Robyn Rogers

SPOILER ALERT: Many cakes were harmed in the making of this story! 

The annual Lyonville Bake-Off took place on Sunday 23rd October in the beautifully maintained Lyonville Community Hall and what a great turn out of entrants, locals and visitors it attracted.

I was asked to join the judging team a couple of weeks ago and to say I was chuffed is a bit of an understatement.  With visions ofTV shows that show English village fetes where there are huge rivalries fought out over sponges and scones, it was easy to wonder if it would it be like this at Lyonville.  Would I have people whispering in my ear as to who should win?  Would there be bribes offered to ensure ‘the right people’ won?  Would rivals sabotage each others’ cakes?  Suffice it to say, none of this occurred and a fair and friendly bake-off went ahead.

On entering the hall there was a great sense of excitement given the Bake Off had not been held for a couple of years.  The crowd was building, the entrants were delivering their cakes and slices and the community coffee and cake stall was doing a roaring trade.

The other judges – Tony Tan, Fiona Kelly and Cr Brian Hood, along with me, were briefed on our responsibilities, the criteria and the need to taste all the entries enough to be able to make our decisions on the winners.  It was with some trepidation on the likely sugar overload we were all about to experience that we commenced our judging.

There were six categories to judge – General Cakes, Cupcake & Slices, Kids (under 12), Tarts & Pies, Decorated Cakes and Special Dietary.  The judging panel made the decision to divide and conquer by working two by two and took three categories each to judge – immediately reducing the sugar high to manageable levels!  I was paired with Tony Tan – a very well know chef who has recently moved to Trentham – so we picked up our forks and took on the challenge of judging the best and tastiest cakes.  Despite agreeing that we would just do one small taste given the number of entries, we did find that we had to go back for more.  When it came to the final decision it was a close call in some categories – so we agreed we had to just suffer the sugar hit in the interests of getting it right!  And the winners were:

  • General Cakes – Jessica Lovell, Russian honey cake (Medovik)
  • Cupcakes & Slices – Lynette Brown, Raspberry Shortbread Slice
  • Kids – Calista (age 11) Flower Power (layered sponge with raspberry, pistachio, honey and lemon)
  • Tarts & pies – Sarah James, Key Lime Pie
  • Decorated cakes – Leo Costelloe (visiting from London), Lilac cake
  • Special dietary – Allison Sloan, Gluten Free Lemon Friands, with lemon curd and cream

The main organisers of the event were Dorothy Fuller and Matthew Goldenberg assisted by many local members of the committee and community. It was a pleasure to see a community come together to produce events such as these.

This was a great event and very well attended by the public.  All cakes entered went up for sale after the judging and all monies raised went to the Lyonville Community Hall including an auction of the winning cake – the Russian Honey Cake – which added another $65 to the takings.

Also, in case you aren’t already aware, the Lyonville Hall hosts coffee mornings, with trained baristas, every Sunday with lots of home-made cakes and biscuits on sale to raise money for the hall upkeep.  I can highly recommend that it’s worth the drive.

Robyn Rogers is a Hepburn resident and a member of the Board of Daylesford and District Community News.