So, remember that spiced apple maple bacon donut I told you about yesterday?
Well ... Heidi didn't care to leave my imagination hanging too long, and sent another care package over earlier today with four samples. Imagine my delight upon opening this box:
I usually refrain from critically assessing food that's been provided to us for free, to stay on the right side of the whole conflict-of-interest thing — we don't want people thinking they can "buy" coverage with treats — but seriously, holy shit.
I love it. Half our office smells like a diner still, a couple hours after I walked samples around. (Yeah, I share; I'm a nice guy sometimes.) Close your eyes, and the donut smells like a whole plate of syrup-covered pancakes with strips of bacon on the side.
If a regular donut is say, a smart bomb, this sinful creation is an atom bomb. (Picture a mushroom cloud of happiness in the flavor centers of your brain.)
And really ... if you think I'm just saying that because I got some free grub ... you're kinda dismissing the fact that we're talking about a fucking maple bacon donut.
Here, take another look:
I called Heidi for the lowdown on how she makes it, and here's what she said: She puts apple bits and bacon bits in the dough and then fries the donuts in part regular oil and part bacon fat, which accounts for extra bacon flavor and some culinary chutzpah on the chef's part, then she finishes them with the maple glaze and a garnish of mini bacon chunks.
I told her that I'm taking home the last half of one donut to experiment with putting a fried egg on top, something she says she's never tried. But she did say she's been considering making a bread pudding out of the day-old donuts.
At that point, I think we'd be talking about the edible equivalent of a hydrogen bomb.
——- ORIGINAL POST, 5:24 P.M., FEB. 9 ——-
In the spirit of care-package transparency as well as full disclosure: I received a box of goodies today from Heidi Cottrill of Chef Sugar's Cakes and Confections.
Well, technically, her husband David dropped them off while saying a quick hello. When the couple was teaching at Paragon Culinary School, I worked closely with them on a feature about the program's extreme final.
Before catching up with Heidi by phone today, I last spoke with her in September about her store's opening for my Side Dish column. We talked about stuff like — you know — the spiced apple maple bacon donut that still have yet to try.
Well, in newer news, Heidi says that an episode of Food Network Challenge in which she competed will likely air around April or May sometime. (We'll update you when we find out.)
Heidi received a call yesterday confirming that the show is in the editing process now. Though she's obviously not able to share the competition's results, she was able to say that her challenge involved making a cake that reached at least three feet tall and played to the theme of "awesome ’80s."
Also, she's already been invited back to appear on future episodes, which are conveniently shot at a studio in Denver. (Other contestants fly from around the country.)
As for what was in that box Heidi sent me, take a look:
What you're seeing is red velvet, lemon, peanut butter cup and double chocolate cupcakes with red velvet, tiramisu, triple berry and mocha cake balls.
Heidi says the cake balls are trending currently and that people are going bonkers over them.
David explained to me how simple and utilitarian they are. Heidi essentially takes cake scrap that's trimmed from her elaborate custom cakes and wads it into a ball that's dragged through icing. Messy but fun.
In addition to all these items in the outfit's daily display case, you can stop by for a cup of Barista espresso or coffee. Around springtime, look for the return of Heidi's amazing key lime tart, which I gushed over back when she was making it for Palapa's Surfside (which is now the second José Muldoon's location).