Let’s talk about… dessert

Today, Hilary and I discussed various desserts, because we were at a total loss of what else to talk about, and because we haven’t got enough political savvy to talk about the American government shutdown without simply stating: “what the fridge Amurica?” So now that that clever commentary is out of the way, on to the sweet stuff…

Hilary: My favourite dessert I think is Nanaimo bars. Why? I’m not sure. They’re just so chocolaty and delicious. It’s one of the main reasons I like Christmas so much. I have a feeling that this is only something our family does, but we only have Nanaimo bars at Christmas. Why? They’re not a specific Christmas dessert, are they? And yet Whimsical Mimsical has made them one.

Julia: Interesting, interesting. Nanaimo bars are a great square, but I’ve always wondered what they’re supposed to be. Everything has a flavour – it’s not just pie, it’s apple pie, etc. – but what is the flavour in the middle of a Nanaimo bar? It’s sandwiched between chocolate and it’s delicious, but what is it supposed to taste like? WHAT ARE YOU, YOU DELICIOUS SQUARE! I must know! (As you can see, they confuse me.)

I think my favourite dessert is brownies. They’re like a denser, richer, gooier version of cake. I know that reads like I’m explaining to you what a brownie is, as if you’ve never had one before, but really, I was trying to prove why they’re a superior dessert. You can also ice a brownie (and icing is undisputedly the best part of cake). Cake’s got nothing on brownies. Though they sit in your stomach like a stone, they’re so delicious going down.

Hilary: You know, I’ve never questioned what was in the middle of a Nanaimo bar before. I think it’s just vanilla icing, but coloured. Actually, one time Mum made mint Nanaimo bars with mint icing in the middle. It was horrible. I hated it. And then we had this leftover mint icing that she kept trying to use on cakes. I think I made her throw it out. I don’t know why I’m so adverse to mint, but apparently that’s the case. In all honesty, there was nothing wrong with the mint icing, I’m just nuts.

Brownies are also great. I like a good brownie. And cake is also delicious, but it really depends on the icing. Terrible icing ruins a cake. Then again, I suppose terrible cake also ruins a cake, so there’s that.

Julia: Ok, but here’s the big question. Is cake better than pie?

Hilary: I think cake and pie are equally as excellent. And I don’t know which I would choose. I think it depends on my mood. What I don’t like is when people try to mix the two things together. I do not ever want to eat a chocolate pie. I mean, I get it, both pie and chocolate are great, but is chocolate mousse in a pie crust really that good? I could of course be biased here due to my dislike of mousses and pudding. Blech.

Here’s another question: are tarts just mini pies? I think that they are.

Julia: Actually, no, according to Wikipedia, a tart is a pie with an open top, usually topped with fruit and not pastry. Pie has a pastry top. Tartlets are mini tarts. But what are mini pies?

Hilary: Then what the hell is a lemon merengue pie? It is definitely open-topped, but it’s not a tart because it’s bigger than a tart. Aren’t tarts usually one-person servings? I mean, technically you could eat a pie all to yourself and in one sitting (they have based competitions around this very fact), but it’s not necessarily something anyone does on a regular basis. I mean, it’s not something anyone I know does on a regular basis.

Perhaps mini pies are like cupcakes. So cuppies.

Julia: I’m pretty sure tarts can be pie sized, or they can be medium sized, but when they become cupcake sized, then they’re tartlets. So I think that lemon meringue pie is actually a tart. Crazy eh?

According to Martha, who I think is an authority on such matters, small pies are just called mini pies. Cuppies is interesting alternative.

Hilary: I would like to start a movement wherein mini pies are actually termed pielettes. I think it’s appropriate. We have really analyzed pies here. And tarts. And pielettes.

Another dessert I am quite fond of is fudge. Again, Mimsical has made that into a kind of Christmas dessert, but it’s definitely not. It makes me wonder what kind of baked goods she did let us eat during the rest of the non-seasonal year. Cookies. The answer to that is largely cookies. And also cake. She really, really likes cake. But only chocolate cake. I myself am a fan of various kinds of cake, except when there are nuts involved. Walnuts ruin everything.

Julia: I love fudge! It’s essentially creamy, buttery sugar. Delish.

I like cake, but have become fearful of it since becoming lactose intolerant. Sometimes I’m fine, munching away on a nice piece of bundt, and sometimes the icing is lactose death. I just want people to be consistent with their icings, is that too much to ask? Also buttercream never have, nor should, exist. Nobody needs that much butter on a baked good.

Hilary: Literally just butter on a cake with some sugar. Horrible. But, like you said, it works in fudge. Man, fudge is delicious. It also makes me feel a bit sick, though, if I eat too much of it. Although, to be fair, I’m sure if I ate enough of anything it would make me feel sick, especially if contained that much sugar.

Let’s discuss the fact that Oreos don’t have any lactose in them at all. I find this slightly worrisome. Not enough to stop eating them, but worrisome nonetheless.

Julia: Yeah, it was a beautiful discovery when I realized that I could digest Oreos. And then you start to think about what’s in that icing and it does become troubling. Just like Oreo ice cream has no milk or cream, but just modified milk ingredients and a whole lotta guar gum.

Hilary: I personally love guar gum. It’s fantastic. I actually have no idea what guar gum is or what it tastes like on its own. I’m going to hazard a guess and say horrible. Oh, according to Wikipedia it’s one of the most frequently used gums in gluten-free products. So yes, it probably does taste like crap.

Julia: And that’s what happens when you try and make gluten-free-vegan baking. It’s full of guar and devoid of flavour. I’m all for using avocado as a butter substitute, but doesn’t it seem sort of anti-vegan to eat a bunch of chemical crap that you can’t even pronounce? Oh you won’t eat honey, but you love guar? Yes of course, that’s totally logical. It’s like vegans who smoke. WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE? (I do recognize that vegans may have chosen this lifestyle to be more conscious of sustainable food sourcing and do their part to improve the welfare of the planet, not to be health nuts, but you can’t just eat a tonne of ancient grains and other healthy stuff and then try and eat a cupcake that’s so synthetic it’s practically a sponge. You simply cannot make these choices. I won’t allow it.)

Hilary: Also, those people who are determined to eat ancient grains and all that good stuff are using all the quinoa and leaving the good people of Peru with nothing but mangos. Do mangos grow in Peru? Does it matter? They’re still gross. How do mangos get away with it? Tasting like carrots, but pretending to a be fruit. It’s appalling.

Julia: Ugh I agree. Readers: show of hands. Who here thinks that mangoes taste like carrots? We’ve been told that only super weird people like my siblings and I think this, but I know we’re not alone.

Mangoes. Disgusting.

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