05 May 2016

Cake competition

Every year, the School of Ocean Sciences has a cake competition. The idea is: every week, two people bake cake. All interested in cake gather in the communal coffee room, and try both. Hopefully, they also put money in a box. They then vote for the best cake (it is not disclosed who baked which). Winners get pitched against winners in a knock-out race until there is a final winner. This person then decides which charity the money in the box goes to.

I don't like baking, and I can't bake anything on Thursday due to our underground adventures. Wednesday is a beacon of time after climbing on Monday and Tuesaday; I tend to get home (after Welsh practice) at ~19:30 and then I tend to cook for two days (due to the Thursday trips I eat in the office on Thursday) and then the evening is used up. I'm not keen on adding activities! But I had chickened out of the competition the two previous years and I felt bad about it. So I entered this year! Hoping I would get knocked out in the first round.

This week I opted out of climbing, which gave me a bit of extra time. I decided on a cake to bake that day. On Wednesday I only had to make it! And so I did. At least, I baked the sponges and made the glazing. On Friday monring I would assemble the actual cakes. I had some chopped hazelnuts and chocolate coffee beans left over from making desserts for Jaco and Marjan the last time, so I decided it had to be a hazelnut & mocha cake. And I found recipes for a hazelnut chocolate pear cake and a hazelnut mocha cake, so I combined all these thoughts into a hazelnut chocolate pear mocha cake. Why not!

Accidental face in the preparations on Wednesday

The ready sponges

The sponges get cut, ready for some glazing inside

The ready products

Me against Cai'sbanana bread with a maple syrup and cinnamon glaze

On Friday morning I realised the cake was a bit dry. Not on purpose! And the glazing was a bit runny and wouldn't become a good layer in the middle. Otherwise all was well. I also then found out who my opponent was! One of our PhD students, and a sea level specialist. Nice!

I won by two votes. Oh dear! I'll have to go again. Well at least I might improve my cake baking skills; who knows when these'll come in handy again! 

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