Interview with The Hello Cupcakers Part 1April 23, 2010 at 9:16 AM | Posted in interview | 1 Comment
Tags: Alan Richardson, Hello Cupcake, Karen Tack, What's New Cupcake
You guys asked. And they answered.
Take it away Alan Richardson and Karen Tack. (Psst… Alan’s on the left and Karen’s on the right. Just FYI. *wink*)
What is the worst cupcake you ever made?
Sometimes our first attempt at a design will produce a grumpy baby or snarling kitten and we have to go back to the drawing board, rethink our candy, and try it again. But we always stay at it until we are satisfied with the result. We are relentless cupcakers and don’t quit till the we find the awww factor. Besides we never met a cupcake we didn’t like.
How did you get started?
We have been a food photography team for almost twenty years specializing in desserts. We just love working on sweets because it makes people so happy.
What is the first cupcake everyone loved?
That would have to be the terriers from our first book cover Hello, Cupcake! When we made them we stopped, looked at each other and said wow. And so did everyone who saw them. We made them look like our terriers Lucky, Bunny, and Scout and as a result they will always be our favorite cupcakes.
What inspires you? Candy or design?
Sometimes candy is the inspiration like when we see a Ferrer Roche chocolate and immediately think meatballs, or yellow colors of Jelly Bellies and see a corn on the
cob; but other times we have to think outside the box and go looking for a candy that we can alter to work on our design.
Do you have a tester? But you are pros, can other people do these?
Yes we have an on-staff tester named Alan. If Alan can do it anyone can. While Karen is a food stylist we work very hard to creat designs that anyone can do. Just look at our blog or Flickr page or fan page on Facebook and you’ll see thousands of photos of cupcakes made from our books by our readers. We are so proud when we see how beautiful all of the cupcakes look and love hearing how easy it is for folks to make them.
Were you always interested in cupcakes?
We have always been interested in sweets. Cupcakes became our favorite canvas for decorating about eight years ago. We still love decorating cakes and cookies too, we just happen to love cupcakes the most.
What sets What’s New, Cupcake? apart from Hello, Cupcake!?
WNC has more EZ Cupcake ideas using just a few candies and simple technique. There are also more step photos showing exactly how to create the designs. WNC has some new techniques too, like custom cookies for your cupcakes and melting crushed candies to make transparent colors fir the designs.
How long does it take to make the cupcakes?
Each design is different and each cupcaker has different skill levels, but we think a simple design can be done in half an hour while a more adventurous one could take two or three hours. In that case, we encourage you to make elements ahead where you can so that you can break up the project and just frost and assemble the day you want to finish the cupcakes.
Who is your taste tester?
It used to be Karen’s Wheaton terrier Bunny. But she got over her sweet tooth and now we taste as we develop. Our friends, family, and neighbors also help out with this dreadful chore. Sugar loves sugar so most candies taste pretty great together. If we use a candy that you dislike (or have an allergy to) just substitute something similar in look that you prefer for your design.
Do you have some tips for the novice baker?
We have lots of tip, our books are full of them. But our best advice would be to start simple, maybe try the Koi or the Ants or Mums for starters. Then practice makes perfect, just keep on cupcaking.
What is the most difficult cupcake in the book(s)?
Nothing us really that difficult. If it looks hard look closer, the individual steps are all very easy. And we walk you through it step by step on the instructions. In the end you’ll be amazed at how easy they are and how beautiful your versions will look.
What kind of cupcake would you be?
Karen would be a very nutty carrot cake cupcake. Alan would be any flavor, just decorated to look like Chocolate Moose!
What is/was your biggest catastrophe?
We were working very hard to come up with a cat cupcake that we thought looked as adorable as the ones we had in mind. It had taken us quite a while to come up with a design for them that made us happy. We finally had three really cute kitties on the set and were looking for a couple of final elements to complete the image. We turned our backs for just a moment when Bunny, Karen’s dog, grabbed the cats and ate them in one quick swallow. It was a CATastrophe! But we just laughed and started over.
Did they answer your question? No? Well… Come back tomorrow and see Part 2!
To be continued…
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