Over the last few months, Kara, Kirsty, Mairi and I have all been on a little baking adventure! Back at the beginning of the summer I saw an advert for ‘Cake Fest Scotland‘ which was organised as part of the 2016 Festival of Architecture which has events happening all over Scotland this year.
Once our team was formed, we started by meeting (over tea and cake, naturally) to decide what building we wanted to bake. Our first choice was Fort George and we were able to go ahead and commence our planning.
We were able to visit Fort George (with thanks to Historic Scotland who gave us press passes to visit for free) to walk around the site and see some of the key features, which was great as it really did help with our planning!
Our team did have a secret weapon, in that Kirsty is an Architectural Assistant – so she was able to give a much needed starter for ten in terms of working out a scale model template that we could work to – which also helped us work out how much cake would need to be made!
We followed that up with lots of emails flying back and forth discussing cake recipes, ideas of details we could include, working out a list of other equipment and ingredients, and how of course we were going to get our cake down to Stirling for the event on the 11th September.
Kirsty and I were also contacted by BBC Radio Scotland’s Kitchen Cafe programme – we were interviewed out at Fort George along with site steward Ron Barclay who gave us extra insight into the history of the Fort.
Soon baking day was upon us and we spent a full day carving our cake structure, followed by plastering buttercream, bashing biscuits and fondanting our cake and all the additional detailed elements – including turrets, cannons, dolphins and a dog cemetery!
Just before our lunchbreak, we did all worry that we might end up working on the cake well into the night, but Kara’s superb lunch obviously gave us all the boost of energy we needed as we then spent 3 hours working hard to finish the cake just before 5pm! Then, the following morning was spent driving down to Stirling. Our cake was well and truly wedged in the boot of the car so we were able to relax and not worry too much about breakages!
Once our cake was placed on the map and we completed the second part of our interview for the Kitchen Cafe (with Flora Shedden of last years series of GBBO!), we could enjoy looking at the rest of the cakes. Unfortunately the wasps were out in force too and we were forever batting them away from our cakes!
The last duty of the day was to dish out the cake to all the visitors – as every element of our cake was edible (no supporting structures), and the walls were easily to cut quickly into slices, all of our cake disappeared very quickly! (Due to the influx of wasps, the organisers did recommend that visitors remove any external icing was removed from the cake before eating – just in case you think we were letting people eat it!)
It was a fun and tiring weekend baking adventure for all of us, but definitely a worthwhile experience!
Do listen to the Kitchen Cafe programme (to be broadcast on Thursday 15th September, 13:30-14:00, repeated on Sunday 18th September between 07:30-08:00 and then on the BBC website) for our interviews. In the meantime, check our time lapse video to see the fun we had!