Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Chocolate Cake Tasting Party

To thank all of our local friends for all the meals, help with with our daughter, rides to the hospital, and emotional support, Ryan and I hosted a chocolate cake tasting party in November. Why chocolate cake? Because each time I've had a good remission test result, we've celebrated with a piece, and the party happened to coincide with receiving the news that I'm still in remission. (Two years now, three to go until I'm considered cured.)
The party, with so many dear friends, was wonderful. The cakes delicious. Our only regret is that so many of those who helped us through this ordeal weren't local. (In retrospect, we should have FedEx'ed the leftovers!)
Below is a pictorial summary of the event:

We had five full-size cakes in the competition. Guests received a voting card, one side of which had room for notes, and the other side contained the voting ballet for the three categories- Best Looking, Best Taste, Best in Show. We decided to have guests cut their own pieces,
so that we wouldn't waste cake (throwing away chocolate cake is a crime!)
At the end of the evening, we handed out Chinese take-out containers,
so guests could take some of the extra cake home.
We displayed the cakes amongst white flower floral arrangements that contained chocolate roses,
which I had specially made from a chocolate shop.
The other decorations were brown and gold.
Each of the cakes in the competition had meaning to Rob and me. It was a blind taste testing, so after the ballots were turned in, we shared the below details with our friends:

"Death by Chocolate" from the A&P Supermarket bakery
Cost: $26
Our close friends, John and Vanessa, who were there for us through the daily grind of my hospital stay, recovery, and chemo treatments, introduced us to this cake for one of my first remission celebration moments.
The inside had layers of chocolate cake and fudge / chocolate frosting

Customized cake from Sugarflake Bakery in Wyckoff
Cost: $55 post $5 coupon
The theme of this cake matches the theme of my blog,
and the attitude my family has tried to maintain since my diagnosis.
The inside had layers of chocolate cake and pudding filling.

"Our Famous Turtle" from Cafe Latte in Minneapolis
Cost: $38, excluding shipping costs
When Rob and I were dating in Minneapolis, Cafe Latte was one of our favorite restaurants,
and we always ended the meal with a slice of this cake. Since then, my mother-in-law
brings us each a piece whenever she visits.
Rob's twin brother, Derek, shipped this cake to us for the party (thank you Derek!)
The layers contained chocolate fudge, caramel, and pecans.

Chocolate Rosettes, homemade by Mom
Cost: $18 for ingredients
It goes without saying that this entry was particularly special to me.
My mom made these same rosettes for my sister-in-law's bachelorette party, since Jen had a rose-themed wedding.
There was no fudging layering in these, and so were a big hit for the guests who favor a slightly less sweet dessert.
Seven-Layer Chocolate Cake from The Palm in Manhattan
Cost: $85
This was our favorite cake while living in NYC. In advance of our wedding, we took a slice of the cake on the plane and give it to the baker at our reception venue, with the request to model our wedding cake after it.
As the name suggests, the cake contained seven layers of chocolate cake and a fudgy/mouse filling.
The box it came in was from a place called Sweet Street Bakery, so if anyone not in NYC wants to try this cake, it can be ordered here: Sweet Street Bakery


And the winners are... but first, a few more pics:

My parents surprised me by flying in for the event, and helping out with all the prep work.
The sweetest treat of all!

 GORGEOUS roses from Bill and Emily, who couldn't make it to the party.
Thank you!!!
And a few of the voting cards:


And now, the winners:


Best Taste:

 Cake #1 took second place.


Best Looking:

Cake #2 took second place.

Best in Show:

Cake #1 took second place.
In fact, Cake #5 was so popular, even more so after the results were announced, that it was the top choice for guests as they filled their take-home containers.
No one in my family had a chance to have a slice, which is just fine: The next time I receive a good remission test result, I know where we'll be headed.

 Again, thank you to all who have helped our family during my treatment. Here's to many more years of friendship and many more slices of cake!