Boston Bakes Charity Bake Off

Last Tuesday, I had the fantastic opportunity to be a guest judge at a Dessert Bake Off. Yes, you read that right. I had to eat different kinds of desserts, then rate them. As you can probably guess, I was very happy to do it.

I was happy to be part of a charity event, happy to eat multiple small plates of olive oil-based desserts, happy to try different kinds of wine. But I didn’t realize it was going to be a tough job! Seriously, how can I decide between salted caramel donuts, blood orange filled mini cupcakes, fig pudding cakes, bavarian cakes, and an olive oil cake with blueberries and almond crumble?

To make my decision easier, I just went back for seconds.

But can you blame me?

The event was hosted by Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer, an organization that actively helps fund breast cancer research, in cooperation with Chile Olive Oil, who provided the grand prize: a $1,000 donation in the winning baker’s name to Boston Bakes. Chile Olive Oil also provided Chilean wine pairings and olive oil tastings. I hosted a dinner party with them a couple of months ago, and I have been using their olive oil in baking and cooking.

My date for the evening was my mom, who is becoming my favorite plus one at blog events (check out her pic from last year’s Legal Seafoods event with the Naked Cowboy. And no, he wasn’t really naked.) The girls on the left picture are Monica and Kim, who are my blog readers! I was so happy to meet them – it’s really such a pleasure to meet people who follow this little blog of mine. As I mentioned the other day, you guys make my heart swell with happiness ❤

It was also nice seeing some of my blogger friends at the event: Rachel from Fork it Over, Boston, Will from The Boston Foodie, and Richard from the Passionate Foodie, and meeting new people: Nick from Treasure MA, Karen from Fussy Eater, and Susan from Food Service East.

The first dessert that I tried for the night was the brioche donut with salted caramel glaze from Sofra. I am already a regular customer at Sofra, and if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I go nuts over salted caramel anything. So I made a beeline for these donuts as soon as I could, elbowing little boys and girls out of the way. (I’m just kidding, I just elbowed out the adults… ha!)

The donuts were big (and heavenly) but I only ate half, giving the other half to my mom. I knew I had to save room for four other treats:

A citrus cupcake filled with blood orange curd and topped with spiced buttercream frosting from Isabelle’s Curly Cakes.

Fig pudding cakes from Treats on Washington.

A vanilla bavarian cake with grapes, almonds, celery, and an olive oil jam from No. 9 Park.

And the winning dessert: an olive oil cake with orange mascarpone, berries, and almond crumble from freelance chef Jon Sargeant.

My fellow judges and I actually didn’t just pick one dessert, but we had to rate all desserts based on taste, overall presentation, and inventive use of olive oil. I gave this dessert high marks for all three categories.

That’s Chef Jon giving his thank you speech and me with Will at the entrance of the Armory in Somerville, which is a nice venue for special events like this and other fundraisers.

I had a really fun time at the Bake Off, thank you to Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer and Chile Olive Oil for inviting me, and to everyone who supported the event!

Now if only the other tough decisions in life can be solved by going back for second servings of desserts, the world would be a much happier place.


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