Not Quite Gay Enough

My office conducted its second annual bake-off last week. As if a bake-off isn’t gay enough, ours is now annual. And it inspires some fierce competition.

Last year we had two teams. It was the programming department versus the online production department. This year, we had so many people take interest that there were three teams.

2009 Bake-Off
That’s me in the back of the second team, striking the Charlie’s Angels pose with an electric mixer. This is what gay cable networks get up to when no one is looking β€” in case you were wondering. I wonder what Bravo does.

The rules are simple: We are each to make a sweet dessert, each one containing at least three ingredients and yielding at least 15 servings. And we must bring out own serving implements.

The entire staff may vote once for the desserts they think are the best in three categories: Gayest, Most Original and Outrageous, and Best Overall. The team with the most accumulated points among its members wins.

My boss and I teamed up last year to win the Best Overall with deep-fried apple pies. He made the dough, and I made the filling and schlepped the deep-fryer. And our team won. So this year it was a grudge match for Programming.

I briefly considered some heinous concoction or other from a ’50s-era, Good Housekeeping, Lutheran church basement pot-luck social cookbook. Something with lime Jell-O, marshmallows, cottage cheese and mustard. Or something. But the online department had a theme: All our desserts were to contain some sort of booze. We called ourselves Alco-Locas, our not-subtle tribute to Nina Flowers.

Grasshopper brownies with creme de menthe seemed a bit more palatable, but it didn’t seem gay enough. I wanted something a bit more fancy-pants and challenging. So I settled on a friend’s suggestion, Lillet-flavored marshmallows.

Lillet marshmallows
We called them ‘Get Lillet’d Marshmallows’

For shits and giggles I made them pink and cut them into triangles. How gay can you get?

Apparently it wasn’t gay enough.

A chocolate-and-nut confection rolled in coconut won Gayest. Yummy Balls they were called. How coarse! Can you believe it? Over pink marshmallow triangles β€” flavored with a French wine aperitif!

Well, I have to hand it to my proud and worthy competitor for a well-named dessert. People just couldn’t get enough of his balls. So many people had his balls in their mouth that day. Coworkers would ask each other if they’d had his balls yet.

And so on…

Here are a few of the notable competitors.

2009 Bake-Off competitors
From top left, clockwise: Yummy Balls, Macadamia Nut Pie, 80-Proof Irish Car Bomb Gay-teaux, Eat My Cookie Cocktail, Tarte au Citron, Poached Pears in Red Wine with Lime Mousse.

Team 3, “Sons of Batches,” won in a delicious upset with the most accumulated points. But the Programming department had the most individual winning desserts. And Online… well, let’s just say we got served.

Best Overall Dessert was a tie this year between the Poached Pears and the Irish Car Bomb Gay-teaux. (Those cupcakes sure packed a wallop!)

Most Original and Outrageous went to a dessert involving a ginger-sugar rimmed champagne-ginger cocktail and a gingersnap. The Eat My Cookie Cocktail. Yes, it was very ginger. Very precious. Like me, its maker was disappointed he didn’t get Gayest. But I do absolutely think he deserves the title he got.

Some other notable entries included:

  • Benedictine Ice Cream Sandwiches with Peanut Butter Cookie Tops and Bottoms (Quite a mouthful!)
  • Cumquat Galettes and Cherry Dark Chocolate Galettes With Homemade Ice Cream (Note the intentional, naughty misspelling. Can you get away with this where you work?)
  • Guinness “Bottoms Up” Brownies
  • Tira-mi-so-horny

I’m already studying up for next year. I can see I’m gonna have to pull out the big guns. It’s gonna involve fire. Baked Alaska? Cherries Jubilee, anyone?


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