Saturday, August 7, 2010

From a Mother's Perspective...

(The following is a narrative composed by my mom about this past week's exciting events that started in the kitchen and culminated last night with the auction of the top five cakes from the contest)

Skippy's Goshen Country Fair Hershey's Cocoa Cake won first place on Thursday night.  She was all by herself in our kitchen and could actually focus without interruption.  The entry had to be an original cake, with recipe submitted... and it needed a name, so before she delivered it to the judges, one of the kids suggested Raspberry Patch (there were two round layers, split in half - one layer I think had raspberries and cream filling, the others were a ganache frosting)....but the top was covered with fresh raspberries, with fresh mint leaves from out front around the edge of the top.  The whole effect was really cool.

Friday Night at The Fair

The Winner of the bidding war with his pricey cake!

Our adorable puppy did not even place! The judges did seem partial to pugs...

The kids after an exciting night!

Goshen Country Fair 2010

You Can Almost Taste This...

Oh so yummy. The ganache did not slide off the cake (fortunately) though it was constantly in danger from the high temperature of our un-air conditioned kitchen and August humidity!

 Making sure that each raspberry is placed in the correct spot - I'm adjusting those that were too close together. The mint leaves were freshly picked from our organic vegetable/herbs garden.
I experimented with a light dusting of powdered sugar... after seeing it, I tried to remove what I could. Embellishments to this cake would have "gilded the lily" and not something I was looking for...

The Results Are In!

Yes folks, it's official... I won the 2010 Goshen Country Fair Hershey's Cocoa Baking Contest and will be heading to Harrisburg to enter the same cake (not actual cake, but the recipe I used) in the statewide contest against about 50 other tough competitors! First Prize in Harrisburg gets a check for $500... if Sarah Palin can pay for college by winning beauty contests, maybe I can earn money for school by winning baking contests...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Raspberry Patch Chocolate Cake

This is the recipe that I somewhat concocted for the Hershey's Cocoa Contest at our local Country Fair... judging is going on right now (Thursday night) and I am staying away for the time being! As I was walking my cake up to the entry booth, I received hungry stares and offers to taste test the dessert. A middle-school girl was almost visibly drooling when I heard her whisper to her friend "Oooo. That looks soooo good!" The road to the judging tent was fraught with uneven pavement, goats, running children and tussocks of grass - any of which could have tripped me and sent the lovely cake flying through the air and landing in a pile of musty straw. Fortunately, the cake was spared a fate like that!

Although I knew there would be more competitors tonight because of the extra prize of being able to compete at the State Farm Show this coming January, I was hoping not to see any other people bringing their best chocolate cakes in to be judged. When I reached the check-in desk, I got there the same time as a mother carrying a cake, with her two small children excitedly clinging to her skirt. They weren't the only ones there: among the crowds milling about were older women, seasoned veterans of many a fair, young mothers wiping beads of perspiration off their foreheads as they filled out the registration forms, and young children watching with bright eyes as the cakes were ceremoniously carried back to the judges table at the far end of the Agriculture tent (how did cakes ever end up here, I wonder?)