What goes into baking an award-winning cake?
It’s a lot more than eggs, flour, milk and butter.
Rack marks or burns are a big no-no, while cracks or uneven icing will also harm your chances.
If it’s a fruit cake, you’ll want to ensure there’s an even spread of fruit throughout.
But no matter how easy it is on the eye, the character of a baked good always comes back to one deciding factor.
“A cake could have so many things wrong with it, but in the end it all comes back to taste,” according to East Maitland cake judge Camille Manton said.
Camille was busy running her experienced eye over entries last week, when the East Maitland’s Country Women’s Association held their annual land cookery competition.
The branch had 26 cracking entries comprising of cakes, biscuits, jams, pickles and relishes across 12 categories, with competitors vying for a place in the regional Hunter River finals, to be held in March.
If they’re successful at that level, then they can enter the state competition – no place for the faint-hearted.
“It’s judged very seriously at that level,” Camille said.
East Maitland CWA land cookery officer Debbie Jeffrey said the annual cook-up was an enjoyable social event as well, with members enjoying lunch after the rigors of judging was complete.
“It’s a good day, everyone really enjoys having a meal when the judging is done,” Ms Jeffrey said.