Love is the air, particularly at the cookery section of the next Tenterfield Show where chief steward Kay Hurtz has embraced the show’s Young at Heart theme.
After some pushback last year that the feature cake (a white chocolate celebration cake) was a little difficult, this year she has chosen a cake that’s a bit different but easy to make.
The Persian Love Cake is not your run-of-the-mill sponge – incorporating, as it does, rhubarb, cardamom pods and pistachios – but once you’ve assembled your ingredients the method is quite straightforward.
Mrs Hurtz and her husband Glen have each had a test run, with good results.
There’s $80 on offer for the best entry judged at the show, with $20 to the runner-up thanks to sponsor Tenterfield Hardware and Gifts.
Even if it or any of your other cookery entries is a complete disaster, it may be in the running for class C10. Three wonder of Australia’s landscapes. This special class is for cakes that resemble Lake Eyre (that is, sunken), Uluru (large rise in the middle) or Katherine Gorge (large crack).
The cake can be any size, any flavour, iced or not. Best disaster wins.
For those aiming for the more traditional entries (and succeeding), there’s the usual classes for sponges, decorated cakes, biscuits and slices, scones, breads and muffins, along with the men’s class (this year a banana cake, chocolate slice or blueberry muffins) and classes for the novices and juniors.
Mrs Hurtz attended a CWA judging day in Guyra to glean tips for Tenterfield bakers, and she’s happy to pass them on.
First and most importantly, adhere to the directions in the schedule so that you don’t exclude your entry from being judged. They will specify the size and type of tin, how the finished product is to be presented (iced/uniced, sliced or not) and other requirements.
Note that only one entry is accepted per class per exhibitor.
Mrs Hurtz said entries will be judged on presentation, including baking finish, texture, aroma and flavour, with taste being the deciding factor. Neatness of icing will be used to split the frontrunners if necessary.
Fruit cakes should be moist but not soggy, and sultana cakes should have the sultanas are left whole (with no peel).
Sponge cakes should be delicate and evenly-browned with no sugar spots. Biscuits should be fine and crisp.
Scones should also be light in texture, all be 5cm round and with all visible signs of flour removed.
Note that entries must fit into one of the classes in the schedule, and there is no allowance for ring tins.
With all these inside tips the competition should be keen (and tasty) in the pavilion next February. Have fun practising in the meantime.