On Thursday, July 19, the Page One staff replaced their regular meeting with one of much more epic proportions: Cupcake wars.
The staff gathered in the kitchen in the basement of the tribune with their pre-baked cupcakes at 5:30 for decorating. Contestants held their breath as the three judges, Page One alumni Jeffery Janis, current Page One staffer and expert cupcake maker Ali Gray, and Tribune food and entertainment critic Andy Gray slipped away to chose a winner.
The competition ended in a tie between a scrumptious chocolate chip cupcake with homemade cream cheese frosting prepared by the team of two-year staff member Angie Phifer and three-year member Allie Vugrincic and a delicious German Chocolate cupcake prepared by newcomer Chandler Shoaf.
Angie Phifer decorates her cupcakes with chocolate chips.
The chocolate chip cupcake won for best presentation, while the German Chocolate cupcake won for being more cupcake like. Both winners were thrilled with the results. Unfortunately, they were also the only two competitors.
Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
3 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 tablespoon salt
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons milk (with above)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
5 large egg whites (room temp.)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with
paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl and set
2. Cream softened butter and sugar with a mixer until light and
fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Mix milk and vanilla in a bowl.
Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternate
ing with milk mixture and ending with dry ingredients,
Scrape sides of bowl.
3. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks, and fold into batter. Fold in
chocolate chips. Divide among muffin cups, filling each 2/3
4. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out
clean-about 22 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Frost
and serve immediately.