Bake off 2014

I can’t believe it has been two years since the last bake off competition. I have been feeling a bit of colour recently – perhaps due to winter and seasonal affective disorder.

The competition for the 2014 bake off is fierce, even *lamb* has been included – filed under the criteria: “well, it’s cooked in an oven”. Hmm.

Entry 1:
Blue cake with animals

The blue cake with animals

The baker who “enjoys baking and eating sweet things”, also took two days off work to make this work of art. I forgot to take a picture of the inside, but there were four layers – vanilla, chocolate, caramel and…well, it’s going to be hard to complete with that.

Entry 2:
Savoury Pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie with brown rice crust

Both vegetarian and gluten free, this contained cheese and eggs and so was actually a savoury pumpkin pie. I think that if I had sampled this cake whilst hot, the crust would’ve been crunchy and added a different texture. Everyone admired the pie tin with its glazed non stick surface.

Entry 3:

Chocolate and Almond Brioche

chocolate and almond brioche
When I saw this one being prepared with rolling out, buttering and resting stages, I knew I was in for something special. The recipe had been translated from Hebrew on the fly, and reminded me a bit of my attempts to replicate the bowan island bakery’s chocolate babka. This had layers or ‘laminations’ … so I may have to have a go at making this one myself.

Entry 4:

Chocolate chip cookies

Choc chip cookies, with big square pieces of chocolate from a block of chocolate. Quite popular, but I did find them a bit too sweet for me… And possibly in need of walnuts. I just like the toll house cookie I guess.

Entry 5:

Gingerbread

Ginger bread

I baked this according to direction. Well, sort of. I misread the temperature to start of with and it was at 140 degrees for the thirty minutes. I don’t think I could have recovered from that, no matter what I did. When I cut it open, the inside looked really dense, like fudge, or just cooked mostly raw cake mixture. Nigella, I have let you down.

Entry 6:

Treacle and pear gunner came

pear and ginger cake with treacle

I saw this and I thought I was doomed. Something else involving ginger and it looked so pretty. This was the baker’s attempt to replicate a came that they enjoyed from Hominy Bakery. First attempt. As I tried this there was an odd flavour that I couldn’t quite place. Molasses? No. Wholemeal flour? No. Yeast? No. Hmm.

Entry 7:

Lemon cupcakes

Small child’s lemon cupcakes

Small child contributed the fistfuls of stars ontop as decoration. A really nice lemon flavour. Perhaps I enjoyed them so much as a contrast to the sweetness of the others. Mr SydneyFoodie is rather violently opposed to the concept of cupcakes, and voted these in last place. It takes some convincing that a cupcake is just a piece of cake that is round, and happens to have icing on it.

The competitive field:

The bake off competitors

You can see that the tasters have already hoed into the lamb and pumpkin pie as the savoury round of the judging.

I also need to mention the peanut butter brownies (bottom lefthand corner of the photo above). There were little decorative dabs of peanut butter on top of each brownie, as well as squiggles of chocolate. At first I really enjoyed these… and then I noticed how sweet they were. Alas, my sweet tooth now needs less sugar to be satisfied.

So who won?

I think that I have probably already given this one away.

Scores were as follows:

Bake off 2014

I know it looks really confusing, but the *lowest* score wins – because that would’ve been the one that you voted #1. There was some slight confusion over the sixes and the nines.. because the font chosen for the number sheet didn’t differentiate. So for those who had already voted… their 6 & 9’s got rounded to a generic “7.5”. If the vote hadn’t already been cast, then the voter indicated which was which.

So, dear reader… when have you spent more than one day making a cake? Did it win as spectacularly as the blue cake with animals?

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