At this point, after desensitization via deep-fried bubble gum and Ultimate Bacon Brisket Bombs, gonzo fried foods at state fairs — especially from you, Texas — are practically passé. Most of them are questionable at best and abominations at worst, lab experiments testing the limits of America’s absolute favorite cooking method. But cheese-curd-loving Wisconsin has single-handedly breathed new life into the staid genre, and it’s not even happening at an actual state fair.
For this year’s Summerfest, the long-running annual music festival, Trinity Three Irish Pubs took the brandy old-fashioned, called Wisconsin’s “unofficial state cocktail,” and turned it into dessert. But this isn’t some molecular-gastronomy-meets-state-fair deep-fried cocktail. Rather, it’s made of an orange pound cake (the muddled orange) filled with brandy cream cheese (the, uh, brandy) and topped with a brandy-orange caramel and bitters whipped cream. It’s then garnished with a cherry and orange slice to keep things consistent. It sounds sweet, but also like it could be … good?
One writer describes it as “pretty awesome” and says “it really does taste like a Brandy Old Fashioned,” though unfortunately the cooking means it won’t give you a buzz. While the dessert won’t show up in Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of State Fair Food, the Trinity crew says, in true mad-scientist fashion, they spent nearly nine months tinkering with the groundbreaking recipe.