This past week I had the honour of being involved in the first-ever Depressed Cake Shop pop-up in Christchurch. It’s a world-wide movement that started in the UK to raise awareness of mental illness and to also raise money for mental health charities, using the universal language of baking (read more here). All DCS baked goods are unique in that they must be grey but can have a hint of colour.
The fantastic organising power of Beks from Rebecca Jane Sugar Art (go give her some love!) rallied together bakers from around Christchurch to create grey cakes, biscuits, macarons, donuts, éclairs, brownies…deliciousness! And all these donated goodies were sold at the First Thursdays market held at The Colombo in Sydenham. Check out this album from the event to see the incredible range of baked delights on display. Even better, just about everything sold and more than $1,000 was raised for Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Support (MHAPS) who provide support for people who are struggling with mental illness and addiction. With this city’s recent shaky history, Christchurch residents definitely benefit from the skilled help of others who have experienced similar difficulties and found a way through.
My contribution was this grey cake which was also my first-ever rainbow cake!
It had lemon white chocolate ganache inside and vanilla Italian meringue buttercream on the outside. It was quite an effort to get that buttercream to emulsify… is it just me or does the freezing cold weather make meringue and butter hate each other??
Those gorgeous sprinkles were the ‘black tie’ medley very kindly donated by Kiwicakes – please give them some Facebook love, too! I pressed the largest sprinkles into the cake first so they didn’t fall out of my hand (and onto the floor, where some sprinkles inevitably end up…). Then I added the small ones by pressing a handful into the bottom of the cake’s side. It’s hard to see but I have a wide perspex board under the cake board which caught most of the runaway sprinkles…most!
And the top view? Some words chosen from my inspo cake and some words from my own understanding of mental illness and how it can cause a person to feel about themselves and the world ❤ ❤ ❤
The DCS was fantastically successful and for such a worthy cause – few people are left untouched when it comes to mental illness, as most know its effects personally or through a family member or friend. Yet it’s sadly often not taken as seriously as physical illness because it is often less visible. So any opportunity is a great opportunity to break the stigma surrounding it! Keep an eye out for reappearances of DCS throughout NZ via the Depressed Cake Shop NZ Facebook page 🙂