Baking Competition

I was a very busy baker last weekend in order to prepare everything for the local baking competition. The competition itself was part of the gardening club’s Annual Show where homegrown flowers, vegetables and fruit were assessed and auctioned at the end.

I participated in 7 different categories and won 3 first prizes, one second and one recommendation. Overall I won the cup for most points in the cookery competition 🙂

 

This shows from quite a weird angle what I produced in 10 hours of baking and decorating. Unfortunately everything had to be covered in cling film so I had to build little houses for the cupcakes and the victoria sponge.

I handed in two jars of jam, one Strawberry and Lime Jam and Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam.

The big cake at the bottom of the picture is my version of a Victoria Sandwich Cake. Many people bake two separate cakes but I usually cut mine into halves.

For one 23cm spring form pan:
250g caster sugar
250g butter
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
 

Bake for 45 minutes at 180°C and leave to cool on a wire rack. Use a very long knife or a special wire to cut through the cold cake. Spread some strawberry jam on the bottom half, place the other one on top and sprinkle with icing sugar.

For my decorations I printed off some letters, cut them out and placed them on the cake before using the icing sugar.

 

For the fairy cakes I used my Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream recipe. The decorations had to be related to the Olympics and I made mine entirely from fondant. That was the most difficult task, because the fondant was too soft to cut out very small details. In the end I managed to cut out the London 2012 Symbol, the Olympic flames, the Athletics symbol, a hockey stick and Olympic Rings in flower shapes. 

Another winning recipe was the one in the category chocolate brownies. I used the Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Brownie recipe that works best with frozen raspberries.

My Sourdough Bread was another winner. I had some trouble during the second proof of the bread this time because I used shop-bought sourdough starter (that has worked before but both breads I made did not rise well), but it turned out to be okay in the end.

For the category Sweet Biscuits, I created my own little recipe that got a recommendation sticker at the competition.

For about 15-20 cookies:
200g plain flour
100g coconut flakes
1 egg
100g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
100g butter
dark chocolate for decorations
 

Mix the ingredients for the dough, wrap in cling film and leave to cool in the fridge for half an hour. Preheat the oven for 180°C, cut out round cookies of about 1cm thickness and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Leave to cool on a wire rack. Melt the chocolate in a waterbath and dip the bottom half of the cookie into melted  chocolate. Scrape off excess chocolate to avoid a thick layer.  Leave to cool again.

Decorate with chocolate on top.

My Shortbread recipe won a second place.

In the end this was all about the fun of making and baking and I had a great time. In addition the Annual Show with all the flowers and veg was fantastic and I cant wait for next year!

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