Let them eat cake

On April 4, 2015 by battenburgbelle

It seemed to come round mighty quickly again – I am referring to the highlight of the year that is the Muswell Hill and District Horticultural Society Spring Show.

Work seems to be getting in the way for both Jenny and me, so as well as not seeing each other enough for general socialising, we didn’t get to do our traditional flip chart planning session. We did get as over-excited as usual, baking many goodies and texting numerous pictures to each other during the day on Friday. We were also both up at an unfeasibly early hour on Saturday to put the finishing touches to our items.

Plain scones

Plain scones – great recipe from Richard Bertinet

These were one of my last minute bakes – the best recipe I have ever found for scones is from Richard Bertinet’s Dough. This year I concentrated and didn’t get penalised for flouting the rules and putting sultanas in my scones – the book clearly states that the scones are to be plain

I was delighted with my seven first prizes and two seconds. I managed to beat myself in Category 51 – the “anything goes” class. My Battenburg came first, even though, if I was judging, I would have put my Boston Cream Pie ahead – it was utterly irresistible and I think possibly my current favourite cake. Both recipes are from my lovely chef friend Roger Pizey, one from his World’s Best Cakes book and the other from his first book, Small Cakes.

A Battenburg and a Boston Cream Pie

A Battenburg and a Boston Cream Pie

I made a pledge to myself before I started that I wouldn’t re-make any cake, no matter what mishaps may befall me in the kitchen. I wasn’t thrilled with my Victoria sandwich, but I stuck to my guns. Came in second with that one, so maybe I should re-think that particular pledge next time!

I liked my Ottolenghi carrot cake so much that I made another one in the week to take to work, to endear myself to colleagues.

Carrot cake

Carrot cake

The rationale behind the awarding of the cup for the cookery entries remains elusive, but we’ll draw a veil over that. Jenny and I have been co-opted on to the Committee now (complete with fine green tabards to wear for events), so perhaps we will one day be privy to how the system works. Whatever way you look at it, it’s odd that I didn’t get the cup. Hey ho – I am looking forward to seeing it back on the mantlepiece at Jenny’s next time I go round. I’ll say no more about it… Well not till next time anyway.

It’s not all baking – there were some very lovely flowers there too. Putting me on the plant stall might have been a mistake – my absolute lack of any gardening knowledge whatsoever rapidly became apparent. In spite of that I did sell lots and also offered many a baking tip to unsuspecting buyers.


Beautiful daffs

It all culminated in an impromptu tea party for local chums on Sunday – it wouldn’t have been safe to keep all these cakes in the house for too long.

Tea time

Tea time

Guests were only allowed to leave if they took some home with them.

2 Responses to “Let them eat cake”

  • Clive

    I can vouch for the deliciousness of all but the scones which, I’m sad to say, I didn’t get to try. By my sixth piece of cake, I was, in fact, stuffed full to the brim with gorgeousness. There was not rom for even one tiny morsel. However, I have it on good authority (ie everyone I spoke to) that the scones were light, moist and quite simply the best they’d ever tasted. And as I haven’t tasted any of Jenny’s entries, I can safely say ‘you was robbed of that cup, my dear!’ xXx

  • The marking system is indeed a mystery. Although it is very lovely to have the cup on my mantelpiece, I do feel it is a Pyrrhic victory, as by rights it should be on yours. Next year my baking chum, it will be yours for sure.

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