Dear Mr. Perfect Cupcake Maker,
I clicked on the link to your article “10 steps to the PERFECT cupcake” when it appeared in my social media feed today. I am writing to let you know that it left me somewhat disappointed, to say the least. In an effort to stop you from disappointing future readers I would like to confirm with you that you actually understand the definition of the word PERFECT.
For the sake of clarity, here it is:
having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.
or, when used as a verb
make (something) completely free from faults or defects; make as good as possible.
You will note, I have highlighted some aspects of the above definition for emphasis.
I would like to understand by what measure you consider the cupcakes created using your 10 step process to be “perfect”? By which, I mean, how did you reach the conclusion that never, in all of human history yet to happen, will a cupcake ever be made that will surpass, even in the most minor way, your own?
I am not a professional baker. I am not a food critic. As such, I am unaware of the unit of measure appropriate for grading a cupcake but I fear, to your cost, that this may actually be quite a subjective matter.
I have the Rubenesque figure of a man who is clearly, barring a glandular malfunction of some sort, no stranger to the cupcake. I have, in my time, eaten cupcakes that I would, subjectively, describe as “good”. I have eaten cupcakes I would describe as “excellent” and “great”. I have eaten cupcakes in which I have found noteworthy aspects, such as sweetness or moistness, which have made them of particular interest. I have also eaten cupcakes that I would describe as “poor”, “bland”, “dry” and, in one instance, “diabolical” (although, in the maker’s defense and in the spirit of the accuracy I should point out that in hindsight I feel they were merely sub-par and can provide absolutely no evidence of demonic malfeasance).
My point, long winded though it may be, is that there are any number of ways to describe a cupcake to make it clear to the reader that you believe it, subjectively, to be markedly superior to other cupcakes. You do not need to tantalize me with the false promise that my friends and co-workers will drop to their knees and weep in awe as they take their first bite of my “perfect” cupcakes. You do need to imply that I should begin to make plans for where the National Trust will put the brass plaque on my house so that future generations will know that this is where it, the “perfect” cupcake, happened. You do not need to rob me, my children, and my children’s children of the hope that cupcake science may yet progress in even the smallest way, just to get me to click your link.
I have tasted your cupcakes, Mr. Perfect Cupcake Maker and they do not taste perfect.
Their taste is the taste of my hope for the future dying.