Work Bake Off!

We had a bake off at work today. I sampled almost everything – except for anything with pumpkin. I am sad to say that I missed the chocolate cream puffs; they won the “Best Overall” category! Here are a few pictures of the entries. I think I got pictures of almost everything that was entered. I promise – there were some healthy entries – not just pure decadence.

Here are a few of my colleagues’ amazing entries … this was a tough competition!

Best in Show! Chocolate Cream Puffs.

1-2-3-4 Cake

This was buttery and moist.

Pumpkin Nut Bread

I heard that this was fantastic - moist and delicious!

Cookie Butter Fudge

You know that TJs cookie butter? Here it is - made into fudge! It was sweet and festive!

I also got the baking bug this week and made a few entries …

... speaking of decadent ... Turtle Brownies

Classic Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Need I say more?

For Turtle Brownies, the secret is more in the technique than in the recipe. Make your favorite batch of brownies. While the brownies are baking, make your favorite caramel sauce (or use a good quality store bought caramel sauce – don’t skimp on this – invest in a good caramel sauce!), coarsely chop about 3/4 cup pecans, and measure out about 3/4 cup good quality dark chocolate chips. Make sure everything is ready to go the minute the brownies come out of the oven. Pour about 3/4 cup of the hot caramel sauce over the hot brownies, carefully spread out from the center to about 1/4-inch from the sides. Sprinkle the pecans over the caramel, then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the pecans. Allow to cool completely before cutting. I usually make these a day ahead and allow them to cool at least overnight. Do not cover them until they are completely cooled and the chocolate chips have set. You can make these completely from scratch, or you can use your favorite mix and pre-made caramel sauce. It’s up to you!

Irish Apple Cake ...

I’ll have to ask permission to post the Irish Apple Cake recipe. It was given to me by a young Irish woman I met a few years ago. It is adapted from her Grandmother Minnie’s family recipe. I was pleased my cake came out perfectly because I had not made this recipe in a few years. I suspect one will show up at another holiday event before the end of this year.

Now for the lighter items …

Lemon Raspberry Tartlets - Low Fat

Classic Meringues - Fat Free

These meringues were also to be filled with the lemon curd and/or raspberry jam. I made my Low Fat Lemon Curd recipe, making it also low sugar by using C&H 1/2 & 1/2 ,which is half cane sugar and half stevia. I am just discovering this product, and look forward to playing with some more recipes. The raspberry jam was also low sugar.  The meringues were not as pretty as I would have liked, but that’s because I used a zip-top back instead of a pastry bag with a nice tip for piping. I just didn’t do a very good job of piping this time. They weren’t the prettiest I’ve made, but the meringue itself was very good.

I have been looking for some lighter alternatives to traditional holiday baking treats. I love meringues, but they’re so sugary. I was quite happy to find this recipe on MyFoodAdvisor – affiliated with the American Diabetes Association.

As you can see, mine turned out a bit darker, but I that that was because the oven did not maintain a consistent temperature. For both the cinnamon and vanilla meringues I used the same base recipe. I just omitted the cinnamon for the vanilla meringues. The cinnamon meringues would be great with coffee or tea. The vanilla meringues we served with the lemon curd and/or jam. They’re good on their own, too!

Cinnamon Meringues

Spicy-sweet and as light as air. These won the "Best in Health" category!

Vanilla Meringues

Crispy vanilla meringues waiting to be filled with cool, tart-refreshing low sugar lemon curd.

Now it’s time to work off the bake! Hopefully the weather will cooperate this weekend for a good training ride or two. The 2014 Napa Valley Tour de Cure will be here before you know it! For information on how you can register for the American Diabetes Napa Valley Tour de Cure 2014, please see here! Join me in Napa, California on Sunday, May 4, 2014 – take the ride of your life! If you want to help support my ride, please click here and make a donation. Every bit helps.

I have also been hearing about another sugar alternative – Monk Fruit. I’ve ordered some Monk Fruit In The Raw. I’ve read that this natural sweetener tastes more like sugar than stevia does, so I am looking forward to trying it. Keep an eye out for some new, lighter recipes for healthier holidays.




One Response to “Work Bake Off!”

  1. Cycling Foodie » Blog Archive » Irish Apple Cake Says:

    […] fell in love with this cake at a St. Patrick’s Day party. I entered entered this cake into a bake-off at work and won the “Best Cake/Bread” […]

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