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I’ve been busy! Really busy! It’s school fete time again. It seems to come around so quickly. Now, if you have been reading Marcellina in Cucina for some time you will know that in October 2009 my son’s school prepared and sold over 1500 cannoli as a fundraiser so you will understand that this school has a very active parent group. The fete is no different to the cannoli fundraiser.

Our fete is probably a little different from others as it begins at 4.00pm and continues until late becoming a community event rather than just a school function. There is always the barbeque steak sandwich, fish, chips and battered hot dog plus a delicious dessert stall where your choice of cheesecake, small cakes or tarts can be purchase along with a cappuccino, mochaccino or strong black. Naturally many cannoli are made and sold on the night. Of course, the usual raffles abound as well as the displays of singing and dancing by the
school children.
I take charge of the cake and sweet stall always providing the cake to be raffled which this year is the chocolate mud cake which heads this post. Then along with the obligatory variety of cakes I also produce a few old fashion sweets to keep the children happy.
I ask for donations of cakes and am always impressed by the number of chocolate, sponge, carrot, banana and fruit cakes that arrive lovingly homemade and beautifully packaged. This year I also had great toffee apples, muffins, marshmallow and chocolate fudge to offer. The night was a great success.
The chocolate mud cake recipe can be found here. I simply cut it in half, drizzled each half with dark rum and sandwiched it together with the glaze the recipe provides. Chocolate shards around the outside, piled wrapped chocolates in the centre all finished with a gold ribbon.
These meringues were very popular.
4 egg whites
220g castor sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar
food colouring of you choice
Preheat the oven to 100C. Line baking trays with non stick baking paper
Beat egg white until soft peaks form and gradually add the sugar beating until it dissolves. Beat for another
 2 minutes. Add the cornflour and vinegar whisk to combine. Colour and decorate as you wish. Pipe mixture onto trays and bake in preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours until meringues are crisp. Turn oven off and leave in oven for 3 hours.
Candied popcorn is fun!
(adapted from AWW Cooking Class cookbook)
1/3 cup unpopped popcorn
1 tabs oil
1 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
food colouring
Pop the popcorn in a saucepan with the oil.
Put sugar water and food colouring in a large saucepan, stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil uncovered until small amount of toffee “cracks” in cold water. Remove from heat. Add popcorn to toffee. Stir constantly until toffee crystallizes and coats popcorn. Turn onto large tray to cool. Repeat for each colour you wish to have, mix and store in airtight containers.
This delicious gourmet almond toffee is a hit with the adults as much as the children!
You can find the recipe here I just like to add 2 tablespoons of corn syrup which I believe helps stop crystallization and ensures a smooth creamy toffee.
If you find yourself in charge of your school cake stall remember to present your products well. I really like to use clear oven bags for the cakes. This way they are well sealed but the cake can be seen easily. A little bit of ribbon on the packaging or colourful decorations all help sell you products which is a good results for the school and ultimately a good result for the students.

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther…
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