Robyn Rogers

Last weekend saw the annual staging of the Lyonville Cake Bake-off at the Lyonville Hall.  It was a well-attended event that included 49 entries across the six sections available.  The weather was totally inclement, to say the least, but it didn’t stop the many locals and out-of-towners attending the event and entering their cakes.

At one point it was really difficult to move through the hall as the crowd was packed in with people enjoying the cakes and coffee on offer.  The cake bake-off event is a huge opportunity for the hall committee to raise money for the ongoing upkeep of the hall and while entry to the hall and the bake-off is free, the committee does a great job of running a raffle and selling coffee along with all the local cooks’ cakes and slices.

This year the judges, besides me, were Chef Tony Tan who runs a local cooking school in Trentham, Cr. Brian Hood, our local Hepburn Mayor and Fiona Kelly from Belle Property.  We were also the judges last year so had some good experience in our back pockets with a tried and tested process.  To say we were all wary of the sugar overload to come was an understatement!  With 49 entries, there was a lot to taste, so we divided the six sections into two and took three sections each.

By far the biggest section was the General Cakes and there was a huge variety submitted.  This is the difficult bit when judging as you can be tempted to compare cakes to each other, but each cake needs to be judged on its own merits of taste, texture, presentation and creativity.  In this section there was definitely a couple of clear winners.

The next largest section was the Kids Cakes and, Wow, the kids of Lyonville had pulled out all stops! There’s no doubt that these kids have been busy watching bake-off programs on TV and they knew how to work it to their advantage.  The judges awarded three prizes in this section and had a very difficult time of it.  With the ages of the bakers ranging from 2 to 12 it’s great to see the kids getting into baking at such a young age and it’s evident the adult bakers of Lyonville have some heavy competition looming in the future.

The Sweet Taste of Success:

  1. Tarts and Pies – Linda Gillies with her Portuguese custard tarts.
  2. Decorated cakes – Grace with her Forest cake.
  3. Cupcakes and slices – Venetia Blackman with her Banana, pecan cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting.
  4. Special dietaries – (a draw) David Rhind with his ‘Eat me’ gluten free chocolate cake and Venetia Blackman with her carrot cake with walnuts and cream cheese frosting.
  5. Kids
    1. Calista Smith with her Rhubarb and raspberry Black Forest cake.
    2. Alex Page and Lenny Fuller with their Lemon cake.
    3. Audrey Beattie with her Chocolate and mint caramel cake
  6. General cakes
    1. Luke Jamieson with his English pepper sponge with wild rosemary, poached pear, caramel and lemon curd.
    2. Kobee Busge with Ginger fluff Swiss roll

The winner of the General Cakes, Luke Jamieson had come all the way from Williamstown to enter his cake and while that means he’s not a local, he is about to commence building a house in Lyonville.  Good to see out-of-towners participating along with the locals.  As per tradition, Luke’s cake was auctioned off and raised $95 towards the overall money raised for the day which was a hefty $4,500!  With all the entries then donated for sale, it’s easy to see that there is definitely money in home made cakes.

Lastly, it’s a credit to the people in Lyonville who volunteer their time, organisational and cooking skills to make the bake off such a successful event.  Why not think about entering your favourite cake next year?

Robyn Rogers is a local cook, a keen foodie, a presenter on Hepburn Radio and a board member of The Wombat Post.