The National Review
Three judges from The National tasted 14 cupcakes in a bid to find the best in town.If you're going to indulge in cupcakes, you might as well have the best. Af¬ter extensively scouring Abu Dhabi's shops and a cupcake-tasting judged by The National, the verdict is in. Our three judges - Arts&Life editor Ann Marie McQueen, news features editor James Langton and features production editor Kevin McCardle - sampled signature cupcakes from seven shops, all either home-grown or small chains that started in the Middle East, and judged them on the sweetness of the icing, cake density, flavour, icing-to-cake ratio, applica¬tion and presentation. The judges also tested a mini vanilla cupcake with chocolate icing from each shop as a benchmark. After tasting 14 cupcakes each (yes, each!), the judges were unanimous in their decision.The winner, with five out of five stars, is... Mamas Cupcakes The tiramisu cupcake from Mama's Cupcakes was a hit with the judges -and it showed on their faces as they ate them. McCardle liked the flavour and thought the cupcake was "very attrac¬tive". McQueen said: "It really tastes like tiramisu. It's got a little chocolate cen¬tre. I love the icing." Langton thought the icingwas well executed: "It's not too sweet. The icing and the cake go well together." Earning top marks in each category, the tiramisu cupcake from Mama's Cup¬cakes was the winner in our contest. De¬spite having to taste several cupcakes in one sitting, each judge said this was the one theywanted to finish. The story behind the shop Mama's Cupcakes, located next to Vi¬sion Hotel Apartments off Muroor Road, is one of Abu Dhabi's best-kept secrets. "Mama" turns out to be Faiza Taha, a mother of five and grandmother of sev¬en. She moved to Abu Dhabi from Leba¬non in 1985 and set up Mama's Cup¬cakes nearly two years ago. She says she decided on the name because "when my daughters invite someone over, they ask me to make a cake fc their friends taste the c: daughters tell them: `This cake.'" Taha's pride comes thro cakes and she's trained Laxman Gavade, well. T to experiment in the kii cupcakes - both the spot ing - come in every flavor tiramisu, lemon, mocha, tachio, sweet potato and The icing has a simple, fre made without butter or pc "It is light and not very like you can eat more ti Taha. Taha says she feels ht proud of winning The N Cupcake in Abu Dhabi c are doing it from your h baked with love. When i love, it tastes better."