well handcrafted.  I can't imagine the Men in Blazers liking these cupcakes.

[Camera cuts to Landry looking at the judges with no emotion.]

NELSON: Jade, I have to agree.  There's no imagination with these cupcakes at all.  It's yellow cake, fondant, sprinkles, and flags.  There's not a lot to be excited for here.

DAVO: [pointing to eaten United States cupcake] These cupcakes are good, Rog.

ROG: They are, Davo.

DAVO: You really captured the spirit of this year's World Cup.

ROG: The United States cupcake tastes of Nike jerseys that look like Bomb Pops.  They taste like the World Cup trophy.

DAVO: They taste like eventual victory.

ROG: And freedom.

DAVO: I'm getting hints of Raheem Sterling's promise in the England squad.

ROG: Really?  All I taste is eventual failure and memories of the 1966 World Cup, the last time that England won a World Cup.

DAVO: It was the only time they won the World Cup, Rog.  And the Brazil cupcake tastes like bananas.

ROG: Bananas with a touch of Neymar's—

DAVO: The Food Network is a family channel.  I don't think you're allowed to say that here, Rog.  But this, this is what we're looking for when we talk about World Cupcakes.

ROG: And cupcake science.

WILMAN: Thank you, judges.  Thank you, Jade.  Hi, Gary.  What are these?

ALLEN: These are also three cupcakes that represent three of the countries in the World Cup. 

[A show plate of Allen's cupcakes appears on screen.]

ALLEN (VO): They're all yellow food cake cupcakes placed in black and white checkered cupcake liners, because the liners represent a soccer ball.  The frosting is a plain vanilla buttercream.  The Italy cupcake has red and white sprinkles with an Italian flag attached to a toothpick on top.  The Uruguay cupcake has blue sprinkles and a Uruguay flag on top.  I even made sure the Sun of May was as detailed as the one on the Uruguay flag.  The France cupcake has red and blue sprinkles and a French flag on top.

NELSON: You and Jade's cupcakes share a lot in common.  There's no effort that's been put into making any of these cupcakes.  I would expect to see these cupcakes from a supermarket bakery or in a beginning cupcake baking book, but not from people who own their own cupcake businesses.  There's nothing else added with the yellow cake and there's no flavor in the buttercream.  All in all, this is a disappointing cupcake.   

BELLANGER: What else can I say?  Flavorless cake, flavorless buttercream, pedestrian decorations.  These cupcakes are the worst cupcakes I've had in the history of this competition.  The only good things about these cupcakes are the details you put into the Sun of May.

ROG: (to Bellanger) What are you talking about? [pointing to eaten France cupcake] This cupcake tastes like France.  It tastes like Audrey Tautou and Drakkar Noir.  [pointing to eaten Italy cupcake] The Italy cupcake tastes of a Super Tuscan and Italo Calvino.   

DAVO: And this might sound weird to you, Rog, but the Uruguay cupcake tastes like Branislav Ivanović.  I wasn't expecting a Slavic ingredient to be used in a Uruguay cupcake, but then again, Uruguay's top striker is Luis Suarez.

ROG: Luis Suarez' favorite meal is human flesh, so I'm not surprised that I'm tasting human flesh in this cupcake.  I was thinking it tasted more like the flesh of Otman Bakkal, Davo.  There's got to be a hint of some Dutch ingredient in these cupcakes as well.

DAVO: These cupcakes also taste like the World Cup.

ROG: I can't believe anyone could call these cupcakes "tasteless." 

[The bakers are seen walking out of the studio and into a backstage lounge.]

GATES: (in an on-camera interview) I feel really good about my chances to make it to the final round. Florian and Candace really liked my cupcakes. But I'm still bothered by what the Men in Blazers said about my cupcakes. I'm starting to think they don't have any tastebuds. And they really need to drink more beer. I mean, other than a Guinness.

[The bakers are seen walking back into the studio.]

WILMAN: Cupcake makers, your challenge was to make three cupcakes that captured the spirit of the 2014 World Cup and the Men in Blazers.  Only one of you met the demanding standards of Florian and Candace.  The other two produced bland, forgettable cupcakes that were best described by Florian and Candace as "mass-market" and what the Men in Blazers would consider "suboptimal."  With that said, I'm sorry, Claire, you're done in the Cupcake War. 

GATES: Thank you.

NELSON: Thank you.

[Gates walks away from the Cupcake Wars set.]

GATES: (VO) I'm stunned I was eliminated. I put all this time and effort into making my cupcakes, and all of a sudden, I'm eliminated before the final round.

GATES: (in an on-camera interview) I guess my cupcakes weren't "suboptimal" enough, whatever that means.

[As the camera retuns to the judges' table, Bellanger is seen putting a paper bag over his head.]