Monday, September 12, 2011

The Spring Fair and a Baking Competition

Well Ladies, I told you I'd only talk about it if I got a good result....and I did!!!!

I entered the Best Chocolate Cake 'Open Division'.  The cake was a little controversial as it wasn't your typical round baby with chocolate frosting. was my mission to be a little different in order to differentiate my entry from the crowd.  These tasty morsels are flourless but filled with chunky nuts and orange zest, and although very moist, the result was not like one of those wet flourless chocolate cakes either.

Well girls I got runner up, which I am so pleased about because there were lots of entries.  I put my reputation on the line for all the locals to see and luckily things went well.  The competition was judged and sponsored by the owners of a local gourmet deli and cafe,  The Cooks Larder, so I am very happy they liked it.  Here's the recipe, you decide

Chocolate Almond Orange Cake

1.5 cups blanched almonds
2.5 cups walnuts
200g/7oz  cooking chocolate, coarsely chopped
250g/9oz butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
5 eggs separated
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind.
icing/confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 140C/275F

Grease a 23cm/9inch square cake pan line with baking paper.

Process or blend the nuts and chocolate until finely chopped

Beat butter, vanilla and sugar in small bowl with electric beaters until light and fluffy

Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until just combined  between additions.

Transfer to a large bowl stir in chocolate mixture and rind.

Beat egg whites in a small bowl with electric beaters until soft peaks form, fold into chocolate mixture in two batches.

Pour mixture into prepared pan, bake uncovered for about 1 and 1/4 hours.

Cool to room temperature in the pan, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or over night.

Cut into squares and dust with icing sugar to serve.   Makes 25

Recipe Source:Women's Weekly Easy Entertaining

Now here's the cake that beat me!!!!  Hard to tell, but I think it was one of those wet flourless numbers, so my strategy of going out on a limb with a crunchy choc nut orange entry, may have been the wrong one.  The cakes were put up for sale afterwards and I had a mind to buy this one and have it scientifically analysed to see where I went wrong.....but I am not that competitive.....errhem....well not really.  But yes, I will be back next year and  can tell you it will be wooden spoons at 50 paces, lol.

We had a fantastic day.  The effort that goes into making this day a success becomes like a full time job for the mum's on the committee that organise the Fair.  The school makes around $60,000 to $70,000 towards educating our kiddos and it is very much appreciated.

This Spring Fair had a country theme, so there was boot scooting for kids and mum's too, but they made me promise not to show the yummy mummy shots.

There's definitely a pink theme going on here.

We've had a cold snap here and I'm looking forward to the return of Spring this week.  Have a good one.

Today I am linked up to


  1. Congratulations - well done. Looks like such a lovely day too.

  2. Now I'm hungry for some chocolate! :) Yummy and congrats!

  3. Congrats!Is that a pink goat in that last photo? Great photos of the event. Looks like a fun time.

  4. Congrats! Wish I could be your taste-tester :)

  5. well done mate!!! congrats, knew you had it in ya, Nigella, LOOK OUT
    nic xxx

  6. ps our school raises $1500 on a good fair!! So well done you lot

  7. Congratulations on your win. The cake looks delicious!

  8. So the goats down under are pink?! Just kidding. Lovely blog, thanks for stopping by my place. Your chocolate cake has made me hungry.

  9. Congrats on the fabulous cake rating! I am not surprised at all. :) Thank you so much for sharing your post at Savvy HomeMade Monday! I hope you will come back and party again!

  10. Your cake looks simply delicious.....would love a piece of it. What a fun day you must have had. Great pictures!!



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