Kathy Kobliski has one more batch of raspberry filled chocolate cupcakes to bake.
Her cupcakes won first place out of 71 entries at the New York State Fair’s Cake Day this week, which means she'll be baking them again for Monday, when she goes up against winners from nine other culinary divisions.
Kobliski has been entering her baked goods at the Fair for years, but last year was the first time she won a blue ribbon. Still, she wasn’t expecting to take home the giant green ribbon at this year’s competition.
“It was shocking, actually,” she said. “I had won a blue ribbon last year for cupcakes, but I had never won the day – won the division.”
Kobliski, who owns an advertising company called Silent Partner Advertising, said she enjoys going up against other bakers from across the state each year.
“It’s very exciting,” she said. “It’s highly competitive. Everybody brings in their stuff and they all have different, creative ideas for their cakes and cookies, all of their entries. So it’s exciting to see everybody else’s against your own.”
What makes her cupcakes special is the homemade, fresh raspberry filling, which “takes a lot of work to make,” she said.
She starts by thawing frozen raspberries in a strainer over a bowl that collects the liquid. She then puts what’s left of the raspberries in a cheesecloth towel and squeezes out the rest of the juices, “which is a long process,” she said. Then she turns the liquid into filling — a four-step ordeal.
“You have to cook it, thicken it, sweeten it and cool it before you can fill the cupcakes,” she said.
Kobliski and her husband, Frank, have three sons and seven grandchildren, and at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners she can find herself baking for up to 30 people, she said.