There was no shortage of deliciousness Downstairs at the Middle East as the Boston Cake Experiment got underway at 6:00 on Sunday, June 24th. It was an all out cake fest for the sixteen teams that served up bite sized samples of their sweet and savory treats to the enthusiastic attendees.
The atmosphere was festive, and there was a little something for everyone as the desserts and beer flowed, music played and the crowd milled around the dark club, piling small pieces of cake onto paper plates while talking to the excited chefs who proudly discussed their creations.
The Boston Cake Experiment is part of the Food Experiments 2012 Cook Off series, organized by Theo Peck and Nick Suarez and presented by the Brooklyn Brewery. This year they challenged chefs in 16 cities, with each city featuring a different ingredient. Boston, had cake but other cities had ingredients like Chinese food, curry, beer, tacos and smoke to work with with. The winner from each city is invited to represent their city in the Best Bite Championship, on December 16th, in Brooklyn New York. This year, Food Alors!, who won for the second time with their cake Torteau de Chevre, will be representing Boston.
The participants were as friendly as the cakes were diverse, so it wasn’t hard to find something to like about all of them. I particularly liked Wine among Friends, “Orange Blossom Cake,” Team Campfire’s, “S’most,” which was toasted right on the table, and there was also Banana Bellies, “Summer Amaranth Cake,” Flour Power’s, “Strawberry Dream,” and The Big Kahuna’s, “The Luau Crasher,” which tasted like Hawaiian pizza.
It was a labour of love and learning for the participants. They experimented, making cakes out of all sorts of ingredients; fruit, Ritz crackers, wine, and spam. Stacey Le Blanc of Team Tipsy, and the Boston Sweetie food blog explained that she went through a week of trial and error before she figured out what she wanted to do. “it took about 13 hours over two days to get everything prepared,” she said, “The frosting was the hardest part, cooking with wine when you’re trying to make frosting is difficult because it tends to separate. So I ended up having to make a reduction.”
As the evening ended, the MC shouted out a quick reminder, “you guys it’s time to vote.,” Then, to the wild cheers of a crowd buzzing super hard off of an intense sugar high he thanked the judges, sponsors, and “the heart and soul of the experiment, the chefs,” as he handed out judges prizes, audience prizes and Theo’s Prize for Experimentation and brought the evening to a close .
First Place: In the Age of Mechanical Reproduction – Cocoa Chanel
Second Place: Liz Squared – The Michelada
Third Place: Flour Power – Strawberry Dream
First Place / Grand Prize: Food Alors! – Torteau de Chevre
Second Place: Gourmand and Twin – The Sophisticake
Third Place: Banana Bellies – Summer Berry Amaranth Cake
Theo’s Prize for Experimentation: Wine Among Friends – Orange Blossom Special