Christmas Cake-Off 2010 Round 3 Poll

Round 3 of the Cake-off Baking Challenge got underway on a hot nor’westerly morning, with five contestants raring to go and a wide variety of offerings laid out. But first, a word from the minstrels.

While shepherds baked their cakes by night,
twixt starry nights and beasts
The Cake Club toiled hard and long
to make their final feast.

“Fear not!” said Pen, “a mighty pie
has seized my troubled mind.
Behold!” said she, uncovering
the monster she’d designed.

“To you in Lincoln town is brought
this wond’rous Cake Delight,”
Spake Chris as he came forth and proffered
cake which did excite.

“Such novel cake you there shall find
to hungry view displayed,”
Said Wendy as she gathered hers
and on the table laid.

“I fed these snails on strawberries
and filled the cake quite full,”
Said Sam, with clear intention to
win Prize Original.

“These muffins potent I do bring
to invoke Christmas taste,”
Said Richard, having made a pledge
no brandy he would waste.

“All glory be to Cake on high,
and to the Club be piece(s of cake);
The tasting will henceforth begin,
begin and never cease.”

The entries into Round 3 of the Christmas Cake-Off 2010 can be relived upon this notable blog:

Sam’s Fish in the Ocean

Wendy’s Cake Balls

Pen’s Possum Pie

Chris’s New Mexican Chocolate Cake

Richard’s Brandy Muffins

You can vote for these cakes in the polls below, on grounds of taste, aesthetics and originality. Choose your favourite of the five cakes for each category. The poll will close on the evening of the 24th, so don’t forget to cast your vote soon! The results from all rounds will be revealed together on Christmas Eve.

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Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 21:02  Leave a Comment  

Cake-Off Challenge: Brandy Muffins

The fifth and final cake to be tasted and tested in Round 3 of the 2010 Christmas Cake-Off Challenge was Richard’s Brandy Muffins. “I took a Christmas cake recipe and cooked it in a muffin tray,” he explained. “But I multiplied the brandy content by about four, and then poured a bit more on top. Oh, and I soaked the fruit in brandy for about two weeks beforehand too.”

Guest Judge, Lord Forrester of Governor’s Bay, had this to say about the creation:

The wafer of the fruit cake world. Almost a florentine like texture. The most Christmas tasting of our offerings this festive season.

Other comments from the assembled tasters included “Definitely tastes of Christmas (but not turkey curry),” and, “Gnomphphnomomnomph.”

Vote for Richard’s Brandy Muffins in the 2010 Cake-Off Round 3 Poll.

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 20:45  Leave a Comment  

Cake-Off Challenge: New Mexican Chocolate Cake

The fourth cake to be tasted and tested in Round 3 of the 2010 Christmas Cake-Off Challenge was Chris’s New Mexican Chocolate Cake. When you go to a vendor of food in New Mexico, they ask you, “red or green?” This apparently refers to the type of chilli sauce you require. If you ask for Christmas, you get both – so this is a chocolate cake with two kinds of chilli lurking beneath its sticky skin.

Guest Judge, Lord Forrester of Governor’s Bay, had this to say about the creation:

Dark and bitter smell. Rich and smooth texture with a slight je sais quoi of chilli.

Other comments from the assembled tasters included “Worth waiting for,” despite rather full stomachs by this point, and “It smells so good.”

Vote for Chris’s New Mexican Chocolate Cake in the 2010 Cake-Off Round 3 Poll.

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 20:42  Leave a Comment  

Cake-Off Challenge: Possum Pie

The third cake to be tasted and tested in Round 3 of the 2010 Christmas Cake-Off Challenge was Pen’s Possum Pie. The inspiration arose from a conversation about what Large Sculpture ought to adorn the small town in which Cake Club abides, to rival Rakaia’s Big Fish or Cromwell’s Giant Fruit. It came down to a choice between a Monster Possum or a Hhge Hillyers Pie. Pen proceeded to make a Monster Possum Pie. No animals were harmed in the making of this cake.

Guest Judge, Lord Forrester of Governor’s Bay, had this to say about the creation:

Lovely sponge. Good butter icing – even not being a fan of icing, I could eat that. Very tasty.

Other comments from the assembled tasters mostly revolved around a concern that the pie might collapse under its own gravitational field, but also included grunts of delight.

Vote for Pen’s Possum Pie in the 2010 Cake-Off Round 3 Poll.

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 20:35  Leave a Comment  

Cake-Off Challenge: Cake Balls

The second offering to be tasted and tested in Round 3 of the 2010 Christmas Cake-Off Challenge was Wendy’s Cake Balls. These, we are told, are a famous American delicacy. You start with a regular sponge cake, which worked out just fine. Then you crumble it, mix it with icing to create a paste, and roll into balls, which you freeze. Then you coat them in white chocolate and sprinkles – which, if you are cunning, you will buy in appropriately festive colours.

Guest Judge, Lord Forrester of Governor’s Bay, had this to say about the creation:

Ooooh! Surprising soft centre. Really very good.

Other comments from the assembled tasters included “Scrumptious!” and, on learning that Wendy had intended to stack them like a Christmas tree, “Is it another post-earthquake trial?”

Vote for Wendy’s Cake Balls in the 2010 Cake-Off Round 3 Poll.

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 20:30  Leave a Comment  

Cake-Off Challenge: Fish in the Ocean

The first cake to be tasted and tested in the third and final round of the 2010 Christmas Cake-Off Challenge was Sam’s Fish in the Ocean, or “My two mistakes.” Having originally come up with an exceedingly novel idea involving strawberry-fed snails and swiss roll, which was shot down by several friends on the grounds that cakes should not involve meat, Sam intended to create a giant chocolate fish. A large mould was duly layered with chocolate, and a filling of kahlua ice cream inserted. A pavlova side was to accompany. Alas, the ice cream came out leaving the chocolate behind, and the pavlova collapsed. Nonetheless, the resulting Eton-esque Mess was truly original and delicious, and the fish still clearly visible.

Guest Judge, Lord Forrester of Governor’s Bay, had this to say about the creation:

You can really taste the Kahlua – yum. Very good effort. She knew the bar was set high and she delivered. Ice cream very tasty, and cream meringue aka mess creamy and chocolatey delightful.

Other comments from the assembled tasters included “Almost speechless with delight,” and, “Wow!”

Vote for Sam’s Fish in the Ocean in the 2010 Cake-Off Round 3 Poll.

Published in: on December 21, 2010 at 20:25  Leave a Comment  

Christmas Cake-Off 2010 Round 2 Poll

Round 2 of the Cake-off Baking Challenge got underway on a beautiful summer’s morning, with all three contestants inadvertently taking on a summer fruits theme. Once again, we shall begin with a word from the festive choir.

We three cakes Luxurious are
High content of fat and sugar
Flour wheaten, eggs all beaten,
Hoping they’re up to par

O Cake of wonder, cake delight,
Cake with royal icing bright
Stuffing faces, leave no traces,
Making trouser buttons tight.

Born a cake in Gareth’s kitchen
What surprises lie in this tin?
Nuts and praline, gold and sardines,
The proof is in the eating.

O Cake of wonder, cake delight, etc.

Frankincake to offer has Kat,
Working hard to make us all fat,
Aesthetically pleasing, taste-bud teasing,
How did you come to make that?

O Cake of wonder, cake delight, etc.

Myrrh the secret ingredient
Janine employs with cunning intent,
Mixing, making, stirring, baking,
What wonders she does invent.

O Cake of wonder, cake delight,
Cake with royal icing bright
Stuffing faces, leave no traces,
Making trouser buttons tight.

Glorious! Now let Round 2 commence
in the tea room – hurry you thence
for Cake-Off tasting, no time wasting
You know it makes good sense!

The entries into Round 2 of the Christmas Cake-Off 2010 can be relived upon this notable blog:


Kat’s Giant Lamington trifle


Janine’s La Bombe Noel


Gareth’s Praline meringue layer cake

You can vote for these cakes in the polls below, on grounds of taste, aesthetics and originality. Choose your favourite of the three for each category. The poll will close when Round 3 becomes available, so don’t forget to cast your vote soon! The results from all rounds will be revealed together on Christmas Eve.

Published in: on December 14, 2010 at 20:12  Leave a Comment  

Cake-Off Challenge: Praline meringue layer cake

The third and final cake to be tasted and tested in Round 2 of the 2010 Christmas Cake-Off Challenge was Gareth’s praline meringue layer cake, with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, and a mixed berry and Cointreau coulis. He earns extra points by putting down one large cake, disappearing back to the kitchen and returning with a second plate filled with mini praline meringue layer cakes, when he saw how many hungry Cake Clubbers had turned up eager for the tasting session.

Guest Judge, Lord Forrester of Governor’s Bay, was beginning to suspect that he couldn’t fit much more cake in in one session, but nonetheless devoured his slice with great satisfaction, adding:

Good meringue – crisp and chewy. Real praline taste. That was delicious. Thank you contestants, that was a remarkable experience.

Other comments from the assembled tasters included, “Beautiful,” and “A spectacular ending to the round.”

Vote for Gareth’s praline meringue layer cake in the 2010 Cake-Off Round 2 Poll.

Published in: on December 14, 2010 at 19:59  Leave a Comment  

Cake-Off Challenge: La Bombe Noel

The second cake to be tasted and tested in Round 2 of the 2010 Christmas Cake-Off Challenge was Janine’s La Bombe Noel. This take on Bombe Alaska was an extravaganza of home made blackboy peach ice cream, coated in meringue on a chocolate sponge cake base. The chef claimed, “it’s mainly fruit, so it’s actually quite healthy.” Then she produced a jug of extra chocolate sauce.

Guest Judge, Lord Forrester of Governor’s Bay, didn’t have much time to spare in between spooning this cake hurriedly into his mouth, but paused briefly to say this about the sparkling structure:

A bombe in the finest tradition of Inspector Clouseau. All round delicious summer fruits. Obviously very healthy.

Other comments from the assembled tasters included, “I’m not sure it needs more chocolate sauce, but I think I’d better try it,” and “This ice cream is amazing!”

Vote for Janine’s La Bombe Noel in the 2010 Cake-Off Round 2 Poll.

Published in: on December 14, 2010 at 19:52  Leave a Comment  

Cake-Off Challenge: Giant Lamington Trifle

The first cake to be tasted and tested in Round 2 of the 2010 Christmas Cake-Off Challenge was Kat’s Giant Lamington Trifles. In her own words, “They were bigger in my mind.” Based on the Lamington sponge, which is quite Kiwi, and the trifle, which is quite Christmassy, it seemed appropriate to combine the two ideas with the aid of much jelly and custard, careful layering and some freezer fun-times.

Guest Judge, Lord Forrester of Governor’s Bay, had this to say about the creation:

Sponge light, delicious and fluffy. A fresh fruit burst, with a bit of freeze from the jelly. An interesting twist on the usually dull Lamington – very nice.

Other comments from the assembled tasters included “I like the lightness, especially given that we’re eating so many cakes,” and, “Yum! Very inventive.” The chef added, “And it wasn’t still frozen, it would be perfect!” to which the reply was heard, “But there’s nothing worse than runny jelly.” ‘Nuff said.

Vote for Kat’s giant Lamington trifles in the 2010 Cake-Off Round 2 Poll.

Published in: on December 14, 2010 at 19:45  Leave a Comment