In the lead-up to the first inaugural World Albatross Day on 19th June, the Agreement for the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels (ACAP) is running an albatross-themed baking competition, ‘The Great Albicake Bake Off’.
Here on Macquarie Island, we took up the challenge to bake ourselves an albatross. We decided to base our entry on the Wandering Albatross chick currently living on the southern featherbed. Chef Arvid whipped up a couple of rectangular sponge cakes to be used as blocks from which to build our masterpiece, and construction began.
Over the next couple of evenings in the kitchen, Arvid and I honed our sculpting skills, discovered how to defy gravity with a big chunk of pink fondant, and I got in a decent arm workout getting a large amount of icing to be just the right shade of nest-bowl brown.
Bureau of Meteorology Senior Met Officer Alana was recruited to construct some background scenery, so that ‘Big Macca’ felt more at home in his nest.
The finished cake is completely edible, although the skewers holding the beak in place might be a bit chewy. I’ll be sure to cut my piece from the tail end when we serve it up this evening.
Sara Larcombe, Wildlife Ranger