Food Network's series Cupcake Wars pits four sets of cupcake makers against each other in a series of off-the-dome creative baking challenges.
Bakers are eliminated in a series of rounds. A final challenge involves high-volume baking, and, usually, the creation of a massive, creative display for the final product. The winner of this final round gets to serve his or her wares at a high-profile event, and, better yet, scores $10,000.
Let's be real: The show is shameless sugar porn offered at the best level of ridiculousness. Too bad, then, that many of the contestants, who are often self-taught, come off as earnest Midwestern types with a low stress threshold.
Luckily, though, next week's new episode will get a major injection of Hialeah hip-hop swagger, courtesy of the city's own 2 Girls and a Cupcake (real names: Evelyn Dieppa, 27, and Lorena Castro, 26). While the pair briefly owned a retail location in downtown Miami in late 2009, they've since relocated their operations back to their hometown of the City of Progress, where they concentrate on catering and wholesale orders.
The two girls distinguished themselves from a crowded field of competitors by offering cupcakes in distinct Miami flavors -- beyond guava and cream cheese. 2 Girls's nearly endless list of flavors include tributes to local characters such as Pitbull ("Mr. 305" -- vanilla with mango filling and vanilla buttercream), Rick Ross ("big boss" -- chocolate velvet topped with cream cheese frosting), and Mayday! ("stuck on a cupcake" -- vanilla-peanut butter chip filled with grape jelly and topped with peanut butter buttercream). For adults only, there's a vast array of cocktail-inspired, booze-spiked cupcakes.
And so the Food Network approached the pair. "They called us in March, but we were transitioning from the old store, and we didn't have a new location yet, so we couldn't do it then," recalls Dieppa. But when the network called again in July, Dieppa and Castro decided to submit a casting video.
As a joke, Dieppa asked former Barbara Goleman High School classmate Derick G., now pretty much Lil Wayne's official behind-the-scenes photographer, to help with the video. He agreed, and a cheerful, Spanglish-peppered, three-and-a-half minute entry -- "made, in, I swear to you, like two days," says Dieppa -- scored 2 Girls a slot on the show. (Check out the cameo by hip-hop producers Cool and Dre around 1:57.)
The Cupcake Wars episode filmed last September in L.A. The girls brought a trusty home-model Sunbeam mixer in their suitcase. That was pretty much the only thing they did in preparation.
"We were the only ones there who were free-spirited," Dieppa says, "while everyone else was worrying!"
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Beyond that, though, she's not allowed to dish any details until the show airs. "It was a lot of fun, I'll tell you that," she says, "and it's real, it's not faked. You do have a time to bake in, and you do have to complete your cupcakes in that time. It's definitely a real show."
Check out 2 Girls's Derick G.-directed video below, and watch the episode when it airs this Tuesday at 9 p.m. We'll post more about 2 Girls and a Cupcake's new projects later this week. Dale!