Monday, October 28, 2013

Sugar Rush Recap: Bound'ry's Jessica Collins Takes the (Cup)cake

Posted By on Mon, Oct 28, 2013 at 2:56 PM

This years Sugar Rush winner, Boundry chef Jessica Collins, with previous (and two-time) winner Mignon Francois of The Cupcake Collection
  • Photo: Michael W. Bunch
  • This year's Sugar Rush winner, Bound'ry chef Jessica Collins, with previous (and two-time) winner Mignon Francois of The Cupcake Collection
There's a new champion of sweets in town: Bound'ry pastry chef Jessica Collins took home the trophy this year as the people's choice for top treats. The award was presented by retiring champion The Cupcake Collection.

It's difficult to know exactly which of Chef Collins' confections put Bound'ry into the winner's circle since they brought a huge selection of desserts for Sugar Rushers to sample: cereal milk cupcakes, banana and bacon cupcakes, creme "eggs" with candied bacon, a blondie with pretzel caramel glaze, a brownie with balsamic-marinated cherries and ganache, pumpkin-maple bourbon fluff whoopie pies, caramel corn pudding and my favorite of the selection, a bourbon chocolate pudding. And that's just a partial list.

Unsurprisingly, choosing a favorite among all the candidates was difficult. It was actually the promise of a "crollnut," that lured me to the event in the first place. Folks had been Twittering for days about the Riffs dessert (a combination croissant-cinnamon roll-donut) and it did not disappoint. Delicious. It's the special creation of pastry chef Audra Dykes and is only available occasionally. If you want to know when it will be at the new Riffs Cafe or on the Riffs Fine Street Foods truck, I suggest following Riffs Cafe on Facebook, where they post the daily specials, or following @RiffsTruck on Twitter.

Another favorite that may be difficult to get on any regular basis was the "cronut" (croissant-donut) from Fox's Donut Den. They've been covertly working on their version in cinnamon + sugar and powdered varieties but have not added them to the regular rotation. When I inquired about availability, they were reluctant to make any promises. My suggestion would be to also follow them on Facebook or Twitter, call ahead to ask or just drop in (early) some time and take your chances the cronuts will be there. At worst, you'll leave with a fantastic apple fritter.

It wasn't all about deep-fried pastries; there were many more remarkable desserts. Here's a wrap-up:

The hot crollnut from Riffs
The Loving Pie Company sampled several bite-sized pies including caramel apple and coconut (which is their best seller).

Retro Sno made their last appearance of the season and had a steady line all night long, thanks to flavors such as Tres Leches and Dreamsicle.

Chef's Market served a trio of desserts that included a chocolate truffle, maple bacon cupcake and a sweet potato tart with a praline pecan topping (which I loved).

Diana's Sweet Shoppe was there to show off their house-made fudge. Along with the standard chocolate and peanut butter flavors, the store also has a menu of some very interesting specialty fudges, including jalapeno, pumpkin cheesecake, caramel apple and Butter Beer.

Godiva was there to sample their chocolate covered strawberries (one of my very favorite treats) as well as a selection of their truffles. Several truffles found their way into my purse. Ahem.

Walker Creek Confections was sampling their toffee as well as some of their specialty caramels that include bourbon caramel and apple pie moonshine caramel.

Spin Wheels Cotton Candy Cart was sampling the fluffiest treat of the night with cotton candy spun on demand.

And then there were the cakes. Connie Cakes was sampling red velvet and carrot cakes. Nothing Bundt Cakes (of which I'm a huge fan) sampled several flavors, including white chocolate raspberry. The Frosted Affair (which has a new store on Bandywood) sampled cupcakes and cake pops. And speaking of cake pops, Faye's Cake Pops featured a variety of creative flavors and decorations, including a chocolate vodka flavor. And, of course, retiring champions The Cupcake Collection were also kind enough to bring their multiple-award-winning cupcakes to the event as well. I was happy to see my favorite, the sweet potato cupcake.

But back to the winner. If you want to try out Chef Collins' desserts, she's prepared a new fall menu that just rolled out last week. Unfortunately, all the desserts at Sugar Rush were specially prepared for the event and are not available at the restaurant, but I doubt you'll be disappointed in the selection that is available, which includes a fall bread pudding and a flourless chocolate cake. Congratulations, Chef Collins! And congratulations to anyone who was able to sample all the treats (whew!).

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