Hazelnut dacquoise, Swedish jam bars, and cider pomegranate caramels. These were just three of the enchanting treats served at the Friedman Student Council and Slow Food Tufts’ annual bake-off held in December. The bake-off raised $179 to benefit 1,000 Gardens in Africa, a project of Slow Food International. Event attendees each donated $5 to taste and vote on a favorite good. Let’s just say tasters got much more than $5 worth of treats. Friedman’s Jaharis Café was brimming with delectable cakes, cookies, bars, and pies. Participants voted for the overall winner, while two judges from Boston bakeries, Alexandra Dunk of Georgetown Cupcake and Carol Glagola of Flour Bakery, chose the individual category winners.
Second year Friedman student Janice Chow won first place overall (as well as the cake/cupcake category) with her gingerbread cupcakes topped with vanilla-pear frosting and maple pecan brittle. The mini cupcakes were truly works of art. Tasters savored their spicy insides covered with sweet frosting and topped with homemade brittle—an exceptional flavor pairing.
Lauren Kaskey, a second year FPAN/MPH student, won the cookie category with her hazelnut dacquoise with espresso buttercream filling. Lauren adapted one of her favorite cake recipes to create this unique treat—her take on the French cookie. The judges were especially impressed by the texture and creaminess of the espresso filling.
Stephania Bounocore’s walnut layer bars won the brownie/bar category. Judges Alexandra and Carol said that Stephania’s version of the traditional after school snack was “definitely something to go back for.” According to the judges, the bars had just the correct sweetness level.
First year FPAN student Lindsey Webb won the pie category with her Swedish jam bars. The judges chose Lindsey’s treats for their distinct flavor and “chewiness –but in a good way.” They also admitted that they were partial to raspberry jam, but who wouldn’t be when it was baked into such delightful dessert?
First year Leah Koeppel won the candy category with her cider pomegranate caramels. Such scrumptious, seasonal sweets reminded the tasters of their favorite holiday memories.
The wide variety of treats certainly impressed the judges. Alexandra and Carol marveled at the bakers’ creative flavor combinations and decorative abilities. They also admitted that they had a hard time eating only a single piece of many of the goods. However, given the smiles on the tasters’ faces and tasters’ groans of contented fullness, the judges didn’t seem to be the only ones with that problem. The next bake-off happens again in December 2013, so stomachs will have time to recuperate before that amount of delectable desserts will be all in one place again. Watch for an email from Student Council in November for the exact date and to learn how to get involved.
Photos courtesy of Katrina Brink
Natalie Obermeyer is a first year student in the Nutrition Communication and Masters of Public Health programs. When she is not studying, reading, or writing, she loves to run, hike, ski, play outdoors in the sunshine, and experiment in the kitchen.