I love a good bake sale. But I have to confess I generally enjoy the prep and the baking more than the actual eating, especially when it’s for a good cause. Recently, my friend B. and I hosted a bake sale for a cause near to our hearts. We each made 3 items and some of her friends helped us out, as you can see form the photo below. We hosted it on a Friday afternoon at her workplace — which just happens to be Vanity Fair magazine at Vogue House in central London. I decided to make banana bread, cupcakes, and sesame snaps (the first one tried and true, the latter two not). It was a mixed bag…
Mascarpone and almond cupcakes
I am not a cupcake person. They’re generally, other than maybe chocolate cake, the last thing I’d go for because I find them typically to be sickeningly sweet. Of course, there are exceptions. And since I had never made them before, I thought I’d give it a go. I used a recipe from Ottolenghi’s first book, Ottolenghi, which has some really good sweet treat recipes. In the book they are hazelnut cupcakes, but I could not find any hazelnuts so used almonds instead (it is such a small amount — 45g). I was really pleased with the way these turned out. I cut the sugar a bit in both the batter and frosting and it worked well. They were moist and very tasty. And they sold out! Someone even bought one and then came back 10 minutes later to buy the last one. 🙂
By my standards, the sesame snaps failed. As I was reading the recipe and comments, I thought to myself, “two cups of sugar sounds like a LOT.” Always trust your instincts. I ended up putting in about 1.5 and it was far, FAR too sweet. Like fudge. It needed maybe 1/2 a cup. (One person who visited our bake sale said, ‘ooh, these look healthy’ and I had to warn her that they were likely sweeter than she thought). H. thought they were ok, but I couldn’t really stomach them. Making the snaps is a slightly finicky process because you’re working with hot sugar and it dries very easily and quickly. I poured it but could not completely spread the mixture evenly before it started to cool and thus the snaps ended up being thicker than I wanted. Not the best first attempt, but 4/5 bags sold — hopefully to people with sweet tooths.
In the end, we raised £231 ($463 CAD)!