Archive for November, 2007

26
Nov
07

secret adpierer

the best thing about doing a blog devoted to dessert is that people give me free dessert. nameless people who make sweet deliveries to coworkers, telling them to make sure it gets into my hands. deliveries like this flaky, delicious pie:
apple pomegranate pie
more after the jump…. Continue reading ‘secret adpierer’

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26
Nov
07

final bakeoff entry

that rare find….the cakenpie
cakenpie
explanation after the jump… Continue reading ‘final bakeoff entry’

16
Nov
07

A (really long) word on British desserts

syllabub-002.jpgvarious-001.jpg

OK, so British food gets a bad rap. British desserts, on the other hand–well, I challenge you to leave empty-handed from the dessert case at Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Marks & Spencer. There are simply too many temptations for dessert-lovers like us.

The array of individually-sized UK goodies like trifles, puddings, fools, etc. will make your head spin. Then there’s the French influence: floating islands (merengue floating in a “sea” of vanilla custard), mousses, creme brulees, pot de cremes, etc.

What I particularly like about desserts you find in the UK are:

(1) the names. Believe it or not, there’s a dessert called spotted dick (a delicious suet-based concoction with currants, not an STD. It’s usually served with hot custard)

(2) the use of real whipped cream, butter, custard and anything that will clot your veins/make me reach for my bottle of lactase. I mean, they actually sell a product called “clotted cream” (you can also find it here at Dean & Deluca) that’s a super heavy cream for spreading on scones and such.

Around the holidays, there’s an entirely new crop of desserts you can only get for a limited time. Like Christmas puddings, which are liquor-infused, heavy fruitcakes (not those bricks like the ones from Safeway) usually eaten with melted brandy butter or custard. Or flute-shaped butter cookies called brandy snaps that are meant to be filled with whipped cream. British cannolis, anyone? BTW just to clarify, what we call dessert the British call “pudding.” But they also refer to specific desserts as puddings: toffee puddings, Christmas pudding, etc.–spongy, heavy cake-like confections. So yeah, it gets confusing.

Here are a few of my personal attempts at making British desserts. The bottom photo is a pseudo-trifle I made for July 4th last year. Making an American flag out of fruit was out of the question, so it got the French flag treatment (sorry, America). It was layers of custard, sponge cake, fruit and whipped cream. You’re supposed to put it in a glass bowl to show off the layers, but I didn’t have one handy. Also, I opted not to include liquor or jello in it.

The thing in the wine glass is something I learned from Nigella Lawson’s Food Network show: Amaretto Syllabub. It’s easy–you just whip together Amaretto liquor, whipped cream, sugar & lemon juice. Then layer it in a glass with shaved chocolate flakes and crumbled cookies. Recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_77083,00.html. Nigella, my taste buds thank you but my cholesterol doesn’t.

Anyway, the next time you decide to rag on the British culinary tradition, just think of all the spotted dick we’d be missing out on.

14
Nov
07

the latest bakeoff entry….

excuse the out-of-focus quality of this photo. my blood sugar was falling in anticipation of eating this:

flourless chocolate cake
mmmm.
flourless chocolate cake.

it tasted like warm, delicious chocolate goo. that might be an unappetizing description, but it was incredibly yummy.

i ate two, but it was rich. some would say “bloomberg rich” but I would say “bill gates rich.” i had to wait about 6 hours between servings so i didn’t get sick.

07
Nov
07

bakeoff side match: pie vs. pie!

i was sitting at my desk, discussing the deliciousness of the latest bakeoff entry with miguel, the proud baker of the day. kate, another bakeoff participant, stopped by and joined the conversation. things escalated. and the next thing i knew, kate and miguel had agreed to a mano a mano apple pie competition. Continue reading ‘bakeoff side match: pie vs. pie!’

06
Nov
07

some lovely bakeoff goodies…

the bakeoff has been spurring some delicious treats as of late. more photos after the jump:
Continue reading ‘some lovely bakeoff goodies…’

04
Nov
07

bakeoff continues/frito pie news

the bakeoff has been going swimmingly, with two strong entries this week. i need to update the site with the latest bakeoff news, but my bakeoff referee duties will preclude an update for a little while. we’re in the middle of establishing the structure for the bakeoff playoffs.

in addition, we are almost ready to go live with the tshirt link. just trying to figure out a final kink.

but in the meantime, enjoy this article from the star-telegram of texas which uncovers the truth about the inventor of fritos, without which we would not have the delicious frito pie. yum!