Monday, September 29, 2008

Piece of Cake

Hmm ... you want me to taste four fabulous desserts? Okay, well, twist my arm. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it!

Such is the role of one of our fellow Innkeepers, Jim Tuttle, with the Mount Dora Historic Inn. As a chef with quite a talent for sweet things such as his famous breads and sweet potato pancakes, judging a dessert recipe contest for him should be a piece of cake. The contest was a co-collaboration with the Retro Steakhouse in Eustis and Focus Magazine. The winning dish will be available on the menu starting in October.

So, Thursday night I tagged along with Jim & Ana to the Retro for some dinner and dessert while he judged the competition. Walking into the restaurant we ran into a lot of familiar and friendly faces. Ana and I scooted to a table in the back and ordered some veggies and a steak to split so that we could put some real food in our system before sampling ourselves into a sugar-induced coma. Jim took his place at the Judge's Table and carefully savored each bite, while Ana and I dove right in and devoured every sample presented before us. Did I mention we split everything so we could at least brag that it was only half the calories? But, who are we kidding ... it's a dessert contest for crying out loud!

Jim says, "This whole event was a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to competing in it next time!"

Here are the contestants ...

Sunshine Coconut Pineapple Cake -- Carrot cake happens to be one of my favorite sweet treats, and this was a very nice upgrade from regular carrot cake. Chunks of pineapple and shaved coconut made it much more dreamy.

Williamsburg Rum Cream
-- Whoa. Definitely a "Sex In The City" style dessert. Served in a martini glass with a little berry, a little cream, and a big dash of rum.

Walnut Chocolate Extremes -- For me, these little treats scored high for presentation. Anything drizzled in chocolate would catch my eye.

Frosty Pumpkin Pie -- The winner and my personal favorite. Pumpkin flavored ice cream in a cinnamon graham cracker pie crust shell. The perfect Florida fall dessert as it has all the flavors of the season with the refreshing temp and texture of ice cream for our warmer climate. Two forks up!

And this next little photo had to get an honorable mention. After indulging in so much dessert we walked around downtown Eustis to burn some calories before driving home and were lucky enough to discover this little shop mascot sitting in the window. Love it!


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