Cupcake Mojo in Weymouth always offers something new
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93 Washington St., Weymouth
Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.
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Mother-daughter duo Maureen Fitzgerald and Christina Nalband have been baking together since Christina was a little girl.
Spurred by praise from family and friends for their creations, the pair started Cupcake Mojo out of their Weymouth home about two years ago. Then their visibility skyrocketed when they appeared on a popular Food Network reality show, “Cupcake Wars,” earlier this year.
Though they didn’t win, being on the show served as a jumping-off point for opening their own shop. One of the biggest challenges they faced was launching their business without taking out any loans. But they did it, and are delighted that Cupcake Mojo is all their own.
The shop, which opened in Weymouth Landing on June 16, is decked out in pink and almost feels like a diner, with its leather corner bench and blue-, pink-, and white-striped walls.
Right at the counter is a large glass display case for the cupcakes. Maureen explained that they put just a few cupcakes on display at a time, and keep the rest in the back, although none of them are refrigerated, as this would dry them out.
Each day’s cupcakes are baked that morning, so they’re incredibly fresh. Maureen and Christina usually think up each day’s flavors the night before, and are always trying new things and getting creative. It’s part of what they love about baking cupcakes, they say.
The day’s offerings are usually posted on the shop’s Facebook page. Maureen said they plan to come up with a schedule so regular customers will know which days their favorites will be available.
On a recent visit, the display case housed peanut butter cup, red velvet, chocolate chip (with a choice of chocolate or vanilla frosting), carrot cake, chocolate lover, banana cream pie, vanilla lover, and Boston cream pie cupcakes ($2.50 each).
The case also held two varieties of Mojo Push Pops ($3), a variation on a familiar ice cream truck treat. The push pop consists of a plastic container filled with layers of cake and frosting that are moved into eating range by a plunger.
The lineup on Fridays includes Cocktail Mojos ($2.75), which are cupcakes that have been infused with alcohol, in such flavors as chocolate martini, Jack & Coke, and strawberry margarita. And on Sundays, you can make Mojo sundaes, decadent cupcake treats topped with ice cream, whipped cream, and hot fudge ($3.50).
Maureen and Christina use a variety of frostings for the cupcakes, from the well-known confectioner’s sugar-based butter cream to Swiss meringue butter cream to their secret Nana’s fluffy white icing, which they use to fill and top their chocolate Nana’s Whoopie Cake.
The peanut butter cup is a chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter cream center. It’s frosted with a rich chocolate butter cream, drizzled with peanut butter, and topped with a peanut butter cup. It is a chocolate-and-peanut-butter lover’s dream.
For those who want to skip the peanut butter, the chocolate lover cupcake is also made with rich chocolate cake and a fudgy chocolate butter cream, but gets a sprinkling of M&Ms on top.
The carrot cake and red velvet cupcakes are both frosted with cream cheese butter cream for a slightly tangy contrast to the other varieties. Their Boston cream pie cupcake is a nice rendition of the beloved classic, with a cream filling and a coating of chocolate ganache, and a cherry as the crowning touch. The banana cream pie cupcake is also a throwback to a classic dessert, and has a light, fluffy frosting that’s adorned with a Nilla Wafer.
Looking back at their “Cupcake Wars’’ experience, Maureen said it was definitely nerve-racking, but also very rewarding. Christina described it as awesome and a great opportunity to meet others in the business.
Maureen explained that she had hung up on the Food Network caller three times before accepting the call, thinking one of her sons was playing a prank.
When the two arrived for the contest in Los Angeles, Maureen said, she felt unprepared when she saw another baker unloading a stand mixer; Maureen and Christina simply brought themselves.
On the show, they were challenged to create cupcakes with a Girl Scout theme.
In the first round, they had to translate a Girl Scout cookie into a cupcake. Taking inspiration from the lemonade cookies, they made a lemon shortbread cake with a shortbread crust and vanilla icing with fresh lemon curd mixed in, all topped with a white-chocolate sun that Christina designed.Continued...