Sunday, October 21, 2012

Copenhagen Cake Festival

If there were ever a food event for me, it's the Copenhagen Cake Festival, hosted by the Copenhagen Pastry Guild.  The Cake Festival is a part of a larger food festival called Copenhagen Cooking, an event jam-packed with an overwhelming amount of culinary events across the city. 

Cakes from La Glace, the famous Copenhagen cake shop
Beautiful La Glace cookbook
Hanging out with the Copenhagen Pastry Guild
Whimsical festival sign at the entrance of Carlsberg Gardens 

The Cake Festival was held this summer in the gardens of Carlsberg Brewery, where visitors could participate in the perfect combination of tasting cakes from local bakeries, drinking good strong cups of coffee, participating in cooking tutorials, and watching professional demonstrations. 
This chef was doing a live demonstration of sugar sculpture technique.

Samples at the demonstration tent
A chef reaches out her piping bag to give the audience a quick finger lickin' taste

Entrance to the festival earns you a cake of your choice and one cup of Estate Coffee. I chose this licorice flavored cake from Johansen's Konditori.  The cake had flavors of almond, licorice mousse, and a crunch of Danish rugbrød/rye bread.  It also included apple and havtorn (sea buckthorn). 

The soundtrack for the day was provided by live string instruments, which made stuffing one's face with cake an even classier affair.  The players were hidden way in this alcove at the back of the garden.  

Eating sweet treats at a cake festival is only half the fun, in my opinion-- better to get your wrists deep in marzipan, butter, flour, chocolate, and icing to get the full experience.  

Thankfully, the Copenhagen Cake Festival did not disappoint in this regard: the festival entrance (150 Danish kroner, approximately 25 USD) included the chance to get small group skills sessions led by professional chefs.  

Trying my best to follow the Danish directions, I piped chocolate and icing and made marzipan flowers with the best of 'em.  And once the instructors realized my Danish was limited, they were nice enough give me some pointers in English.  
Once you felt you had worked hard enough honing your baking skills, you could enjoy a coffee or a beer in the garden

Clouds loomed in the sky over Carlsberg Gardens.  The weather was lovely for the most part, perfect for having your cake and eating it too.  
Before and after: sunny skies transitioned to rain, which led all the festival participants to huddle under one big cozy cake demonstration tent.
The view from the cake demonstration tent
During this portion of the event, local politicians engaged in a cake decorating competition! Onlookers enjoy the fun while trying to stay out of the rain.  
The young audience member on the left side of the picture is particularly enthralled with the cake competition.  

I would definitely recommend the Copenhagen Cake Festival to any cake lovers who might be visiting Scandinavia.  People here know how to make a great cake, so if you attend a cake festival in any city, let it be Copenhagen. 
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