‘Dessert Wars’ stirs up delicious competition

cupake-01In most lists of food trends, one specific category leads the pack. From cupcakes to cronuts to deep-fried oreos, dessert is more than an occasional indulgence – it’s a cultural obsession. What better way to feed cravings than two hours entirely devoted to everyone’s favorite course?

This Sunday, the university will be hosting “Dessert Wars” at the BankUnited Center. The event is a competition among local businesses for the title of “Miami’s Best Confection.” More than 25 establishments will be represented, showcasing a tremendous variety of sweet treats. The menu for Sunday’s showdown includes donuts, whoopie pies, ice cream, cake and everything in between, which will be evaluated by a panel of local celebrity judges.

The Piping Gourmets will be one of the shops competing for sweet supremacy. The store was formed when co-founder Carolyn Shulevitz decided to come out with healthier, cleaner versions of classic American desserts. The Piping Gourmets will bring whoopee pies that are non-GMO verified, gluten-free certified, vegan and kosher. According to Shulevitz, they only use “pure” ingredients and do not include artificial coloring or flavoring.

“We have relatives and family members who are big supporters of the University of Miami, so we wanted to do all we could to whip it up,” said Shulevitz. “We’re sending two of our representatives to explain the nutrition facts and the things that make our brand stand out.”

Another competitor ready for the battle is Liquid Ice Cream, a shop that makes ice cream using liquid nitrogen, which allows the ice cream to freeze almost instantly. Owner Jose Carmona feels confident that being a dessert truck gives Liquid Ice Cream an advantage, and he looks forward to the event.

cookies-01“We’re still deciding between a couple of things,” he said. “We live in South Florida, and everyone loves flan, so that’s something that we’re thinking of doing, is a flan ice cream with cookie dough pieces inside, or our donut sundae, which is basically like a cronut … we also make a Cinnamon Toast Crunch-flavored ice cream.”

But the real winners here are the attendees. A ticket not only gains you access to the event, but to a smorgasbord of free samples, a milk bar and a dessert eating competition, not to mention a ticket to the Hurricane Basketball game against Clemson at 6:30 p.m. By the afternoon’s end, you won’t just have a sweet tooth, you’ll have a whole mouthful.