After my sugar rush at the last BakeFestDxb, I was fully anticipating the next installment. Last time, I unfortunately left early. But this time, I came prepared. I reached Wild Peeta just before noon, ready for the madness. My plan was this: to stay the entire event so I could space out my sugar intake and not be a sugar-crazed bunny.
Yeah, that so didn’t work (for proof, ask @asatiir how I greeted him…I’m so sorry for that long, drawn-out near-banshee wail…I was pleased to see you. Really.).
Once the clock hit 1pm, the event had officially started. And as with last time, I snagged the first Godiva cupcake from Nick. ENVY ME, FOOLS.
I also had his chocolate chilli brownie, which I loved because it was really soft with the right element of chewiness and as soon as you had the last bite, the chilli flavour snuck in like Santa Claus in the dead of the night, trying to stuff presents under your tree without you knowing. But you wake up and find them there and are absolutely delighted. Yeah, those were his brownies.
The event was interesting in that there were a few bakers who hadn’t been there the last two times, which always makes for new culinary discoveries.
Like these macarons for instance. Archana Patwardhan was already there when I arrived. A first-timer at BakeFest, she’s also a food blogger. I lost no time in letting her know about the Fooderati Arabia cult food bloggers’ group. I tasted her chocolate macarons and jalapeno and sweet corn muffins…and these macarons blew me away. I’m the first to admit I’m no macaron expert, but these were light, easy to bite and when you did sink your teeth into them, they crumbled in your mouth like little fairy bites.
I liked the jalapeno and sweet corn muffins too; would’ve liked them a little moister than they were but the spice kick was awesome.
Another find: Melting Moments by Shifana Anver. Savoury muffin with cheese, pepperoni and chives? A very random combination (I think) but it worked. I’m a fan of cheese…would love to perhaps taste some other kind of cheeses in that dish. Very nice idea Shifana!
There was a mish-mash of bites I took from random dishes on a table in front of me (Thank you Farida for saying: “EAT!”):
Sahar Latheef Rahman‘s blueberry cheesecake was a surprise, mostly because it was very light. Not very cheesy, which perhaps makes it a good choice for someone who doesn’t like a very cheesy cheesecake but a cheesecake nonetheless. Blueberries added a nice fruity element to it (I’ve already tasted Sahar’s work in a cake she baked for a birthday party, but a post will be up on that later).
Yeah…this one was interesting. It was served with custard on the side. I wasn’t sure if I managed to eat it right…the fork didn’t chop it up really well and I was sugar-high enough to not realize I needed a knife too. I hacked away and made it a soggy mess and then ate it.
It was definitely different though, I must say. Not the conventional cheesecake options you have out there.
I apologize to anyone I scared at the event, as I went up to people…those I knew and those I didn’t…and said: “If you don’t try the alfajorés, I’ll never speak to you again.” It worked! Anyway, I’d already had her mini vanilla bean tarts and chocolate pudding tarts before (at another event at her house because she loves me…ENVY ME FOOLS…
…[I apologize again, not sure why I’m channeling B.A. Baracus today]), so I headed off for my staple South American cookie and her apple pie.
Lots of love going out to the Wild Peeta brothers who love participating in community events and lending their venue for things like this…and to Nick.
I spoke to him before the event started to get a few thoughts…which proved to be a bit of a challenge. For one, he was dealing with the flurry of bakers and assigning them tables (via them pulling numbers out of a bag)…
…and then when he started talking…I can go up to 120 wpm in shorthand (I’ve a 100wpm certification, but I know I can go up to a 120)…but he was talking so fast, I got words down, not sentences. Nick…dahlink…slow down.
But essentially, he said BakeFest is an initiative to encourage community bakers, and that anyone who has a love for baking and food should definitely pop by the event. Common misconception is that Nick is the founder of BakeFest but he quickly told me he wasn’t. BakeFest apparently began with an argument on Twitter that had something to do with bakers/foodies who wanted more community events catering to them (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?). “Wild Peeta stepped in as they always do, and said ‘why don’t you do it?'” said Nick. “It was a case of baking your cake and eating it too,” he added.
There were 12 bakers at the second event and 8 at the first. This time there were 14. Apart from the number of bakers increasing, the interest has also grown. Having attended all three, I can safely say it gets more crowded every single time. Nick agreed and said the event has definitely grown in volume. “Also, thanks to Wild Peeta for giving us a space for the event,” said Nick. He also said while people have been asking for more BakeFests to be held, he thinks it’s better for the momentum of the event to keep it spaced apart.
And with that, Nick sashayed back in to get his cupcakes on.
I took well over 150 photographs of people and food, you can find all of them here on my brand new Facebook page (I’ve had it for months, decided to publish it now!) that will tie all my blogs and photographs together.
Read other write-ups about the event (and if you’re not here and you’ve blogged about it, leave a comment with the link and I’ll stick it in):