When Icing Goes Wrong
Last weekend was slightly different from normal, because last weekend it was Fairport. Fairport Convention are a kind of folky/rocky band and two of the members lived in the village where the canoe club is. Every year, they headline a big music festival in the village which attracts around 24,000 people and considering the village itself has little over 700 residents, it’s safe to say it’s a pretty big deal each year! You can read about when I worked in a food van at last year’s Fairport here. For a few days every August, all paddling ceases at the canoe club due to all the narrowboat traffic, marquees are set up by the canal and the club itself is transformed into a kitchen from which we serve breakfasts to lots of the campers. It’s a great way for the canoe club to get some money, but it does mean getting up at 5:20am in order to help set everything up and start the cooking before the first campers arrive at about 7am.
The way it usually works is that orders are taken, the adults cook the breakfasts and the juniors take the orders to the cooks, wait for their tray to be loaded and then take the breakfasts to the customers who are sat under the marquees. Other jobs for the juniors include selling dingbat quizzes that my dad makes, and selling cakes just inside the club grounds. Of course, everyone bakes cakes to be sold and my mum was no exception. She whipped up several rounds of fairy cakes to be sold each day, and I offered to help ice the ones for Sunday on the Saturday afternoon. We weren’t really sure how to ice them, as they were quite small but we wanted them to look appealing to the customers so people would buy them. And then I had an idea. You see, Fairport is usually quite a hippy kind of festival – everyone wears lots of bright colours, so I thought we could try and replicate a picture I’d seen on Pinterest. Something like this.
We picked out the colours we wanted to use, carefully dripped them into a piping bag, added the icing and started to ice the cakes. Only, when I added the red food colouring, I kind of went a bit overboard…
And then it looked like we’d had a horrific accident while icing the cakes; I imagine something along the lines of losing a finger, or maybe a whole hand. Either way, it did not look appealing!
We decided to scrape off the icing and try again. We also cut off the tops of the cakes as they’d been stained by the food colouring and when we tasted them, they tasted JUST like beetroot, as that’s what the red food colouring was coloured with. So to make sure we got rid of the beetroot taste of the icing, we added a lotalot of cocoa powder to the icing and made it incredibly chocolatey! We then put half chocolate icing and half vanilla icing that hadn’t fitted in the icing bag before, into a new icing bag and re-iced the cakes. AND IT WORKED!! They looked a LOT better than the multi coloured ones and actually looked slightly appetising.
I really enjoy trying new things, even when they don’t turn out quite right. I definitely plan to use this technique again, I really like the way it worked out and how each one is different, although I think my piping work needs a little practise yet! If you have a go I’d love to see pictures of how it turned out, which you can send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have fun!