Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cake Week

It was my birthday about a week ago. My office is full of creative, sweet-toothed people who all love birthdays, as it gives us all a chance to eat cake. We also love chocolate. There was that time last year when someone announced at 3pm that we needed chocolate, and then proceeded to return from the supermarket with a full plastic bag of various forms of sweetened cocoa. We scoffed it all. Then there was the time I recieved a gift box containing about 2 kilos of Cocoa Farm wine-infused chocolate. It took us three days to empty the box. And there aren't that many of us: about seven or eight. Anyway, you can see how seriously we take our sugar. The office motto is 'work hard, play hard, and don't forget the icing.' It was in the midst of this caffeine, cocoa and sugar-fueled carnage that someone, about three weeks ago, dropped the following question that was to change the course of all our lives drastically.
"Hey, your birthday's coming up. Who's making the cake?"
"I am."
"What? Why are you making your OWN cake? Shouldn't one of us make it and bring it in?"
"Nope, you're all too hopeless. My birthday cake needs to be really good."
WELL. You'd have thought I'd suggested cannibalism. There was much heated discussion and loaded statements about over-confidence and misunderstood abilities and general unfairness.
To their credit, they did concede I usually did a pretty good job of cakery, based on the lemolina cake and the Easter cupcakes. And so, a devilish plan was hatched.
Cake Week was born. It was decided that each of them would enter a cake into a competition that I would judge. There would be criteria, guidelines, scoring and an ultimate winner, who would receive blog recognition. We would judge one cake per day. It was a pretty good setup. People were getting very serious about the whole thing, and as each day drew to a close, we would all check the fridge door for the next day's entry and have a general discussion about the competition so far.
Specific scores and a copy of the Cake Week criteria are still to come, but here is a list of the official entries:
Orange and Poppyseed Cake (not pictured)
Sponge Cake
Lime Chiffon Cake
Black Forest Cake
Bouquet Cake (BouqCake)
And wasn't it a close-run contest! The winner, not by much, was the BouqCake. Gorgeous fresh little citrusy cupcakes, with a light buttercream topping and decorations, in the shape of a bouquet. The winner used a styrofoam ball covered in toothpicks to impale each cake before wrapping it in fancy paper. I couldn't fault it in freshness, lightness, flavour, presentation and effort. Coming very close behind were the Lime Chiffon and the Orange Poppyseed, as well as the very well-presented Black Forest. Props to the Sponge, whose creator bought an actual piece of round sponge from Clark Rubber before coating it in cream and marshmallows. It was an awesome move: we were rolling on the floor laughing for hours.
Congratulations to everyone for their efforts in Cake Week. You helped me get six cakes out of one birthday and I have new respect for other people's cakery skills!
We all enjoyed it so much, we're thinking about having Soup Week next.


Lara said...

This is great! I really think a day is too short a time for birthday celebrations - I've been known to have "birthday month"!

Happy Birthday! :)

littlej said...

Hoots Balloon! cake week sounds fantastic. I too work in a small office of sweet-loving ladies and the idea of a week full of cakes makes me drool. Lucky i have to climb two flights of stairs every day (our lift is notorious for breaking down) otherwise, i would probably have to be rolled to work. Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Sigh! Drool! Had to check our your blog, Queen of Cakery in order to relive the beauty that was Cake Week. Fantastic write up. We have never celebrated a birthday in such flamboyance and style before. A bench mark has certainly been set.