Sunday, August 24, 2008

Prize Winning Baker

the cake
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
And the ribbons go to ... Me!

For the past couple of years I've been toying with the idea of entering some baked goods at the county fair. Last year I seriously looked in to it, but alas I was too late to enter. This year I remembered in time and was able to submit two things, an orange cake and my triple chip chocolate chip cookies, to the the fair.

The rules on the website for the fair were a bit vague, but I was able to show up at the appointed hour and drop off my entries. I didn't know how much they needed so I brought the entire cake and two dozen of the best looking cookies in the batch.

the cookies
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
In baking competitions I know that appearance is just as important as taste. So I tried to make the most aesthetically pleasing bake goods possible. The cake had to be moist with an even coating of glaze coving the top and artfully cascading down the sides. The cookies had to be perfectly baked. I practically hovered around the oven while they baked. I made a serious effort to have the cookies be consistent in shape and size and have an even chip distribution.

On Thursday at the drop off I found out that they only wanted one fourth of the cake and four cookies. The ladies doing the intake kindly provided me with a plastic knife to cut the cake and the requisite white plate and plastic bag for each entry.

third prize
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar

They I had to go home and wait. Judging took place Friday morning, but I wouldn't find out until we went to the fair.

So today, Sunday, we went to the fair. We immediately went to the Arts and Crafts building to see the results. Much to our delight I was in the ribbons with both entries. The cake got third place in its class. Which I didn't expect after reading how the cakes would be scored.

(Butter, Sponge and Chiffon)
Appearance: shape and size 15
Flavor: taste and aroma 30
Crumb: texture, lightness, moisture 50
Crust: color, uniformity, thickness 5
Total 100

Consistency: creamy, moist, free from crystals, stickiness or crustiness 50
Flavor 40
Suitability of frosting for cake 10
Total 100

first place cookie
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
I pretty much missed it on the creamy moist part since it's a glaze. But it was good enough for third place. Woo Hoo!

And that brings us to my cookies. Or rather my blue ribbon cookies. I completely kicked butt in the chocolate chip cookie catagory. There were at least four other entries and mine reigned supreme. The second place cookie was the one I eyeballed as my competition on Thursday.

The kids and my husband were all very excited for me and we are already looking forward to next year.

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