“Dessert is probably the most important stage of the meal, since it will be the last thing your guests remember before they pass out all over the table.”

William Powell

Usually on Tuesdays I write about a local restaurant that I’ve eaten at but this past Sunday I went to Grannie’s Bake-Off in Troy at the Hilton Garden Inn. Since that incorporates a few local professional bakeries, I assumed that could count at a local restaurant, plus I don’t want to forget what all of the delicious treats tasted like!

This past weekend I was honored to be able to host my very first contest for tickets to Grannie’s Bake-Off which made it even more exciting to attend. I love baked goods, all kinds of baked goods so I figured this was the best event to make sure I checked out myself. The event was sponsored by the National Committee of Grandparents for Children’s Rights. Founded in 2002 in Long Island after a Grandmother lost custody of her granddaughter after her daughter’s death, she joined together with Grandmothers from all over the country and ultimately founded a national movement.

The event called professional and amateur bakers together for the public to vote on their product for $10 per person with the money going back to the committee. Professional bakers are those who bake at a commercial facility and an amateur is one who bakes in their own home. The public was voting on the best among the professionals and the three judges voted among the amateurs.  The judges were William Dowd (Dowd’s Guides), Christian Noe (Nighthawk’s Kitchen, Troy) and Ric Orlando (New World Home Cooking/Catering, Woodstock & New World Bistro, Albany).

When I walked in, my first stop was Bake For You. If you read my blog then you know from my PAST BLOG ENTRY my love for Bake for You cookies. I figured since I already knew I loved the cookies, I’d start there and get that out of the way to give the others a fair fight. They offered a cookie I’d never tried before, the Girl’s Best Friend cookie with chocolate chips, potato chips and pretzels- what more would a girl want? The mix of salty and sweet was delicious, the potato chip flavor wasn’t too strong which I was afraid of- delicious.

Next, counterclockwise, was Cakes by Alissa. As her pamphlet says: Every cake is baked fresh to order with local and/or organic ingredients whenever possible as well as the finest quality chocolate.” She had quite a few different mini cupcake flavors to choose from but I decided on the Strawberry Shortcake because strawberry is one of my favorite flavors. I liked the cupcake. The frosting was fluffy, it was filled with some sort of strawberry mixture and the texture was moist, I just wish there was a little more strawberry flavor as a whole. One of the other options was a Mojito cupcake with key lime flavor filling and I think I may have enjoyed that a little better.

One of my favorite desserts was from Cheesecake Machismo. They had a PB & J cheesecake that was the perfect blend of flavors and textures, it made me wish I could’ve grabbed another one! The black raspberry on top was what made the flavor, I couldn’t imagine it with another flavor of jelly. I can’t wait to go and try what other magic they can create with cheesecake!

The next stop was Laurie’s Gluten Free Goodness, LLC. I decided to give the sample of a lemon bar a try and if I didn’t know ahead of time, I would have had no idea that it was gluten free. The best part of being able to try their product was that I got to check out all the gluten free products they offer in their menu. There’s some of the usual stuff like gluten free bread, crackers, muffins and pies but if you want to make a gluten free pie at home you could buy your pie crust here to get the hard part out of the way or use the all-purpose gluten free flour or gluten free pancake mix to make some of your favorite carbs with the worry of making it gluten free taken out of the equation.

The strangest kind of cupcake was from StomachCakes, isn’t that name great? I decided on trying the Chocolate Chipotle Cupcake topped with a piece of bacon. How could I pass that up? The frosting was made with chocolate and goat cheese with a chocolate chipotle ganache filled cake. I like goat cheese but I learned on Sunday that I do not like it when it’s on a cupcake. For my personal taste, I would’ve added a lot more chocolate and a little less goat cheese and the frosting was also a little too packed together, I prefer it fluffy, but the cake it self was tasty. The chipotle wasn’t too spicy but definitely enhanced the flavor of the chocolate cake. The bacon was probably the most delicious piece of bacon I’ve ever eaten but how could bacon covered in molasses not be to die for?

The last cupcake was Cupcakes by Alicia at Anthony’s Chocolate Dipped Fruit. She created mini chocolate cupcakes that were probably my favorite of the cupcakes I tasted on Sunday. The consistency was beautiful of both the cake and the frosting, I just wish it was a little bigger so I could’ve tasted more of the flavor of them both. By the time I started tasting the flavor, it was gone so I’m probably going to have to go and order a bigger cake, for research purposes of course.

The last baked good was from Creo. Apparently there was a French cheesecake I should’ve tried and  after I left the table I realized that the chocolate cake had chocolate syrup poured over the top but no, I picked the strawberry cake, Zephyr cake it was called. I assume the others were better because I wasn’t really impressed. The cake was good but there was no flavors jumping out at me in the cake itself. As I said while eating it, “if I’m gonna waste the calories, I want strong flavors instead of just a piece of cake.” In between the two layers was a kind of yellow pudding with strawberries in it and I would not have been upset with a bowl full of, it was so delicious. Next time at Creo, I’m going to have to get a piece of cheesecake and see what I missed!

Overall, it was a great event. I love events where I can try food from a bunch of local eateries in one place. The only problem is that I don’t really want to look at sugary baked goods for awhile but maybe that’s a good thing!

Note: If you went and picked up a program, check out the sponsors and you may see your favorite blog listed 🙂

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