The Cupcake Challenge – The flour dust has settled in TOG and the result is one cupcake winging it’s way to Australia.
After trying a recommend cupcake recipe with mediocre results we tried a recipe using the chiffon method and we were very happy. In the end for the cake we went with a chocolate flavouring using cocoa powder and a lot of melted chocolate. The frosting was an Italian style buttercream flavoured with melted chocolate. The buttercream was then piped onto the top of the cupcake. The decoration was a mint flavoured fondant icing which we shaped into a shamrock.
Weighing up the options for the packaging we decided to go all out and protect the frosting. We suspend the cupcake through the cake base using wooden skewers. The skewers were in a crossed shape with a piece of cardboard used to keep the shape stable. The cupcake and skewers were wedged firmly into a plastic container used for pre-made soups. Using some bubble-wrap to fill the remaining space. The plastic container was then wrapped in more bubble-wrap and packed into large box.
The resulting package was 28x20x18 cm and weight less then 500g. We found that the international courier service from An Post the national postal service and DHL was the cheapest at only €50, where the other international providers were more then €100. One issue with this service was that due to recent terrorist activity with printer cartridges, package contents need to be inspected before they can be sent. So the postal lady undid some of the careful work we did to package our cupcake.
Now the main concern which we could do nothing about is that its southern hemisphere summer in Australia and the buttercream frosting is unlikely to survive the high temperatures.
Some more photos of the cupcake and packaging are available on the gallery.
Baking and eating your own cupcakes is the best. But giving a cupcake to someone else can be just as rewarding for the giver and really great for the receiver
With this in mind the global community of hackerspaces have come up with the Global Hackerspace Cupcake Challenge. The challenge is to bake, doctorate, package and send a cupcake to another hackerspace and for it to arrive in good condition.
At this moment the destination for our cupcake is The Perth Artifactory hackerspace in Perth, Australia. We should be recieving a cupcake from Alpha One Labs hackerspace in New York, USA.
So members of TOG will be participating in the challenge this weekend the 15th and 16th of January and you’re invited to help. We’re very luck to have a full kitchen in our space. On Saturday from about 1pm we’ll do a lot of baking and experimenting with different cupcake recipes and decoration techniques. Later in the day we’ll bake other things and cook some dinner. On Sunday we’ll work on the packaging of the final cupcake.
If your a disaster in the kitchen, this is also the a Synchronous Hackathon weekend so feel free to come along and use the rest of the space to work on your programming, electronics, craft or constructions projects or just hang out for awhile.
The Synchronous Hackathon is free and open to visitors like most of our events. We’ll have a donation cup to help cover the costs of shipping (approximatly €100), any equipment and ingredients.