Crunchtime: Almond Joy takes the cake

Leonora Paul serving her winning dessert, Coconut Almond Joy Butter Crunch Cake.
Leonora Paul serving her winning dessert, Coconut Almond Joy Butter Crunch Cake.

By Thomas Albano

Those who entered Daly’s on April 23 for dinner were in for a sweet surprise. As they walked through the doors, they found a 107.7 The Bronc crew set up in front of the high tables, the walls decorated with paper plates and sticks crafted into the shape of lollipops, and pieces of paper on the floor, resembling cards from the Candy Land board game.

The radio station’s second annual Dessert Wars took place in Daly’s dining hall, but this year’s competition had an added ingredient. Every recipe had to include at least one candy. With the subtitle of Candy Land, the event required every dessert to use at least one candy in the recipe.

The Bronc’s General Manager John Mozes felt the station “hit a home run” with this year’s edition.

“What we try to do with these competitions now is we try to give them a theme,” Mozes said. “We started with a brand and now we try to refine that brand every year.”

Justin Giachetti, who served this year as the station’s promotions director, said adding the required candy portion to the contest gave it flare.

“Last year was our inaugural year, so this year we wanted to do something different and unique,” Giachetti said. “So by adding candy to our desserts, it brought a different element to it. It made the challenge even harder. So, it wasn’t just family recipes, it had to be something that was new and innovative.”

The winning recipe was senior advertising major Leonora Paul’s Coconut Almond Joy Butter Crunch Cake. The recipe features the blending, melting and adding of Almond Joy into the cake’s texture and icing. Paul also won last year’s contest — with a Glazed Apple Cake.

“I make a lot of almond cakes and I really like baking,” she said. “The inspiration came from my mom, and one of my favorite candies is Almond Joy, so that’s why I chose to use it.”

For winning this year’s contest, Paul received a 40-inch RCA HDTV, a year’s supply of cupcakes from Sweetly Spirited Cupcakes, $150 in Bronc Bucks, tickets to see a performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus and a Trenton Thunder baseball game.

The second recipe chosen for the competition’s finale was the Reese’s Wrap, made by senior secondary education and history double major Nasser Zayer. The treat has melted Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or M&M’s spread on a flour tortilla with peanut butter and Nutella, which is then wrapped and pressed or heated and topped with ice cream.

“I make this dessert almost every night after dinner and a lot of my friends enjoy it, too,” Zayer said. “I figured, since I already make this dessert all the time, why not submit my recipe and see what happens? It was also kind of a spinoff of Daly’s breakfast wraps, which had PB&J as well as Rice Krispies cereal in them, but with some of my favorite foods.”

The final recipe featured was sweet sushi, made by sophomore elementary education and theater double major Amanda Davies. The sweet sushi uses Rice Krispies treats combined with Fruit Roll-ups, Swedish Fish, a green-dyed coconut and a bit of Nutella, all cut up into bite-sized pieces.

“I was inspired to make sweet sushi from my love of real sushi,” Davies said. “I figured that most people I know like sushi, so why not have a dessert sushi? I figured that it is a fun-sized bite of candy and chocolate, and who doesn’t like that?”

While he is unsure of what next year will bring to the table, Mozes felt this year’s theme was a big success, bringing feelings of nostalgia throughout the student body with the Candy Land concept.

“We tried to make it like the game everybody loves as a kid,” Mozes said. “We thought it would do two things: It would resonate well with the students because it brings a little bit of your childhood and then it brings back memories. We saw people skipping on [the cards], jumping on them and just having a good time. So, even if they didn’t eat any of the desserts, it’s a way to engage them and make them participate.”

printed in the 4/29/15 edition

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