I go to an awful lot of food events these days. Fares, markets, festivals, you name it. If it's within easy reach I'll try my hardest to be in attendance. I may well be reaching my tolerance of cupcake stalls at these events however. I know they are going to be good, but there are now so many "Professional" cupcakeists out there that I can no longer tell one from another. It's particularly galling when you have multiples at the same festival.
Duplication happens all to often. It is not the fault of the vendor, they apply for a stall and their money is duly taken. The blame (if there is any to apportion) needs to lie at the feet of the organisers. I'm not claiming to be able to do any better but variety is the spice of life. If was attending a chutney fair I'd expect wall-to-wall chutney but a food and drink festival should have variety at its forefront.
Last weekend's Wakefield Food, Drink and Rhubarb festival was over-run with cupcake, fudge and pork pie stalls. Much more variety was needed to make me want to go again next year. If there had been one cake stall or one pie stall I might have felt inclined to buy some. Unfortunately, and very out of character, I wasn't in the market for pork pies. One of my other destinations in Wakefield was Hofmann and Sons butchers. I had been tipped off that their pies were worth the train fare alone.
The pies were good, but they were secondary to the main reason for getting the train to Wakefield. At a food event in Leeds last year I had tried a spicy chocolate orange jam and was bowled over by it. I found out about the Wakefield festival from The Chilli Jam Man, the person behind this incredible jar of joy. As soon as I knew he was in attendance we had to go so that I could share the flavour of the chocolate sauce with Z.
Tonight is the first time we have cooked with it and we kept it simple so the flavours would shine. We coated chicken breasts with the chocolate orange chilli jam and roasted them. We served them with a warm salsa of peppers, onions and tomatoes. If you haven't tried a chocolate mole before this is the simplest way in.