With village show approaching & having been volunteered to volunteer on the cream tea stand, thought better get into the spirit of things and enter some of the show tent categories. Being the most competitive person I know and not buying into any of that ‘its the taking part that counts’ malarkey, not sure this was the best judgement I’ve made…. outrage prevailed….
There were only two sections of interest
- The veggies – I was far too scared in my first year of alloto plotto to put anything under these categories, so the plan was to scope out the competition and have a strategy for next year.
2. The baking -scones (boring snoring), shortbread fingers (boring snoring), marble cake (had to use their recipe= no chance), victoria sponge (the best potential to add some pretty flair I think, thats the one)
My Duck Egg Victoria Sponge
I had a plan to set it apart by doing a three layer sandwich with the jam in one layer and the cream in a second. The only rule/ specification was 3 eggs. Slight prolemo on my plans versus cake mix can make with three eggs. Whilst mamma mia also entering decided to go and buy XL eggs from the farm shop I decided to go for smaller tins and duck eggs, as thought ostrich mat be taking it a bit too far! I have never cooked with these before but have heard they make a little richer, so perfect!
I made my 3 duck egg batter, light and airy, and had the perfect consistency, just a little more yellow from the duck eggs. I weighed my batter to ensure that I had three exactly equal 6 inch layers (never before have I gone to this accuracy but I was in it to win it)
Three perfectly baked & cooled sponge layers later it was time to make oh so pretty
I filled the bottom two layers with heaps of strawberry champagne jam – yum
I filled the middle and top layer with vanilla cream (whipped cream with half a vanilla pod seeds) using a large star piping nozzle for presentation and a layer of allotment grown raspberries
I attempted what was meant to be a dahlia, but little questionable to the flower expert Id say……..
-made a centre using a ball of flower paste on a cocktail stick, imprited with a silicone flower centre mould and left to dry
-made three layers of daisies increasing in size and lightening of colour and used a ball tool to roll up the petals. Each daisy was wrapped around the flower core (small first, largest last)
-cut and rolled rose petals and glued to my daisy wrapped centre to give two layers (pink and pink-ivory)
-shimmer dusted the edge of the petals and whether it looked like a dahlia or not it was pretty enough for me
Melted white chocolate was drizzled across the top with the back of a spoon in three colours (uncoloured creamy white, pale pink and deep pink with a tad of food colour paste)
This was sprinkled with dried blue cornflowers. Great cake ingredient/ decoration. I got these and some dried rose petals from Fortnum and Mason denting my bank balance. I was at a conference for two days at RSC Burlington House right opposite and couldn’t resist popping in literally every break time available! Addictive foodie addict disorder….
Then I placed my sugar flower on the top
Presented on a cake stand with a little twine tied card and I was happy my pretty cake wouldn’t look out of place in fortnum and mason itself and this was a village fete!
The fete of truth
Papa expected me to be disqualified with the anticipation of a WI judge living in the 1940s and unappreciative of a bit of modern day country flair. It became a bit of a joke, although he was only bloody right! The other efforts were all traditional, boring, half looked like pancakes on boring flat plates, and I thought I had it in the bag.
Mamma Mia got second place and was still slated for a pretty ridged pattern on the top (rude rude rude and was a first place traditional for sure) and my piece of art was apparently ‘unjudgeable’ by the pompous old fashioned div who appeared to be only interested in the unimaginative as a pompous jumped up simon cowell wanabee.
How dareth the complete goon criticise a bit of creativity when I followed the specification of 3 egg victoria sponge! 24hr outrage complete….
Tasted quite delicious and shal be getting myself on the village fete committee for next year to drag it into the 21st century