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Sharon cake auction benefit is imaginative tour de force

SHARON — “Let Them Eat Cake!” is a traditional event in town, and the live cake auction and cocktail party to benefit the Sharon Historical Society drew a sizable summer crowd to the tented grounds on Friday, July 1.

One last-minute entry brought the total number of cakes to be auctioned to 26, each a reflection of the baker’s imagination in assembling ingredients.

Many boasted locally grown ingredients or local butter and eggs.

There was chocolate and coconut. Lots of fruit. Some cakes had names in French. One came with doughnuts on top. A couple had a Spanish flair.

There was another with a no-flour recipe dating back to medieval times. One or two sported genuine edible gold leaf. And, to add to the fun, there was quite a bit of bourbon or rum involved in the creative process, and much of it ended up in the cakes.

Volunteering as auctioneers for the fundraiser as they have done in the past were author Christopher Robinson and broadcast journalist Brian Ross. (Ross is a member of the board of The Lakeville Journal Foundation.) Both felt ready for the fast-paced nature of the auction once the partygoers had their bidding paddles in hand.

Used to the world of auctions, Robinson said, “It’s a lot of fun to be on the other side of the auctioneer’s podium.”

Heading up the detailed planning for the event and its smooth operation were chairmen Myra Plescia, Marel Rogers and Robert Lindgren.

During the cake viewing period that preceded the auction, guests expressed amazement at  the variety.

“Look at the decoration on that one,” commented Matthew Andersen of Sharon. “That’s amazing,” said another onlooker, viewing a different cake.

Troutbeck pastry chef Emma Isakoff, whose creation went on to fetch $2,000 to benefit the historical society, described her cake as a strawberry shortcake (or her take on strawberry shortcake to be precise). It is a vanilla pound cake with elder flower syrup and a crème fraiche filling with strawberry jam made of local strawberries. She used local farm ingredients, even local flour. The garnishes were fresh English roses.

“I want people to enjoy it,” Isakoff said, “as long as I’m not doing the cutting. I just can’t cut into my cakes. I work so hard on them.”

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