"Sweets for the Sweet" is a local restaurant dessert competition hosted by the Caritas House Inc., which assists people living in 22 counties of northern West Virginia who are living with HIV/AIDS. The Caritas (Latin for charity) House was created in 1994 and is one of three organizations in the state who assist these individuals.
The 20th annual event was held on Saturday at the WVU Alumni Center. It cost $20 and the proceeds benefited the Caritas House. The event featured the dessert tasting competition, raffles, door prizes and auctions.
Heather and I found a table right across from Joel, who is my fellow foodie friend within University Relations and happens to bake at Rising Creek Bakery occasionally. Heather's friends April and Emily joined us, and we began making our rounds to the 13 (THIRTEEN!) different restaurant participants.
Salted caramel & walnut tart with an almond and walnut crust; triple chocolate mousse tart with a delicate chocolate crumb crust
I, of course, opted for the salted caramel tart, because lord knows I love me some caramel. And, this was certainly very caramel-y. It had sort of melted into this pool of caramel, which was a touch difficult to eat. But, I mean, you can't really go wrong with a pool of caramel. I had a taste of a friend's mousse tart, which wasn't bad.
Rising Creek Bakery
Orange almond financier, macerated Italian cherries, white chocolate custard mousse and almond crunch
This one won my vote - and not just because it's Joel's restaurant. Rather, because the flavors are so well composed and thought out to determine what complements what. The almond crunch was just perfect.
I expected something a bit more elaborate from Apple Annie's, because they have these mile-high pieces of pie and cake. But, a mini cupcake did the trick, too.
Strawberry shortcake gelato
This, of course, was delicious. How can you go wrong with gelato? You can't. Clearly, considering I scarfed this down before I had a chance to snag a photo. It was melting... or something...
OK QUICK BREAK. So. many. sweets. We decided to help ourselves to the heavy hors d'oeuvres buffet outside for some salty snacks. OK, back to it.
The Wine Bar at Vintner Valley
Summer carrot cake with grenata
I'm OK with carrot cake; it's typically not my most favorite thing. But this one had some shredded zucchini in it, and it was ever so moist. Plus, it was the first time I had ever had grenata, which tasted like summer in a glass.
Hill & Hollow
Caramelized banana tres leches cake with coconut macaroon
This little cake packed a punch of flavor. The caramelized banana on the bottom gave it some sweetness; and the macaroon on top was good enough all on its own.
Morgantown Brewing Company
Alpha Blonde buttermilk brownie with dulce de leche, vanilla bean whipped cream served with Alpha Blonde Ale; Coconut & almond crusted cheesecake with blood orange jelly, brookside saison caramel served with Brookside Farmhouse Saison
I went with the cheesecake, which had a good crust, and I was a fan of the jelly. The brownie was a bit dense for my taste. But, again, gotta give it to Brew Pub for always doing something creative -- and with beer, too.
Peanut butter ice cream sandwich, strawberry, port; bacon-wrapped dates, ricotta, cinnamon
The Devils on Horseback are always always top notch for me. I love the sweet and salty. But, the peanut butter ice cream sandwich was very smart and very good. Table 9 was one of my favorites, and if it wasn't for Rising Creek, there's no doubt they would've been my #1.
I went with a mini strawberry cupcake; tasty, as usual.
Erickson Alumni Center
Fried cheesecake with mango puree; warm toffee cake with ice cream
While the cheesecake was kinda tough to eat, I died over the warm toffee cake with ice cream. Definitely in my top favorites of the night. Warm, gooey and rich. So delicious.
The chocolate cake pop was fairly run of the mill, but it sure looked cute.
Preston County Inn
Make your own blueberry, strawberry, Belgian, or banana pecan waffle bar
First of all, these waffles were damn good. Perfectly crisp and golden brown, giving way to pillowy fluffy inside. An assortment of waffles, plus fresh toppings and local WV maple syrup made for a home run.
Heaven & Hell cake
This is seven layers of devils food and angel food cake between layers of peanut butter mousse frosting. Tasty.
Also, shoutout to Northern Eagle Distributing for serving up a delicious rose. This is always a super fun event that benefits a great cause. If you didn't make it to this year's event, be sure to catch the next one.
People's Choice: Rising Creek Bakery
Sweetest of the Sweet: Erickson Alumni Center
1st Runner Up: Table 9
2nd Runner Up: Dancing Fig
President's Choice: Foxfire Restaurant