Cake Fest Middlesbrough Rises To The Occasion #AD

2 Jul 2018

After a weekend of early mornings, copious amounts of eggs and icing sugar on every surface imaginable, Cake Fest Middlesbrough is done and dusted (with said icing sugar). If you haven't been following the fun on my Twitter or Instagram account, then let me catch you up. This event was organised to celebrate the re-opening of the town hall - a building that has undergone £7.7 million worth of renovations - and it saw bakers of all abilities creating local landmarks out of cake and placing them into a huge edible map of Middlesbrough. It was a deliciously sweet day, so let me give you a run down of how it all went.

But first of all, let me tell you a bit more about my cake. If you've read my most recent post which was all about my practise bake for Cake Fest, you'll know that I decided to create Baker Street. This is an area of the town that I feel is so important because it is a great symbol of regeneration and represents a huge amount of independent shops. The council has been putting tons of money into bringing the life back into our town after all the bad press it has received, and the independent quarter, including Baker Street, is the part that excites me the most, which is why I chose to bake it! I also chose to bake it because I imagined it would be quite difficult to do and I really wanted to challenge myself, despite being told to do something a lot easier. With a whole host of buildings and colourful little details, how could I not pick this street?!

As I learned from my practise bake, making this cake was difficult, however, from doing the practise run, I knew what worked and what didn't, and I had a good idea of how I was going to structure myself. I still did the four layers of orange madeira for each side of the street, but I switched my chocolate orange buttercream out for regular orange buttercream to sandwich each layer together, along with a good spread of lemon curd. This was to represent Orange Pip Market - something that has also helped to give Middlesbrough and the independent quarter a bit of a facelift. Then, as you can see by the images below, each was decorated to represent four buildings on either side with coloured fondant, chocolate buttons and lots of other little details.
I was so so chuffed with the final look of my cake and I felt proud of myself for pushing the boat out a little bit. I had a much better time making this final cake in comparison to the practise (there were so many tears and tantrums during the practise. I actually almost decided to pull out) and I was extremely happy with what I'd done. If you'd like to see a timelapse video of the making of this cake, then you can take a look at my lovely fellas video. He worked very hard on it, so do take a bit of time out to check it out!
So after 2 days of grafting on the cake, it was time to take it to Centre Square where a marquee had been put up and the cake map had started to be built. I was able to put my cake down to display before it was placed into its position on the map, and get a good look at all the other cakes that had been made. There was some serious competition and I was amazed by the effort that everyone had gone to! As a bookworm, my favourite cake was the library which featured a wall made from books with baking inspired names, like 'Life of Pie', 'Flapjack and the Beanstalk' and 'The Crepes of Wrath'. It was genius! Some of the other amazing cakes included the Transporter Bridge (with a moving gondola), the town hall, the cenotaph and Stewart's park.

After taking a look at all the other cakes on display, Alex and I had a bit of a wander around the site. We sampled a delicious hot dog each for lunch and listened to the cool sounds of Back Chat Brass. As the name suggests, this was a funky brass group that played well-known songs from Stevie Wonder, right through to Beyonce. They really got the atmosphere going and I couldn't help but do the odd little shuffle dance along with them. They also held a workshop where members of the public could go and try the brass instruments for themselves. I really wanted to have a go on the trombone, but ended up going to have a look around the town hall instead. I was so impressed by its refurbishment, so if you're local to Middlesbrough, I definitely recommend taking a look!

I was also filmed having an interview during this time, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that on social media.
When we checked the time again, it was almost 2pm, so we had to hurry back to Centre Square to see the final map and meet up with my family. All of us were so impressed with how the map looked with all of the cakes in the positions - it really was like a mini Boro! There was the odd gap here and there, but I'm hoping that next year, more people get involved and all the cakes will be made.

As part of Cake Fest, each of the bakers had to vote for their favourite cake to win the Baker's Choice award. I was certain that the Transporter Bridge was going to win, but it was Zoe's Place at Crossbeck House that took the top spot! It was very well-deserved as the cake was absolutely incredible and was actually made up of rainbow layers. And then it was time to announce the 5 winners of the Gazette award. Honestly, I didn't expect to have any sort of recognition because all of the cakes blew mine completely out of the water, but I only went and came third!! I couldn't believe it and the whole group I was with did a big cheer for me. Fairy Dell was fifth, Zoe's Place was fourth, the library was second and the Transporter Bridge was first. We all went off to get our picture taken on the town hall steps ready to be published in the Gazette in the next week, so keep your eyes peeled for that! Will I be getting a copy to get a clipping? Absolutely!

All the cakes were then sliced up and served to anyone that wanted a piece. I was determined not to take any of mine home and I'm pleased to say that the whole of one side got taken and over half of the other. Everyone said that it was delicious, so I'd say that the day was pretty successful overall! All of the bakers were winners at the end of the day because of how much effort had gone into some of the pieces and how smoothly the whole day went (despite the blazing heat and the worries around melting cakes).

Despite this being a project that I was asked to get involved with, I'm so so glad that it was highlighted to me because I've loved every second of it - even the crying over a practise cake. Because it features two of my favourite things, cake and Middlesbrough, I was able to throw myself into the project with my whole heart and I can't wait to see if it comes back next year!

This post was sponsored by Cake Fest Middlesbrough and Crystallised PR. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Whould you like to comment?

  1. This sounds like such an amazing festival and your cake looks fantastic! :) xx

    Yasmina |