I signed up some time ago and have been trying out recipes ever since. I finally settled on three, and gave them suitably horrific Halloween names. Well they may have been a little lame but creating the little stickers for them gave me something to do on a cold October afternoon and kept me busy.
First up - Dawn of the Dead. This was a devils food cake (what else could you use on Halloween!), filled with a bloody cherry compote (meant to look like braaaaains), smothered in a thick layer of decadent chocolate frosting and topped with crushed oreo earth. Oh and a zombie hand sticking out of it, hence the name.
Next up was Pumpkinhead - a spicy pumpkin cake, with a Halloween Oreo baked inside, covered in a pumpkin coloured cream cheese frosting. The frosting was meant to have cinnamon in it but after baking a gazillion cupcakes (well 40) I forgot. Ooops. They still tasted good though! They were also going to be topped with a pumpkin peeps but the little buggers wouldn't pull apart nicely so I gave up.
Finally was my entry into the Most Unusual Ingredient competition, Attack of the Killer Sprouts. I had tried a few other ingredients but in the end I went with possibly the weirdest ingredient I've ever used in a cupcake - brussel sprouts. That's right, the lovely little green vegetables that I never understand why people dislike as I love them.
I found the recipe via the Times Online while googling unusual cake ingredients (which I spent a lot of time doing, seeking inspiration). The actual recipe I got from Kent Online, and I thought about decorating it similarly to the pic on there, but instead went for a walnut (or braaaain if you're being Halloween'y). I slightly changed the recipe by adding a half teaspoon each extra of the spices, and I used some fabulous coconut flakes I got from M&S rather than dessicated coconut. I wasn't that keen on the cake, it was ok in a carrot cake with an odd taste kinda way (that'd be the sprouts), but I wouldn't buy one. Manny actually ate about 4 of them. In all the excitement I didn't get any pictures of the cupcakes, but I've sent a call out on Twitter to see if anyone got some, until then;
This is it pre-baking - doesn't it look delish!
And if you look closely you can see them in the green polka dot cases, back right on the picture. There's a better pic here courtesy of Cupcake Kelly.
So, Cupcake Camp itself was AMAZING. I went along myself as Manny had sparring class and all my friends decided they couldn't face an early Sunday morning in Camden (thanks!). Alas some of my pumpkin cakes got a little squished on the way to the Proud Gallery but they looked fine when laid out in their room, Desert Orchid, sadly I wasn't in the Manowar room!
Hail and Kill \m/
Once my cupcakes we set up I went and had a coffee and then a little chat with Kelly (who writes the fabulous An American Cupcake in London) while drooling over her wonderful creations including the gorgeous bubblegum one, second from the right. Her stall was next to the glamorous Ms Cupcake so I caught up with her and her (very exciting...more details coming soon) news and met her lovely new baker, Jayson. Just before it was all about to start Manny arrived bruised from sparring class and we pootled off to get some tokens so we could have some cake. If I'm honest, I didn't eat much cake. After baking and being on my feet solidly for hours on Saturday I didn't really feel like I could face much cake, so I bought cake, had a bit then gave the rest to Manny. That way I contributed to the great cause and got to try some other bakers cakes.
From Kelly we tried her Orange Velvet - this was a seriously nice cake topped with frosting that tasted of a Terry's Chocolate Orange. I really liked this and can't wait till she shares the recipe on her blog!
From Rose and Rhubarb, the gorgeous and very tasty rose and rhubarb cake. These were adorable and they won my heart with her gorgeous labels for her cakes.
This is a really nice triple chocolate Manny spotted immediately - I have no idea who made it but if it was you please let me know - it was lush!
We couldn't resist a Ms Cupcake creation (and if you could there is something wrong with you!) and opted to share a bounty cupcake. I honestly don't know how she does it. These cakes are 100% vegan yet taste more chocolatey than a lot of the high end cupcakes I buy that claim to be full of Valrhona and the like. If she made a vat of this I'd happily jump in.
Front right is a coconut cupcake from Bake Me Happy - Manny had hoped for one of their chocolate mocha cakes but they'd all sold out. This was a really nice moist cake with a hint of coconut. I loved their stall and their branding as well - we had a chat with the baker and she was very friendly.
Manny picked this up thinking it was a licorice cupcake that a Twitter friend had made. It wasn't. I'm still not sure what the flavour was if I'm honest. Sorry. It looked pretty though.
Finally a little jar of yummyness from the previously featured G Deserts. I picked up a chocolate topped with Nutella frosting and went back a few minutes later to get a couple more as gifts for people we were meeting later and they'd all gone. Very tasty moist cake, but a bit small to share.
All in all Cupcake Camp was a great day out, lots of fun, lots of cake and lots of lovely people. According to Daisy the event raised approximately £4000 and attracted not only fabulous bakers from all over the UK (and Paris!), but also lots of friendly people who wanted to eat and relax, and a couple of celebs too. The atmosphere was great and I really hope they fulfill their promise and do it again next year, I promise to make heavy metal themed cupcakes if I'm allowed to be in the Manowar room!
Oh and finally a little something I nearly forgot to mention. I WON!!
My brussel sprouts came through for me and I won. The judges on the most unusual ingredient included Lily Vanilli and Edd Kimber. Lily sent a message round Twitter to say that she'd loved my cake which I found very touching and a couple of people who spoke to Edd said he liked it very much. I was so happy and in complete and utter shock when they called out my name. I'd spent the day worrying the judges would spit it out when they tasted it.
I got a lovely selection of baking goodies, including a fabulous spatula which has some conversion tables on it which I'll find incredibly useful.
Just a final couple of pics.
After Iron Cupcake we celebrated at a friends pub in Camden with this cake from Curly Sue Cakes that my friend had bought for Halloween from Eat your Heart Out. Isn't it fantastically gruesome.
Hope you all had a happy Halloween and I'd love to hear what you thought of Cupcake Camp.