After sizing up the competition at the 2009 shows, I have decided this year will be my first foray into the world of ribbons, taste tests and the pursuit of the perfect sponge.
The goal is to first enter the 100th Wauchope Show, and use it as a practice run for my local, the 129th Kempsey Show, a week later.
Waz helpfully points out an article in The Argus about a lady from Kempsey winning best Fruit Cake at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. It appears the competition will be tougher than first expected, with the lady in question currently preparing scones, cakes and biscuits to enter into the Kempsey show!
Not being one to start small, I have my goal set on entering the 100th Show Special baking class, attempting to make one Peach Blossom Cake, one Madeira Cake and six scones. I'm also entering six scones separately in another class.
6pm: Armed with a Queensland CWA recipe for Peach Blossom Cake, I begin by beating the eggs to stiff peaks, then in a second bowl, cream the butter and sugar, add milk and sift in the flours.
7:15: The cake is done, and looking sufficiently show standard. No sinking middle, but maybe a touch over brown on the edges, nothing that can't be covered with some icing.
9pm: Feeling panicky, I stumble across a quick mix Madeira cake online, and decide to give it a whirl...
9:25: Big mistake. The batter is thin and lumpy and starts leaking out of the cake pan as soon as it is poured in.
9:40: The cake comes out of the oven about an inch high, flat, rubbery, and disaster! Most of it is under the cake pan and fused to the tray. Cake one will have to do...
6:45am: Up early to make the scones to beat all scones.
7:30: Scones out and looking OK.
8:30: All boxed and ready to go.
Thanks to WAZ for the 2 hour round trip to drop them off!
Total costs: 14 eggs, 1 kilo of castor sugar, 2 kilos of SR flour, 1L milk, 600mL cream, 1 sticky flour coated kitchen, 1 cranky cat, 1 very tired but pleased baker.
Peach Blossom Cake
3 egg whites, whipped to stiff peaks.
125g butter, 1 cup castor sugar beaten together.
Slowly add ½ cup milk, beat well.
Beat in 1½ cups SR flour and 1 tsp cornflour.
Carefully fold in the egg whites.
Halve the mixture; tint one half light pink and marble in 20cm tin.
Bake for 35-40 mins until golden and cooked when a skewer comes out clean.
Ice with a light pink frosting and sprinkle with coconut.
Beat together 240g butter and 1 cup castor sugar.
Add 1 tsp grated lemon rind, and sift in 2 cups flour and 2 tsp baking powder, mixing well.
Mix in 4 lightly beaten eggs.
Pour into a 20cm pan and bake for 30mins until golden.
Serve sprinkled with castor sugar.
Mix 150mL of cream with 150mL milk. Crack in 1 egg and beat together lightly.
Sift together 3 cups of SR flour with 2 tablespoons of castor sugar.
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.
Tip out onto a floured bench and kneed together.
Cut out rounds with a glass, place on baking tray and brush tops with a little milk.
Bake for 12-15 mins until well risen and golden.