Cakes for a Book Swap
Liskeard, amazingly, has an annual arts festival, the Vital Spark. The driving force behind this festival is Lois Taylor, a very talented local dance artist. I say it is an annual festival, but 2012 was only it’s 2nd year and a very successful one it proved to be. One of the many events was an afternoon book swap organised by our excellent local bookshop. To make it even more convivial, I was asked to provide cake. Cake and books combined? It doesn’t get much better than that and I was easily persuaded.
Of course the big questions were what to make and how much to make? I had no idea how many people might turn up to this event – might be two (my wonderful mother and lovely friend who very kindly came along to make tea) or twenty or a lot more?
After much dithering, I went for six bakes, trying to get a good contrast in flavour, size, colour and texture as well as a gluten free offering just in case.
Jean had a good tip on her blog Baking in Franglais; in her experience, Coffee & Walnut was always the most popular cake for this type of thing. So, I made a large coffee & walnut cake using my go to recipe from Gaia’s Kitchen by Julia Ponsonby. Jean was absolutely right, this was the first one that people went for and the first one to disappear. I was told by a reputed coffee & walnut cake aficionado that it was a very “good” one.
Next in popularity were the Matcha & White Chocolate Cupcakes that I’ve already posted about. I wanted something unusual that might become a talking point. I managed it with these: what is matcha? What is the green colour? Green tea in a cake? Luckily, people were not only intrigued enough to try them but thought they were delicious too – phew!
The gluten free contribution was a chocolate & raspberry polenta cake and I shall be posting about this at a later date. I am so glad I made it as there was indeed someone there who was gluten intolerant and she was absolutely thrilled to be catered for, stating that she normally just had to watch others eat cake and there was never anything for her.
French honey & marmalade cakes also made an appearance. I’ve become a real fan of these Nonnettes, since I first made them at the end of last year. They are egg free and totally delicious. This time I omitted the white chocolate, as I did feel some sort of chocolate balance was in order! And they were still delicious.
Brownies just had to make an appearance. As my all time chocolate cake favourite, no cake event is complete without them. This time it was peanut butter brownies and I shall be posting about them at a later date.
Lastly, but by no means least, were lemon and poppy seed cake slices – the same ones that I had made back in October last year for the very same friend who runs the bookshop.
The turn out was somewhere between thirty and forty people in the end. It was a hugely enjoyable experience and most of the cake disappeared which was highly gratifying. In fact I was beginning to worry that CT wasn’t going to benefit at all, but with five pieces left, my pride was in tact and CTs belly assuaged. It was lovely to get such good feedback from the participants who all seemed to have a very enjoyable time of it.