The local farmers all bring in their best cattle, the chickens are pampered and given a good rub down with lotions and chest rub, everyone has stripped their gardens of the best blooms and the home cooks are covered in a fine coating of flour and sugar.
In my previous post, I set myself the challenge of entering the cookery sections at the 100th Wauchope Show and the 129th Kempsey Show.
At Wauchope, my trial run, I entered a Peach Blossom Cake, a Madeira Cake and 2 sets of Six Plain Scones. When we hit the show on the opening night, I eagerly sought out my cakes, to find that I was only in the running for a participation certificate.
This was my practice though, a chance to see what a show cake should look like, thickness of icing, pan size, colouring etc.
So, after hitting the shops and buying another small mountain of butter, sugar, flour and eggs, I prepared for another night of baking for the Kempsey Show.
This time I was making an improved Peach Blossom Cake, another set of Plain Scones, and an artery clogging White Chocolate Mudcake that weighs in at 2.5g and contains 1 Â½ blocks of butter and 2 blocks of white chocolate, along with a heap of cream and sugar.
Peach Blossom Cake:
A definite improvement on the Wauchope show, much higher and less toasty around the edges. (recipe)
Scones: I was up early to bake these, at that hour of the morning anything would have looked fine. (recipe)
White Chocolate Mudcake with White Chocolate Fudge Frosting:
This is an extremely easy and tasty recipe from Donna Hay's Simple Essentials: Chocolate Cookbook. I was entering it in the 'any other variety' category though, so it would have stiff competition. Recipe at end of post.
When I reached the show on opening night, I casually did a lap of the entire show, avoiding the main pavilion. I didn't want to seem too eager to see my results, however curiosity finally got the better of me and I made my way to the long glass cabinets.
Aaaand... I won first place for my Peach Blossom Cake!
A gloriously butter stained certificate greeted us in the display cabinet.
My other baking didn't fare as well, my mudcake being taken out by a Lemon Chiffon Cake and a Carrot Cake, and my scones tucked neatly into a back corner.
Still, taking out a first place is enough to stimulate my baking appetite and dream of show champion glory in 2011.
Sausage Sandwich from the Westpac Helicopter BBQ:
Doughnuts from one of the many food vans:
Poffertjers (Dutch Pancakes) smothered with whipped cream, maple syrup and a dusting of icing sugar:
Chicken Schnitzel and Salad Sandwich from the Ladies Auxiliary Luncheon Pavilion:
Sausage Sizzle at Kempsey Show:
I spent my $4 show winnings on a giant thickshake.
These were also at last years show, and the ladies making them make way too much for one person. Last year there were at least 10 scoops of icecream per shake, and the lady gave me the blender to keep topping up the shake so she didn't have to waste it.
This year we asked for caramel flavour with some milo, and there was at least a cup of milo per shake. The shakes were creamy, thick and very chocolatey, and as hoped, came with the almost one extra cup of leftover shake.
I had planned on hitting the doughnuts again, but after the shake, was feeling a bit of a sugar overload. Instead, I visited the Ladies Auxiliary stand and bought a range of cakes and slices.
Chocolate Brownie, Banana Cupcake, Chocolate Cream cupcake and Caramel Tart.
Pampered chicken: This one likes his legs rubbed with lanolin, and promotes chest rub for a strong crow:
Freaky looking chicken: If we needed stronger proof that birds evolved from dinosaurs, I know were I would look.
The 100th Show Display at Wauchope:
129th Kempsey Show Display:
Very realistic Dog Cake:
Prize winning pumpkins:
Veggie Critters at Kempsey:
It wouldn't be a good show story if it didn't finish with fireworks! The awesome display at Wauchope went for ages, and as we were only about 20 metres away from the explosions you could feel the shockwaves.
Can't wait until next year! :)
White Chocolate Mudcake:
250g Chopped Butter
200g Chopped White Chocolate
2 Â¼ Cups Caster Sugar
1 Â½ Cups Water
2 Cups Plain Flour
2/3 Cup Self Raising Flour
3 Lightly Beaten Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Preheat over to 120Â°.
Place butter, chocolate, sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat, and stir until mixture is smooth.
Pour into a large bowl and whisk in flours, then whisk in eggs and vanilla.
Pour into a 22cm round cake tin.
Bake for 2 hours or until golden and cooked through.
Once cool, spread with White Chocolate Fudge Icing.
White Chocolate Fudge Icing:
Place 200g white chocolate, Â½ a cup of cream and 70g of butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
Stir until melted and smooth.
Set aside until completely cool (do not chill), then beat with electric beaters until thick and fluffy.
Spread over cool cake.