As you can probably tell from my post title, I did not win the competition. But, that’s ok. Sure, disappointing, but more on that to follow.
The Hero Day baking competition yesterday was a whirlwind, let me tell you. You should all know this, though, because I documented the actual baking portion on For the Love of Oatmeal! And I know you’re all avid followers. haha
There were 40 recipes chosen out of something like 200 entrants. Insanity! I dropped off my gorgeous looking tart at 9:30, and then went across the road and hung out in this little cafe, called Brooklyn, until 11:45. I had brought homework with me to keep myself occupied for the 2.5 or so hours that I would be waiting for the judging. There was a lot of coffee involved…
I was pretty jazzed, since my entry was number 31, which is an odd number and a varient of 13. I took these as good signs. There were so many things. Mostly cakes, cookies, and stuff. There were one or two other tarts, but nothing that combined dark, sweet, and salty–like mine. I thought my chances were pretty good, considering the bonus of the salty factor. Who doesn’t love chocolate covered pretzels or sea salt chocolate?
Apparently the judge. She was testing and testing and testing. I should have realized, by the time she reached 31 out of 40, she wouldn’t really be tasting anything anymore. Chocolate overload. Yes, yes, she objectively ‘cleansed’ her palate after each item with a sip of water….but not really.
Then came the prize winning. I was shaking by this point and Carolin took my hand. She announced the winners. All were in the beginning entries…nothing above number 18 won a prize. I really do think it was because of tastebud burn out.
And here’s the real kicker. The person who took first prize….OWNS A BAKERY. I was robbed! How unfair is that? She’s a professional baker, of course she won. If she didn’t, I would question the validity of her bakery. But, at least I can take comfort in knowing I was beaten by a professional. Yeah, that’s a positive spin right? Whatever, I’m still a bit miffed about it.
After the prizes were awarded, we all got to sample the treats. That was awesome. We started at one end, and worked out way around the entries. We did it in the same order that the judge did. And, doing it that way, I definitely know why my tart didn’t win. Compared to all the sweet treats, mine was dark, almost bitter, with the salt and hint of chili. After cakes, brownies and cookies, it was a shock to the palate. Not a bad one, but it was different after everything else. And, the things that won were inherently British. They included orange flavoring and custard and the like.
Mine was very American. Dark, rich, salty. I need to learn to bake for my audience.
So, on our sugar high and slightly disappointed (on my end), Carolin and I left Moore Wilson’s. At least I competed. I know I did the best I could. I know my tart was awesome. It was the prettiest thing I’ve ever created. I did worry that, because I didn’t get to try it before bringing it to the competition that something was really wrong with it.
We ate my tart after dinner. It was delicious. Nothing was wrong with it. I really do think, had my tart been tested earlier, it might have gotten something. But, for now, it remains my little gem. My little secret for friends. I’ll make it for you all when I come home.
And this just firms my belief that my Master’s is the right choice. I can take baker off my “what if” list. It can safely be filed as a hobby. Don’t worry, mom and dad, I won’t be running away to France to join culinary school.
This is Molly the (future) librarian, signing off.