When we had a last minute opportunity to get on board with the Taste of Hampshire Food Festival at Sparsholt College we leapt at it! Two days of solid baking during some of the hottest temperatures of the year so far made for some sweltering heat in the kitchen (31.4 degrees!). Tray bakes and layer cakes were on the cards for Thursday. It’s been a while since we made Peanut Butter Goo Bar – and it’s still as dangerous to have in the kitchen as it always has been. Lurking beneath this innocent (ish) crumbly topping is the most gooey, sweet, peanut substance known to man. It really will change your life. We promise.
It was certainly a relief when at 5pm on the Friday afternoon when the final batch of cupcakes was done that we could finally turn the ovens off. Then it was just a case of waiting until the sun had gone down and it had cooled off so we could start making the buttercream. The final Smarties were added to the Chocolate Nostalgia cake about midnight and with the van packed we set our alarm for 5.30am and hit the sack.
Saturday morning arrived, it was drizzly but the forecast looked promising. We set off about 7:40am, the engine started on the first go and we slowly set off into the road. By the time the momentum of the inclined driveway had worn off, it was suddenly apparent that no amount of revving was making the van move. It was a heavy hearted moment when we realised that we would not be taking our van to the event. However, there wasn’t much time to dwell on it with an hour to get to there and set up and before any of that could begin the issue of what to do with a 3 tonne vehicle blocking both lanes of a road pre-8am. Thankfully, there were a few people out of bed and in their cars trying to leave the village, so a few kind souls offered to help push. With some expert steering, lots of shouting and A LOT of pushing the van was back up the slope onto the driveway. Then it was time to unpack the fridge/freezer to get them plugged back into the mains and the challenge of how to cram two chairs, two tables, a crate of vintage cake stands and a shed load of cake into the back of a Peugeot 206. Before we set off, there was time to have a quick look under the van. This is what greeted us… The drive shaft had become detached from the wheel. It looks a bit daunting, but hopefully its just a case of replacing the bolts…only time will tell.
We made it to Sparsholt College in good time to set up the gazebo. Once it was up, the tables were unloaded and it was time to set up all the cakes onto the cake stands. On offer we had:
* Chocolate Flake Cupcakes
* Vanilla Cupcakes
* Red Velvet Cupcakes
* Carrot Cake Cupcakes
* English Madelines
* Mega Mint Chocolate Brownies
* Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies
* Rocky Road
* Peanut Butter Goo Bar
* Chocolate Nostalgia Cake
* Victoria Sponge
Doors opened at 10am, and there was a steady flow of people through. Many people resisted the cakey temptations on offer because it was “too early”. We’d be lying if we said this response didn’t alarm us. It is NEVER “too early” for cake. Never.
Anyway, by early afternoon there was a buzz around the stall – and some people even coming back for seconds!
It was lovely to speak to the wonderful folk enjoying the sunshine and the other suppliers. Special mention has to go to one of our own suppliers Purbeck Ice Cream who we ended up set up next to. Also Spade and Spoon, Chillicious (in a shiny Citroen H Van) and Upham Brewery.
The crowds had started to head home by about 4.30, so we started packing up to head on home for a well deserved slice of leftover Chocolate Nostalgia Cake with a glass of milk.
Final Thanks has to go to Sparsholt College for thinking of us last minute, we hope to be back up for an event soon, hopefully in our van next time!
Lots of Love
Martha’s Tea Party x