Today at work, everyone brought in a baked treat, or two, to share and then to be judged by our peers. It was good that I missed (skipped) breakfast this morning so I was able to quickly filly my belly with numerous confections-all by 9:30 AM. I was originally making chocolate cupcakes with mocha frosting, until I mentioned that to my mother. Needless to say, she wasn't impressed that I was bringing cupcakes to a baking contest and when I asked if she didn't think it was a good idea, she just said, "Oh, I'm sure they'll enjoy them". Hmmm. Evidently I needed to pick it up a notch.
From my big, black binder-which consists of pages of magzine tear-outs and internet print-offs of recipes that I imagine myself making someday-I chose a Milky Way Tart published in Bon Appetit. It has a chocolate crust, a layer of buttery caramel, and a pillowy topping of airy chocolate cream. What's funny is that the other item that I brought, Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jam Bars, happened to win "Best Taste". Yeah, those took like 10 minutes to throw together and I only ended up making them as I had some time to kill while I was blind baking the tart shell. I don't know, maybe it was the jam as I canned it this summer adapting Orangette's jam recipe in Bon Appetit. Regardless, by the end of the day, their platter was cloaked in crumbs while half of what I consdiered the showpiece, Milky Way Tart, still lingered. In terms of office-standards, I'd say the jam bars were well received.
The highlight of the day was definitely the Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie with Pecan crust, which was E's contribution. I felt badly for him all day as everyone in the group kept asking him if he really made it or if he was pawning one of my creations off on his own. He took it in stride, and when it came down to awards, he was the recipient of "Best in Show". Okay, so the naming convetion of the awards may need some work, but the point is he did a great job and the rest of the group, myself included, was clearly impressed with his culinary expertise.