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Abel Gonzales, King of State Fair Fried Food, Judges Dr Pepper Cake Contest

Abel Gonzales fries.

Yesterday we dispatched intern Valeria Turturro to the State Fair to cover Dr Pepper’s 125th anniversary cake competition. She files this report:

Today I got my first taste of the State Fair of Texas. As someone who’s new to Dallas, I’m also new to Big Tex, endless fried food. and everything else that makes the Texas State Fair special. So what better way to break me in to the tradition than witnessing firsthand the frying of a cake.

In celebration of Dr Pepper’s 125th anniversary a cake competition was held at the fair earlier in the day.  Julie Ray won first place. Abel Gonzales, the deep-fry king known for giving us heart-stopping concoctions like fried butter, was one of the judges for the contest.

Around 2:15 there was a swarm of cameras around Abel’s fried-food booth. I thought to myself, all this for a cake?

Jump for the story.

Abel freezes.

Gonzales took Ray’s winning cake and made it into smaller cake balls. This was a disappointment because I was hoping to see the entire cake (preferably a few layers thick) submerged in a deep fryer. But I guess that would have been impractical.

Because the cake was too light to maintain its shape, Gonzales solidified the cake balls by pouring a little liquid hydrogen nitrogen over them. Once chilled, he rolled them in flour and covered them with pancake batter made with Dr Pepper, sugar, and cinnamon. After a quick swim in the deep fryer, the cake was ready to be eaten with a dollop of whipped cream and a spoonful of Dr Pepper strawberry sauce.

The verdict? It was good, but I’ll stick to non-fried cake. The cake ball was small enough to leave me from feeling overly full after fried-food consumption. And the Dr Pepper in the sauce tied the cake and whipped cream together nicely. And, hey, I feel like there would have been no better way to introduce me to the fair.

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