Eat & Drink

Foodies’ Diary: Cake Day

Before I found my own political leanings, I might have been forgiven for thinking that Election Day was Cake Day! While my parents trudged their world-weary path toward the polling booth, it was the stalls littering the lawn of our local scout hall that captivated me. They turned elections into a gala day of lamingtons, cheesecakes, chocolate cakes, red velvet cupcakes and almond-studded fruitcakes!

Now I don’t remember vegan cheesecakes amongst those Aussie cakes of yesteryear, but even back then, I flirted with the idea of eating vegan food. If you toy with it too, check out the whole subculture at the 2011 Cruelty Free Festival at Belmore Park on Sunday 30th October. It’s their sixth festival, and amongst the stalls you’ll find one from RubyFruit, a boutique vegan baking business in the Blue Mountains, offering up some very tasty vegan cheesecakes and cupcakes. It won’t all be about your stomach though – there will also be entertainment, and a range of non-food stalls packed with simple ideas to assist you to reduce animal suffering across your lifestyle.

Last weekend I watched a close friend get married at the picturesque Petersham bandstand, followed by an elegant luncheon at one of my favourite local spots, Blancmange. The type of dainty party food guests nibbled upon was seasonally appropriate, and it ended with a stunningly moist fruitcake baked by the mother of the bride! Since every weekend can’t be a wedding, you might want to pick yourself up a copy of Supper at The Victoria Room [RRP $29.95]. This clever book of “effortlessly cool entertaining” comes courtesy of The Victoria Room’s owner Jill Jones-Evans and its Head Chef Joe Gambacorto. It’s full of ideas for poolside food, picnic food and light garden party food, from Sicilian Lemon Granita palate refreshers to cocktails like the Birdy based on Pisco, Chile’s national spirit. You’ll find easy Andalusian Grilled Pork Skewers alongside the Quattro Fromage Fondue; updated for today’s savvy entertainer and served with fennel, witlof, roasted mushrooms and pork and fennel bangers.

Chocolate Cake
If there ever was a real life Willy Wonka, it’s thought to be Willie Harcourt-Cooze. He caught the world’s attention back in 2008 with the Channel 4 documentary, ‘Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory’. Baroque Bistro are counting themselves lucky to be working with him here in Australia during October. They’re doing a series of once-in-a-lifetime chocolate experiences. You will need to step on it to attend either of the Golden Ticket Dinners ($220/head) on the 4th and 5th October. Willie will apparently dispel the myth that chocolate is just for… cake. Don’t forget to buy a bespoke chocolate macaron ($2.50/each) using Willie’s premium quality chocolate product regardless!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Cute kids and cupcakes are probably the last things you’d expect to see in my column – it appears even I am not immune! If you’re already at your wit’s end with the littlies (or your teens) pack them off to a school holiday workshop at Sparkle Cupcakery between the 3rd-6th October. For a bargain $35/kid you’ll get two blissful hours of peace, and some very tasty Halloween themed Vampire Raspberry Red Velvet Cupcakes when you pick them up.