Author Archive for dude points

24
Sep
10

Forget dudes with beards eating cupcakes

Who needs that website when readers send in photos of themselves eating pies?

Admittedly, this is a “value pack of co-op cherry bakewells” which means it is an English dessert and therefore horrible.

Still, the sentiment behind the photo is warmly welcomed. The pievcake ladies don’t mind a bit of cheesecake with their cheesecake.

16
Sep
10

Knickerbocker Glory Trifle




_9107949

Originally uploaded by ann gav

Best name for a dessert ever? Quite possibly, even though the term “Knickerbocker Glory” makes me think of the (nonexistent?) heyday of a certain NBA basketball team. This was, hands down, the tastiest normal dessert I had in Britain, yet I still only found it tasty enough to down about half of it. Despite the strawberry-soaked sponge cakiness awaiting me at the bottom of this dessert, the top was covered with a mysterious clear gelatinous layer. I get that the dessert needs a base upon which to pile the fruit and cream toppings, but it still felt like this was crafted by an alien race who were hoping to infect Earthlings with baby alien eggs that will pop out of our stomachs.
Not a British dessert FAIL, but not a British dessert win, either. Maybe a British dessert TIE?

15
Sep
10

butterscotch eclairs




_9107941

Originally uploaded by ann gav

Looks good, doesn’t it?
It wasn’t.
The eclair was passably eclairish, but the butterscotch pieces on top were a chewy, hard consistency, like a half-melted Riesen dusted in gold.
It was like putting a Jolly Rancher on a chocolate cupcake.
England, your desserts FAIL AGAIN.

15
Aug
10

Pie Quest FAIL

So Cake and I have heard (through the DC food blogger network) that the best pie in Washington, DC is at a little place called Chatman’s D’Vine Bakery and Cafe. As might be expected, we needed to test this claim IMMEDIATELY!

Cake did all the legwork to map it out – she emailed, she called, she checked the website, and we headed out on a Saturday morning (both of us having skipped breakfast!) to gorge ourselves on pie.

Here’s what we found:
pie quest ruined!
Yay! All day breakfast, right! Waffles PLUS pie!

Here’s the wide version of that shot:
pie quest ruined!

Closed. Until 3:45 pm. Despite “ALL DAY BREAKFAST.” I can barely contain my Hulk-like anger at being denied pie.

Even Cake was shattered.

pie quest ruined!

PIE QUEST FAIL
(And p.s. – in lieu of pie, we went to a local diner with an open kitchen for a passable breakfast, but the rest of the day, I smelled like FRIED MEAT. Ick. Double PIE QUEST FAIL.)

09
Jul
10

british dessert FAIL

Jolly Olde England! Home of trifles and treacles and plenty of other sugary delights that made my mouth water when described in the twee children’s books I used to read!
When I visited you recently, I naturally assumed that “Jolly” in your name referred to the rotund and sugar-lulled effects of fantastic desserts.
Boy, was I wrong.
Upon Cake’s advice, I hit the Marks and Spencer food hall for a sampling of some everyday British desserts; in essence, the slightly posher equivalent of my beloved Safeway sheet cake.
Maybe it was an off day, but this is what the dessert case looked like:
Victoria Sandwich
Meh. I am greatly dubious of a culture that tries to pass off “sandwiches” as “dessert”.
I consulted with my polite British friend (who I’ll call “Faux Grant”), and we settled on the following desserts:

Lemon Cheesecake
Lemon Cheesecake
Faux Grant suggested the cheesecake, which he claimed was a proper British dessert. As a former New Yorker, I had to taste test that ridiculous claim. We grabbed a slice of lemon cheesecake. Upon opening it, I noticed giant clumps of lemon filling inserted INTO the cheesecake body itself. Sacrilege. Fruit belongs on the top of a cheesecake, not the middle.
That being said, it was tasty, if in no way resembling a cheesecake in the slightest. Rather, it was like eating a key lime pie that had been disassembled into various components. But I have to rate it as a dessert fail based upon nomenclature alone. THIS WAS NOT CHEESECAKE.

Chocolate Cornflake Microbites
Chocolate Cornflake Microbites
Faux Grant recommended the chocolate cornflakes, a dessert that he has had personal experience making at home. I popped one into my mouth and was immediately struck by the fact that the “microbite” claim was completely wrong. I suddenly had a giant lump of jagged sharp chocolate in my mouth. Total choking hazard. And sadly, not all that tasty either. The ratio of chocolate to cornflake was completely off. Instead of having the cornflakes serve as a slightly salty platform upon which to layer chocolate, so that one would get a crunchy, delicate sweetness, the chocolate instead served as a binding agent that completely overwhelmed (and hardened!) the cornflakes. I prefer my chocolate without the potentially fatal surprise of breakfast cereal rocks for my windpipe. Faux Grant reported, however, that the store-bought Chocolate Cornflakes were still better than the ones he made at home, where the chocolate content was completely off the scale.

Millionaire’s Delight
Millionaire's Delight
A layer of shortbread, a layer of caramel, and a layer of chocolate mousse? All with a slightly charming name? HOT DAMN YES. At last, a British dessert that lived up to my childhood expectations. It was delicious and so rich that I had to stop eating it after two bites. I probably would have enjoyed it more if the carcass of the failed cheesecake hadn’t been staring me in the face.

Up next: the British Crisp and Chocolate report!

01
Jun
10

the advertising geniuses at baskin robbins have been at it for a while

Cake is fascinated by the DJ Paulie D ad, but nothing tops last summer’s infectious ice cream cake commercial. I started chanting it this year as soon as the temperatures topped 70 degrees.

31
May
10

desserts of the world

tiramisu; nairobi, kenya

tiramisu; nairobi, kenya


cherry tart; geneva, switzerland

cherry tart; geneva, switzerland


apple pie with chocolate sauce; nairobi, kenya

apple pie with chocolate sauce; nairobi, kenya


chocolate-covered chocolate mousse; paris, france

chocolate-covered chocolate mousse; paris, france


profiteroles; nairobi, kenya

profiteroles; nairobi, kenya


not pictured: panna cotta; arusha, tanzania;
ice cream; kano, nigeria
creme caramel; bamako, mali

05
Apr
10

Pie’s take on the cherry blossom cupcake wars: mutually assured destruction

image

I hadn’t had a chance to read Cake’s take on the dueling cherry blossom cupcakes before she invited me over for a blind taste test of my own. It was like taking the Pepsi Challenge, except with two types of cupcakes that both tasted awful. Here’s what I looked like trying them:
The profile shot may not clearly capture the half-grimace on my face as I tried to process the strange taste sensation I was facing.
Here’s what I learned:
*Georgetown Cupcake does not have the market on cuteness. The cupcake I had pegged as theirs based on cuteness alone turned out to be from Hello Cupcake. (Points for presentation, Hello!)
*Georgetown Cupcake can make disgusting cupcakes. The cherry bits baked within their cupcake were gummy, with poor mouth feel. I felt like bits of Saran Wrap were stuck between my teeth. And the cupcake itself was unusually dense, like a poorly constructed vegan cupcake. At least it wasn’t dry.
* Hello Cupcake needs to work better on defining “cupcakes inspired by”. In a blind taste test, I would have assumed that this was baked for the Meyer Lemon festival, not the cherry blossom festival. Plus, lemons (a sour fruit) and cherries (a sour fruit) were just too darn sour for a satisfying cupcake, even with sweet sweet icing.

So in a head-to-head competition, I choose Hello Cupcake. In real life at a cupcake counter, I choose neither. And in real real life in my kitchen, I eschew the entire concept in favor of cherry bombs, because cherry pies and tarts > cherries in cake. ALWAYS.

01
Mar
10

pie’s take on the steakhouse dessert

I don’t know how much time elapsed from the point that Cake purchased the oh-so-rich chocolate cream pie from the steakhouse where she consumes t-bones and porterhouses on a regular basis . All I know is that when I dug with glee into a Tupperware container full of chocolate crust, chocolate filling, and real whipped cream, I went into sugar shock. (See the pie here: http://bit.ly/d5FtXT)
Yes, sugar shock. I’m no dessert novice. I can handle my glucose. But the Wildfire Chocolate Cream Pie bested my consumption abilities. I got about halfway through a slice (a generous slice, but steakhouses have never been known to go easy on the serving sizes) and had to walk away.

Was it the best pie I’ve ever had? No; the jumble of ingredients made it seem more like an imitation of a pie, with too much cream on too much filling on a crust which couldn’t possibly be expected to support it all. But that didn’t make it any less rich or delicious.

Is it worth going to a steakhouse just for dessert? As someone who’s gone to a steakhouse for a bunch of side dishes (garlic mashed potatoes, y’all!), I’d have to say yes. I just don’t know if I’d make it THIS dessert.

01
Mar
10

Cake, you are crazy




_2279928

Originally uploaded by ann gav

This weekend at brunch, you pushed over this tray to my side of the table, saying, “I’ve given up on vegan cupcakes. They’re not creamy enough for me.”

And as I sat in front of my computer this weekend, licking icing from my fingers and marveling at the dense moistness of the cake filling, I realized to myself – Cake, you are crazy.

I mean, I know we’ve had our differences about cake and pie, and which frozen yogurt place in DC is the most delicious, and bacon in general, but usually, I trust your sound judgement in both life and desserts.

But this?
Giving up vegan cupcakes because of their so-called lack of creaminess?

It leads me to ask: “What’s gotten into your taste buds?”

But as long as you keep supplying me with unexpected deliveries of vegan cupcakes, we’re cool. Even though you’re crazy.