Although breakfasts were included in our registration, Amber and I never made it to a single one. We stayed up between 2:30 and 3:30am most nights, and with breakfast only being served from 7:30-8:30, it just wasn't going to happen. (Besides, we were never hungry after the previous day's meals!)
However, one day, we kind of did have breakfast. We went to the 10am food demonstration by Doron Petersan of Sticky Fingers vegan bakery in Washington, DC. You may recognize her name or face as the gal who won Cupcake Wars TWICE.
The theme of her demo was coconut. But for us, it was breakfast.
mis en place
We knew from experience that food demonstrations filled up fast. (You'll read about Chef AJ's soon.) Even though we were up late the night before, Amber was up at 9am and down to the demo room by 9:20 to secure seats. She almost dragged me out of bed at 9:20, just before leaving, and I quickly showered and pulled myself together. I was in the shower when she left our room, shouting, "I'm gonna save us seats, but you better not be late and make me look like a jerk!" before walking out the door. I think I breezed into the demo hall by 9:50, just as other people were starting to give Amber the Evil Eye for saving two seats in the front row.
Doron talked about how she went vegan, how she started Sticky Fingers, her Cupcake Wars experience, and writing a book, as well as answered questions about baking throughout.
On the menu: coconut-lemon cookies, coconut cream pie, and "almond joy cake," which was coconut cake with chocolate ganache and toasted coconut and almonds for garnish.
I expected the cookie to be crisp, but I was pleased to have my teeth sink into the cookie rather than snap. At first taste, it was a delicate coconut flavor, but then that burst of lemon shone through. A delightful cookie!
The coconut cream pie was pretty great, especially with that strawberry slice, but that cake, y'all. THAT CAKE.
When I get married, THAT will be my cake. This is saying a lot, folks, because I've always considered myself a strict peanut-butter-and-chocolate ONLY when it comes to desserts, and I've never hated coconut, but it was also never my favorite. This cake, though, takes the...cake. Yeah.
We all received recipes for everything that was made in the demonstration, and the recipes can also be found in Doron's book, Sticky Finger's Sweets, 100 Super-Secret Recipes. (She explained that the "Super Secret" part of the title is a joke toward chefs/restaurants that refuse to reveal their recipes or precise ingredients, whereas the recipes in her book are the EXACT same recipes they use in the bakery.)
And guess what immediately followed this demo? LUNCH!