Saturday, 21 April 2012

Exeter Food Festival 2012 Part Two: The Purchases

As I mentioned in my first Exeter Food Festival 2012 post there were lots of samples at the food festival, and lots of these succeeded in getting me to make purchases! It wasn't until I got home and started taking photos that I realised quite how many things I'd bought. Slightly oops, but definitely delicious!

I was going to split my purchases into categories, but there would only be one, or possibly two, categories that would have more than one item in it. I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that that category is cake, so let's start with that shall we?

The first cake stall that I bought from holds a special place in my heart (corny, yes!). I knew I'd be buying here even before we arrived at the festival.

We first discovered Olivers Bakery at last year's food festival, and went to visit them a week later to discuss them making the cakes for our wedding. Despite the wedding cupcakes being amazing, I decided to buy a big cake this time instead. An apple and ginger cake:

Because I did end up buying so much cake, I froze half of this in Mum's freezer (must get all those things back now we have a fridge/freezer again!) and we've been eating the other half through the week...

This is such a nice cake. Really dense with a deep ginger apple flavour, and then a lighter icing with ginger pieces in it. Yum. I have to say that, whilst I do love all the pretty cupcakes, I do tend to find that the cakes from bakeries like Olivers, whilst perhaps not as visually amazing, do tend to have a much better taste/quality. I wish I'd bought more than just this one cake!

I did buy plenty of other cake though...! This next stall - Cakeadoodledo - is run by a woman who used to be a health visitor, who visited me a few times when I had Izzy. She's also has a range of books called the "Magic Baking Series", I own the Baking Magic book which has some really nice recipes and ideas in it.

I actually took these photos when I went round the festival the first time...

...and then came back to buy the cakes at the end. I must've known my own mind tastes though as the only two cakes I photographed were the ones I bought. A salted caramel cupcake for Liam, and some chocolate and lime macaroon slices for me (they were being sold for 2 for £1.50 instead of £1.50 each by the time I bought them, win!):

I loved these macaroon slices! When I bit into the first one I was a bit concerned that they weren't that fresh (understandable as we bought them at the end of the third and final day of the festival, and they were reduced) but actually, whilst the edges might not have been at their very best, the middles were still really dense and delightful (!), I gobbled both of these down in minutes and then was sad they were gone!!

One of the reasons I mainly bought non-cupcake cake items from the other stalls, was that there was one cupcake stall in particular that had caught my eye. I knew that Izzy and Liam would adore the decorations on these!

Get Cupcaked - the stall which also sold the amazing carrot cake I wish I'd bought - had lots of fantastic looking cupcakes - I spent ages standing there trying to decide what to buy! Not sure why I didn't end up buying the pink dolly mixture one for Izzy, but she was very pleased with the cookie monster one anyway!

Millionaires Cupcake, Cookie Monster, American Waffle and Choc Lime Tart. I had half of the choc lime tart and half of the American waffle. Both were...quite nice...these were the type of cakes I had in mind when I said about appearances being better than the actual cake. I liked the icing on both of them (especially the cinnamon maple syrup icing on the American waffle, yum!) but the cake itself was a bit dry. Something I might buy for a party to make an impact perhaps, but not a cake I would buy again just to enjoy eating.

The above were my main cake purchases, but I did also buy a slice of carrot cake with orange icing from Manna from Devon:

I only tried a tiny slice of this before putting it in Mum's freezer, but Mum also bought one and really enjoyed it. Another one I'm looking forward to getting out of the freezer!

The final kind-of cake purchase was from Cafe Om, where we also ate lunch.

I bought another of the amazing raw chocolate tortes, and also a raw energy ball which contained dates, pecans and wheat grass powder.

These too have gone straight into the freezer, so I can't tell you whether I liked the wheat grass ball. If the chocolate torte is anything to go by though, I'm sure I'll love it!

Whew, that's all the cake I bought! What can I say, I love cake! It didn't seem like too much though - I put quite a lot of it in the freezer so that I can enjoy it at a later date, and the things I did keep out, I've been sharing with Liam and the children. I love the food festival and part of that is buying lots of things to bring home with me, so I think the freezing/sharing works well to still get the enjoyment of buying lots but not then feeling sick from eating it all!

I did buy some other non-cake items too. Bread from Bread of Devon...

I bought a big loaf of wild garlic bread to share with Mum, a small roll with pumpkin seeds and raisins, and a apricot, almond and lemon zest fruit loaf...

I froze half of the fruit loaf, but the rest got eaten straight away (not just by me!) alongside some fresh fig and walnut conserve from Cranfields and 'Old Burford' cheese from Wootton Organic Dairy:

This was all wonderful. The bread was fresh and flavourful - I especially loved the roll as it was a bit different, I buy the wild garlic bread whenever I see it at farmers markets etc and love it. The cheese was stinky but not too strong for Liam to eat. He has refused to eat it after Sunday though, whereas I've happily been keeping it in the not-so-cool cool box and stirring it into pasta for a flavour injection. A little goes a long way! I also adore the fig conserve - it provided a really nice contrast to the savoury cheese and has big chunks of figs and walnuts in it. Yum!

Just a few more things left that I bought. A few more jars - this time from The Cherry Tree - passion fruit curd and pear & ginger jam:

I haven't opened these yet but did try the passion fruit curd at the festival. It has a really zingy flavour and instantly made me think of frozen yoghurt for some reason, so I think I will be using this as a dessert topping as well as spread on bread etc!

I couldn't resist buying some handmade in Cornwall Kernow Chocolate...

They had such a range of flavours, and I eventually chose to get Rocky Road slabs for Liam, and bars of sea salt chocolate and apple crumble chocolate for me:

I've just been looking at their website and seen that their turkish delight is suitable for vegetarians/vegans as it doesn't contain gelatine...I'll have to look out for that next time!

And finally, coffee. I've actually bought a few jars of instant Little's coffee before, but had never seen their ground coffee in shops so decided to pick up a couple of bags.

Chocolate Truffle and Bourbon Vanilla both sound amazing!

And that is me done. What with all the purchases above, plus the food I ate at the festival, I obviously spent quite a bit of money on Sunday, perhaps more than I'd initially anticipated. But it is a once a year occurrence and I was supporting local food suppliers <-- that's what I keep telling myself!! ;)

Have you heard of any of these companies before? What type of food do you think you would be most drawn to at a festival like this? One of the reasons I bought so many cakes, as opposed to more jars, is that they are lighter! It was a lot of food to carry around all day. Mum did, sensibly, bring a rucksack with her, but between us we filled that and several more bags! I also think that the cakes seem more "special" in a way. A lot of the jars, coffees etc are available to buy in shops whereas unless you live close to the bakeries, you probably can't buy the cakes very easily during the rest of the year. I think I managed to buy quite a good range of products though, and I also signed up for Riverford organic veg box deliveries whilst I was there if that helps balance it out at all?!! ;)


  1. Wow - you bought some gorgeous cakes!!! I'm glad i didn't go this year now as i would have spent a fortune!

    I have not heard of a lot of these local businesses so i am going to check a few of them out.

    Glad you got your fridge/freezer sorted to store all your wonderful cakes!

  2. All those purchases look amazing - I love the sound of the ginger apple cake and I know what you mean about cupcakes being pretty but not as tasty.
    Also the passionfruit curd sounds amazing - I bought some lime curd which I love :)

  3. All of those cakes look simply too good to eat!

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