Can you imagine what 4000 cupcakes looks like? or more so, baking & decorating 4000 cupcakes? Steyns Culinary School did not let this opportunity pass when Marcé Venter from Cupcakes 4 Children with Cancer called asking for assistance. However, we realized that our kitchen wouldn't accommodate the volume of baking so we called in the help of Chef David Muller, from Meals of distinction and the aid if his large ovens.
On Wednesday 26 September we all met in the beautiful industrial kitchen and stared at the mountain of ingredients: 100kg of cupcake pre-mix, 50kg icing sugar, 700 eggs, 30kg margarine and of course the boxes filled with the handmade cupcake icing toppings. Quickly we split into teams and the baking began. Smells of vanilla and chocolate filled the air and the delicious scent of freshly baked cakes surrounded us.
No sooner was the first batch of cupcakes out of the oven and cooled down when the icing begin. The kilograms of icing sugar and butter were churned up in the large Kenwood mixers and rainbows of colours were added. The first piping bag squirted swirls onto the golden brown cakes. It was at this point we only took note of the INCREDIBLY cute icing toppers. Some of our favourites, the unicorn cow, the sheep, super hero emblems and even little dinosaurs each with their own personality. Day 1 ended with us having baked just over 2000 cupcakes and kilograms of icing mixed and ready for the big decorating session of day 2.
Day 2 started with us breaking into teams of pipers and plonkers... pipers did the piping of the icing and plonkers put the toppers (icing decorations) on the cupcakes. There were regular runs to make new white icing in batches of about 8kg at a time which then got coloured to the needed tones. Once a tray was fully decorated, they were taken to the packing area where each cake was delicately placed in boxes and wrapped to be transported to The Grove Mall. By the end of the day about 1500 cupcakes were decorated and everyone's hands were aching from all the piping and feet were swollen from the hours of standing. A well deserved Epsom salt bath was on the cards that evening.
On Friday, day 3, the team was a bit smaller but so eager to get the last batches done. Earlier that morning, the first bakkie-load of cupcakes was already being transported to the Mall and it would take the rest of the day to transport the balance of 4200 cakes. Yes, 200 more. It was a joyous moment when we realised it was the last tray that had to be decorated. We all gathered around as Chef Stephanie had the honour of piping icing on the last cupcake.
A big thank you to all the Chefs, students and friends who assisted in completing this mammoth task. It was a difficult, but fun filled three days and we are proud to have been part of this fund raising event.