Proud to tell you that Team YourKindofSalad brought home first place Tuesday night in the Easy Bake Oven Bake Off hosted by Joseph-Beth Booksellers to celebrate the launch of “Light Bulb Baking: A History of the Easy Bake Oven” by Todd Coopee.
Competition was fierce. Dishes included a Chocolate Bourbon Cake with Salted Caramel (from Team Joseph-Beth), Chocolate Layer Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese frosting (from Team Cincinnati Magazine) and Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies (from Team Spelman).
Despite the expectation to make a sweet, our team went the savory route. We thought it would be unusual and a fun change from all the cakes and cookies I was sure would be there.
My winning dish? “Easy Bake Oeufs” or Baked eggs with Caramelized onions, Gruyère cheese, topped with Crème fraîche and Chives.
Yes, this was made in an EASY-BAKE OVEN.
Like most things in my life; I went at this full-force. I bought an Easy-Bake Oven to practice with; had some friends over for a taste-testing, and designed a table set-up and uniform.
Turns out? I’m kind of a hard-ass when it comes to competitions. I think at various points the words “I’m scared of Anne” were uttered. We were here to win, darn it!
Tood Coopee, the author, had graciously supplied ovens from his collection of vintage Easy Bake ovens. I was SLIGHTLY nervous since I had only practiced on the most modern oven; but Todd assured me the ovens got up to 350 degrees, so all should be well. I was banking (baking?) on it.
The other competitors filed in; and we all took our places at an oven. Knowing that my Oeufs would take a WHILE to bake; we immediately set up and got to prepping.
First dish into the oven. Cheers to Meredith who handled the Easy Bake “Pan Pusher” like a pro. Meredith is an expert pusher. While the Oeufs were baking (18 minutes per tray, yes, I clocked it exactly…) we checked out the other teams’ progress. There was definitely some trash-talking going on (especially with Team Joseph-Beth, Kim and Eli were worthy adversaries, and a blast to cook next to!) After precisely 18 minutes; we had a gorgeous, fragrant little egg dish. A quick running of the knife around the edge….
While the final cooking was happening, Todd did a reading and short retrospective of the Easy Bake Oven. Its fascinating how a simple “toy” has so greatly impacted people in the past 50 years. I remember that my sister and I didn’t have an Easy Bake Oven, but my friend Elisabeth did; and man, I was JEALOUS. Also, Cincinnati fun fact: The Easy-Bake Oven was introduced in 1963 by Kenner Products, a Cincinnati, Ohio based toy company – thanks Wikipedia! Todd’s book “Light Bulb Baking: A History of the Easy Bake Oven” has a much more in-depth look at the history of this fun little gadget.
Finally, time to assemble! I cut the little round into fourths; adding a dollop of Crème fraîche on one wedge…And firmly placing the second wedge on top…
…and piping on another dollop of Crème fraîche. A sprinkle of (unpictured) fresh chives and black pepper and it was off to the judges! Along with Todd, one of the Pastry Chefs at Bronte and a former Kennar VP who had managed the Easy Bake product were the official judges.
The other teams rocked it out as well: Team Spelman came away with “Most Promising Pastry Chef”, Team Cincinnati Magazine came away with “Most Resembling a Real Cake” and Team Joseph-beth came away with “Most Creative Recipe.” After the judging, we prepped a few samples to taste-test with the audience (I’m sorry to say, we ran out before we got to everyone!)
Overall, this was an incredibly fun event hosted by the awesome team at Joseph-Beth and the lovely Mr. Todd Coopee.
Cheers to all who participated and especially to my awesome Easy Bake Partners, PJ and Meredith.
4 – 5 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced
1 bs butter
2oz Gruyere cheese, grated
a dash of cayenne pepper
Sea Salt, Black Pepper
2 tbs fresh chives, diced
1/4c. Creme Fraiche
* Makes 4 Easy Bake round tins or 1 ( 8″) Cake Pan
Pre-heat oven to 350 (regular or Easy Bake).
Thoroughly spray cooking tins with cooking spray.
Caramelized Onions: In a deep skillet over low-medium heat, melt butter. Add onions. Add a bit of sea salt; and cover. Allow onions to cook down, occasionally stir to keep from sticking. Should take 45 min for onions to be soft, luscious and a beautiful golden color.
Allow to cool slightly before using. . This recipe makes more than the Oeufs call for; but these are so delicious, you’ll want to throw the extra into soup, mashed potatoes or a sandwich. These can be made 1-2 days in advance. You will need 3-4 tbs for the Oeufs.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs with a bit of sea salt and black pepper. Once the eggs are foamy; add onions (3-4 tbs) and grated cheese. Stir thoroughly to combine. Add a dash of sea salt and a dash of the cayenne pepper, stir in completely.
Gently pour the mix onto the prepared tin(s). Bake for 18 mins (Easy Bake Oven), 22-28 mins (regular oven). Watch closely in a regular oven; the dish is done when the eggs are set and the middle doesn’t look wet.
To serve, slice into wedges and dollop (or pipe) Creme Fraiche on top. Sprinkle with freshly snipped chives and a bit more black pepper. You can also serve the wedges in two layers with a bit of Creme Fraiche in the middle and on top, as I did for the Easy Bake version. Serves 2-3.
All Photo Credits to PJ, Easy Baker Superstar