Want to know how to make someone with a serious sweet tooth very happy? Invite them to be a judge at a dessert bakeoff! Yes, last night J. and I had the honor (and pleasure) of being included as judges at a neighborhood cooking contest. It wasn’t our neighborhood, which made us the perfect candidates for judging, since we didn’t know any of the entrants.
The evening began with a rib cookoff, which is really the main event. The hosts-our good friends and great cooks- L. & D have organized the “judging” based on some competition from the Food Network and it’s all very organized and proper. The entrants all use the same cut of meat purchased by the hosts and displayed in the exact same type of container. They are not allowed to do any kind of garnishing, but it was very interesting to see that the entries all looked very different from each other. I love ribs and the tasting was fun, but I made sure to save my appetite for the dessert portion of the evening.
Which brings me to the lemon tasting. Last year the desserts were chocolate and even though I am a huge chocoholic, trying a variety of lemon desserts was an easier task after eating ribs and barbeque sauce. There were nine entries and most of them were delicious. The winner was a cheesecake made with limoncello, garnished with carmelized lemon slices and when I woke up this morning I wished that I had taken a piece “to go”!
There’s only one lemon dessert that in my opinion could have beaten the cheesecake-our friend F.’s “lemon heaven pie”, but he doesn’t live in that neighborhood, so his amazing dessert wasn’t there. I’m okay with that though, because I think I could convince him to whip one up for us!