Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Sweet Desserty Goodness: Battle of the Food Festivals: Epcot vs Canberra Part 2

After all the fun of Part 1, can you believe there is more?

Oh you should know me by now - of course there is .....


In the morning I'm making waffles!

Epcot Belgium stall produced these baby waffles with a squish of whipped cream and a dollop of berry compote. I had this as my breakfast one morning (before I continued eating at all the other stalls for the next two hours) and it was a fresh, sweet, tasty start to my day.

Canberra's Waffle Kitchen produced a full sized serve: 2 freshly cooked waffles with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, stewed strawberries and maple syrup. Fortunately I was sharing this with The Ken Man. This was also delightful - crispy waffle with fluffy soft insides mixed with strawberry and maple - YUMMO!

It's sweet sweet waffles - what can go wrong? Everyone Wins! YAY!

Although there is something wrong with both offerings ... what could it be??

This shape makes ALL the difference
Appley Goodness

My grandmother used to say that all those appley baked goods, such as pies, slices, tea cakes etc, were really made out of chokos with apple flavouring.

Who knows - but my grandmother still ate it all.

Epcot German Apple Strudel vs Canberra Dutch Poffertjes with imitation apple sauce
I don't even know why I put these up against each other. The Epcot Germany Apple Strudel is fresh chunky spicy sugary apple slices inside fresh flaky pastry that has soaked up the apple juices, drizzled with Werther's caramel sauce and cream. Oh how this came together in harmony! All elements in balance - a magnificent example of what can be done with humble ingredients.

The Poffertjes were - well - little mini pancakes with some kind of vaguely apple flavoured gooey sauce - more like it was at one point shown an apple and expected to absorb the flavour by osmosis. The pancakes were well cooked - you can see they are a little bit brown, not too crispy.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and to commemorate my grandmother's memory, I snorfed the lot.

Happy-ish and Happiest!

Let's take a quick run through the remaining desserts from both festivals.

Epcot L - R: Dessert Trio of lemon chiffon, tres leches verrine, white choc macadamia mousse with dark choc pearls; Italy stall cannoli with sweet ricotta, chocolate and candied fruit; France stall chocolate creme brulee.

How great are these? Full blown traditional desserts with creamy bits and chocolatey richness and diary wonderfulness! Tres Leches means "3 milks" - usually evaporated, condensed and cream - so not so much milk as all the fat and sugar that exists in milk condensed and intensified with all the water removed! Astonishingly it makes for a very light, fluffy moist spongy cake. What a wonderful array of hard core desserts!

 Canberra: L to R: Tongan pineapple pancakes; Thai banana and jackfruit springroll; Italian gingerbread man

So I learnt one lesson from this. When other countries have a go at something that it is not traditional to them, frequently my expectations are sadly dashed against the rocks of culinary destitution.

Pancakes are not meant to be balls, springrolls are not meant to have jackfruits in them and Italians must use the word "ginger" when it does not mean what I think it means.

So the pancakes - yes they did have a sweetness that could have come from pineapple, and the dough is golf ball sized and deep fried. So pretty much nothing like a western style pancake - but it was sweet and greasy and comforting. Think doughnut hole.

The jackfruit in the springroll gave me a sad. The banana was nice, but the jackfruit was basically reduced to bland starchy lumps. sigh.

As I ran (OK wobbled with additional intensity) across to the Italian Gingerbread, I created visions of soft, squishy, spicy gingerbread men dancing in my head. Alas, whilst the little man had the soft squishy texture the flavour can only be described as mildly sweet - not ginger flavoured, not even spicy - just non descript sweet. I didn't even finish off his head. He was ruthlessly discarded with swift and brutal justice.

So my lesson: Epcot desserts are worth the airfare. Canberra desserts are worth the cost of parking. Which was free.

small, albeit delicious, servings allowed for pacing
not enough spoons for creative, cheer-making, creamy comestibles

greasy and fattening to fill up, but inedible enough to limit consumption
1 point for the golfballs and the tiny chunk of banana
What have been some of your dessert surprises?

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