“Welcome to the Cooking challenge!” Sianne exclaimed.
The teams had gathered in a room with two low tables and a high ceiling. With the roof being so high over our heads, I wondered if Sianne would make us create a fifty-layer cake. It wasn’t unheard of!
“We usually make our contestants bake us cakes, cookies, or pies, ” Sianne continued.
Are we going to have to make a casserole?! I thought in horror. Not only were casseroles gross, and I had no idea how to make them, I believed I was allergic to them.
“Don’t fear! We won’t make you bake casseroles.” Had Sianne read my mind?! “You will make . . . CUPCAKES!”
Everyone in the room started to clap. “Cup-cakes! Cup-cakes!”
“All the ingredients are in your tables,” Sianne finished. “You may begin!”
I leaned down and saw all the things Charlotte and I needed to make a cake stashed in the hollow table: bowls, spoons, measuring cups, milk, eggs, and cake mix.
I set the supplies on top of the table.
“Let’s get this show on the road,” I said to Charlotte. We began to make the cake.
We dumped the cake mix into a bowl, added three egg yolks, milk, and vegetable oil. Then we took turns mixing, and Charlotte poured the batter into cupcake pans and stuck them in the oven.
Soon the cupcakes were done, and we pulled them out of the pans. Charlotte and I brainstormed about how to decorate them.
“Let’s make them magenta!” Charlotte suggested.
“Pink?” I disapproved of the idea. “You know that red food dye doesn’t taste very good, right? What if we did light blue?”
“Well, OK. Say that the cupcakes are blue. What would we do then?”
“Um . . . add sprinkles!”
Charlotte mixed up some buttercream frosting and put two drops of blue food coloring in.
I looked over at Team Jules’s table to check out our competition.
Jules was piping a swirling pattern of salmon-pink ribbons on her cupcakes.
I nudged Charlotte. “Hey, Charlotte, we need to step it up.”
I showered some cupcakes with frost-colored sprinkles that looked like snow, and Charlotte dumped a bunch of light green grains of sugar on others.
We “borrowed” some pink icing from Jules and put little squiggly lines on our cupcakes.
Jules had used the same see-through sprinkles as I had, but it looked a lot better on her cupcakes. They looked like pale roses dusted with morning dew.
Once both teams were done, the judges came around to taste their treats.
Sianne, Ashley, and Teresa each grabbed a cupcake and took a bite, chewing thoughtfully.
Then they crossed over to our table. “Tell us about your cupcakes,” Sianne prompted.
Charlotte cleared her throat. Pointing at a cupcake, she said, “Well, they’re chocolate with buttercream frosting. We thought they looked a little bit like French macarons.” She offered each of the judges a cupcake.
After eating a cupcake, the judges went to the front of the room and discussed the pros and cons of each team’s treat.
I munched on a cupcake nervously and waited for their decision.
Ashley broke out of the huddle and turned to face us.
“We all agreed that Team Tori’s cupcakes tasted a little better — we think that Team Jules might have under cooked theirs a bit.”
Teresa said, “While we thought both cupcakes were cute, Team Jules’s were fancier. So the winner of the cooking challenge is . . .”
“Team Jules!” Sianne exclaimed.
Jules hugged Venus and stated matter-of-factly, “Pink and sparkles never fail!”
Energy zipped through my veins as I realized that the teams were tied. The last challenge, Horseback Riding, would take place tomorrow, deciding who won the entire BFF Wars.