The Science Behind Cake Walking... AIDS Walk NY 2012



For months now I have been posting about the AIDS Walk NY and inviting you all to join the Cake Walkers team and make donation to this worthy cause which will benefit men, women, children and families living with HIV and AIDS. On May 20th, 2012, the Cake Walkers Walking team successfully completed 10 kilometers and raised funds in support of AIDS Serving organizations in the New York City Area.


The name Cake Walkers is meant to be a double entendre, as it can be inferred that walking would be “a piece of cake” and that we would be indulging in cupcakes while walking. The reality, however, was that walking was not as easy as we thought (for most of us it was our first time) but we definitely had two different types of breakfast inspired cupcakes while walking and can’t wait to do it all over again!

At first, the idea of eating cake while walking a 10k may seem absurd, especially if you are trying to do it for exercise. But it's not that crazy after all...


Banana Cupcakes with Honey Walnut frosting from the AIDS Walk Launch Event

The day began with an 8:30am breakfast meet-up mostly consisting of protein (eggs and/ or some form of meat), carbohydrates ( bread, home fries) and of course Cupcakes! (For the purpose of this exercise we will refer to cupcakes in a category by itself ;) ) And yes, we had cupcakes with breakfast. According to the New York Times, studies prove that dessert with breakfast actually assisted dieters with loosing weight.

After breakfast, we took the remaining cupcakes on the road. About one third of the way into our walk, when breakfast had worn out, we had a cupcake break. Well, it wasn’t actually a break because we were still walking while eating... These cakes fueled us until we had just passed the 3rd or 4th mile. At that point we actually stopped and took a break and devoured the remaining cupcakes, drank water and Power Aid. While 3 miles may seem like a short distance, walking in a crowd actually made the walk more strenuous as people walked at different paces. One minute your walking behind someone who is moving slowly, next minute your over taking them and zooming ahead only to end up behind someone else who is taking their time. 

200+ Ribbon topped Cupcakes for Launch Event
During the walk, the cupcakes served as  an alternative to the very popular running nutrition gels that are commonly used in marathons. They provided a source of sugar which provided energy, carbohydrates which slowly breakdown to form sugar which provided additional energy over the duration of the walk, caffeine for a little “pick-me -up”, protein which also provided energy and is also known for healing -sore muscles and Calcium, Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin B and other nutrients regularly found in cakes. So, what cupcake flavors did the Cake Walkers enjoy during the walk, you ask? Two of my latest concoctions of course! The Energy Booster and The Vitamin Replisher (See the descriptions and recipes below)

Our Team T-Shirt :)
After the walk, we were definitely exhausted. We sat under a tree in Central Park enjoying some frozen yogurt and Gatorade that we received after completing the walk (we were out of cupcakes by this time) and recounted the times when we felt like we couldn't walk a step further and thought about how sore we would probably be the next day. But  the subject quickly changed and we began making plans to assemble the team for the upcoming Breast Cancer Walk in October.

Overall, the AIDS Walk generated $6 million in donations, $304 of which was raised by our team of 14 Walkers (Not too bad considering it was our first time...) But if you still want to make a donation to the AIDS Walk it's not too late. Your donation is tax deductible and can be made up until June 15th, 2012 . Just go here.

About the cakes...

Cupcake No. 1: The Energy Booster

A Banana Cupcake topped with a dollop of Honey Walnut Frosting and Nutella-Coffee Fudge.

Using my Banana Cupcake as the base for this treat, I topped it with the Honey Walnut Frosting that I concocted in my Mulling Spice Cupcake post and made a Nutella-Coffee Fudge (quite by accident - as usual) which became the topper on the cake. Oh! Did I mention they were glazed with honey also?


How to make Nutella-Coffee Fudge

Materials:

2 tablespoons of instant coffee
1 tablespoon hot water
4 tablespoons of Nutella

Method:

In a bowl, combine instant coffee and hot water with a spatula until well dissolved and add Nutella. Mix ingredients until it sticks together in a ball. Using a cookie press or your fingers, shape the fudge into a desired pattern for decoration. (This fudge also makes a nice surprise filling in the middle of a cupcake.) After a few days this fudge become a bit crumbly which makes some really delicious sprinkles.

Cupcake No. 2: The Vitamin Replenisher

A cupcake crafted from Strawberry-Banana Yogurt, Orange, Lemon and Lime Juice, slathered with Orange Marmalade or Strawberry Marmalade and topped with a piped with Vanilla Buttercream floweret.


How to make the Vitamin Replenisher

Materials:

12 oz Strawberry-Banana Yogurt
2 tablespoons Orange Juice
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons Lime Juice
1.5 cups flour
0.5 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
0.75 cup oil / butter

Method:

Mix/ Beat oil/ butter with sugar until well combined, then add eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Combine dry ingredients and sift. Combine juices with yogurt. Add 0.33 cup of dry mixture to the combined egg mixture and fold until well blended. Add 0.5 of the Yogurt Juice mix and fold until well blended. Add another 0.33 cup of flour and fold, followed by the next 0.5 cup of yogurt juice mix, then remaining flour. Once all ingredients are added. Pour into lined cupcake pans and bake for 20 mins or until pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.


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