Matterdale Summer Bake-Off 2021
It was very special to have everyone together for the first physical event for some 16 months. The weather was glorious and we had the perfect baker's dozen number of entries. From chocolate to courgette, full fat to gluten free and vegan, the entries were varied and just delicious. Judges, Michelle Castles and Ian Dodd deliberated long and hard over their final choices - frankly it seemed they were enjoying themselves a little too much - but decide they did.
Overall winner was Jane Petrie with her Orange, Almond and Cardomom cake. Commenting on her win Jane said, "As most people know I love to bake so look forward to all the valley bake-offs every year. This year it is so good to be back with everyone in real life. Bake-off would be very difficult over Zoom!
"My cake is based on a recipe taken from Rick Stein's Road to Mexico. An easy, no fuss, bake that I can adapt depending on the citrus fruit I have and the different flavour combinations I use for the syrup and decoration," she continued.
Michelle Castles, last year's Christmas Bake-Off winner and this year's lead judge, provided some insight and the reasons behind the winning cake, "We chose Jane's Orange, Almond and Cardamom cake as the overall winner because it scored the highest for taste. It was beautifully presented and well baked with a moist but light texture. The flavours were subtle and well balanced."
Michelle and Ian also chose two further bakes for special commendations. These included mother and daughter Emma and Amy Bray's entries. "Amy's Strawberry Gateaux (vegan) was commended for presentation. Obviously, the glaze on top was very attractive and decorated with strawberries around the sides. There were fresh viola's on the top which were pretty and added to the summer theme. Emma's cupcakes (gluten free) were commended for best original flavours. The topping was a meringue frosting, infused with rose flavouring and rose petals. The cakes themselves were courgette and the two flavours complimented each other very well." Michelle concluded.
With thanks to Tyrone and Michelle Castles for 'loaning' the MCA the garden at The Royal to stage this event and to Peter Croft and Woolfest for the use of the gazebo and tables. And of course to all who contributed and cooked up some deeeeelicios bakes.
Look out for details of the Christmas Bake-Off which will be held on Christmas Eve at The Royal in Dockray.