You would think after two years of entering the WIXE 1190 Sugar Plum Bake Off I would know what kind of dessert would be picked as a “top ten” contender. But alas, I stick with what I know….cheesecakes. And this year, the third year, I still did not make it in top ten….Even with my Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake and Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake. But let’s look back at the first two years shall we?
The first year, I dropped one of my cheesecakes upside down and cut up the other one into pieces. Hey now…I had never entered a Bake Off before, I had no idea they wanted a WHOLE cake.
Last year, I had just lost my Mom to cancer and I was in no mood to be celebrating. I made a Turtle Cheesecake.
But this year, I asked for opinions….I figured the judges didn’t like anything out of the norm, so when I asked what a normal cheesecake was,overwhelmingly the answer was Raspberry. Pretty simple right? But NO! I could not leave it at such a normal cheesecake! I had to put one in with a little more pizazz….so I came up with a Chocolate Espressso Cheesecake!
My friend Mark brought in three scrumdiliumptious (yes, it is a word I made up, but it fits perfectly) cakes!
MMMMMMM…..MMMMMM….What about this Chocolate Mandarin Orange Cake!
You want to know how he explained it to me?
“It was just 3 layer orange / chocolate cake. It had orange buttercream frosting between the layers and chocolate ganache frosting on the outside.” Ohhh JUST three layers. Ha! This man can BAKE! Butter cream frosting? SCORE! Ganache? BINGO!
Now, if you do not know anything about this Sugar Plum Cook Off, you bring your baked goods (cakes, pies, cookies, etc) down, judges pick the top 10, then the baked goods are auctioned off and 100% of the money goes to helping my favorite charity HomeTown Heroes. If you don’t know about Hometown Heroes after reading my blog, then you must be living under a rock. They help kids who are fighting cancer and their families all year long. Want to know more?
But they don’t just auction off baked cooks. They had Steak Baskets, Fruit Baskets, Corn Hole Games, and so much more.
As I was standing there, businesses were walking in the door dropping off checks to Hometown Heroes. Do YOU know the meaning of the holidays? To me, it’s not all about presents and gifts for myself…it is about helping the less fortunate and the act of giving. If the world happened to end on the day of the Sugar Plum Bake Off, 12. 21. 2012, I would have been happy to leave this world after watching this outpouring of love.
After watching the judges sample each cake, pie, treat, and then seeing their reactions to my cheesecakes, I knew I wasn’t going to win. I could tell one judge didn’t like Raspberry and one didn’t like Espresso. But you know what? It is not about winning to me. I didn’t make those cheesecakes so I could win something. I made them because I knew they were going to be auctioned off and every dime was going to HomeTown Heroes. If I had more time, I would have made more. Not to increase my chances of winning, but to raise more money for Hometown Heroes.
And you know what?
My Raspberry Cheesecake was auctioned off for $50.00 and the Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake was auctioned off for $110.00!!!
THAT is why I participate in the Sugar Plum Bake Off.
All in all, they auctioned off 70+ cakes plus all the other prizes. People could call on the phone to bid, or show up at Hendricks Chevy/Cadillac to bid. Other cakes sold from 25.00 to 500.00+ and ALL THAT MONEY went to help support HomeTown Heroes!!!
Want to learn more about HomeTown Heroes and all they do throughout the year? Then check them out on Facebook – they are always up to something fun!
And FYI, Mel always gets mad at me for making cheesecakes then taking them out the door with me while he doesn’t even get to taste test them, hahahha, so this year, when I was making the other cheesecakes for the Sugar Plum Bake Off, I made him his own Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake. When I came home from the Sugar Plum Bake Off, this is what was left of the cheesecake I made him.
I guess the Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake is a keeper!