Grand Bake Fest
It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.
The idea of a Grand Bake Fest comes from Focus Ireland, who invite teams of families, churches, offices, restaurants, etc. to gather and raise money through baking for charity. Their description of what a Grand Bake Fest might entail is I think intentionally loose: they suggest that people might sponsor rival chefs, sell tickets, raffle off a winning cake, offer a prize to guess the number of sprinkles on a cake, and more. The goal is for each Fest to raise €1,000.
So Pyg Restaurant hosted a Grand Bake Fest and invited their Powerscourt Townhouse neighbours, The PepperPot and Terrozza Italia, to make enormous baked goods. Before Wednesday I figured that this would be a Cake Boss or Master Chef sort of situation, with the restaurants competing to be Powerscourt’s Next Top Restaurant or something. (I watch a lot of trashy reality TV.) I guess that the neighbours are all friendly, though, because there was really no competitive spirit between the restaurants. I’m pretty sure I even overheard the chefs complimenting each other’s work. I suppose they value things like professionalism and truthfulness over becoming a prime-time guilty-pleasure reality show hit, then. To each his own.
In the Powerscourt Townhouse Grand Bake Fest, money is raised for Focus Ireland by having people pay to guess a question about each treat, with the winner receiving a voucher for dinner for two at Pyg Restaurant. The baked goods will be on display in Powerscourt Townhouse—on the piano on the lower level—for a week. So even if you missed the Grand Bake Fest itself, you can still go and check them out and make your guesses.
Pyg made a really big cookie. Like, really, really big. Here’s a picture from the Powerscourt Townhouse Twitter page—note me and Vera interrogating the chef. I’m the one rubbing my hands together greedily.
See? This was dubbed the Four Seasons Cookie, as each quarter represents a season—autumn looks especially delicious.
Pyg’s question: how many regular cookies are in the Four Seasons Cookie?
I struggled with my answer. I examined the cookies in Pyg’s display case to get a sense of scale. I crouched down to peer at the side view of the Four Seasons Cookie. Vera thought I was overthinking this. I did not care. What, I wanted to know, is our basis of measurement here? Are we doing this by mass, diameter, surface area, ingredients used, what? I eventually made a guess. I am absolutely not going to share it with you because you might steal it and I want to win.
The PepperPot made a really big bagel—about a foot in diameter, I’d guess. Here’s a super-cute photo of it that I took from their Facebook page.
Again, I struggled with my answer for the question. Again, Vera did not. Again, I am not going to share my guess with you.
And from Terrozza Italia: a giant paradise cake. It looked absolutely incredible. When Vera heard that it would be put on display and we wouldn’t get to sample it, her downtrodden expression was positively heart-breaking. I think we’ll have to return to Terrozza Italia so that the poor girl can try a normal-sized paradise cake. Just look at this. (Sorry, this snap isn’t as cute as the other ones, but I promise that the cake looked amazing. If anyone has a better picture of it please let me know!)
I had absolutely no idea what the key ingredient was and no way to make an educated guess. So I went the sassy route with my answer. (Still not going to tell you. My sassy guess might be right!)
And there we have it: the Grand Bake Fest. I urge you all to swing by Powerscourt Townhouse to check out the giant treats in person. They’ll be on display all bank holiday weekend.
Cover picture: everyone showing off their work. Photo from Powerscourt Townhouse Facebook page.