One of the fun "Open Day" events was a "Platinum Jubilee Bake Off", suggested by friend of Balintore Emma. For my sins, I have never watched a single episode of "The Great British Bake-Off" on TV, and was nervous about the amount of organisation that might be required given how much else was happening on the Open Day. However, I rationalised it was all about sampling cakes and pontificating - what's not to like? :-)
|one of the entries - yums !|
The judging was at 12:00 on the Open Day, and I invited Sara, the housekeeper, to be my co-judge, We were very impressed by the standard of the 6 entries during the tasting. Eventually, we retired to a private room to adjudicate. Sara and I had come to completely different verdicts in the 3 categories: best flavour, best presentation and the overall winner. This was a valuable education for me, for those times in life when you feel unfairly judged. Anyhow, during our discussions it became obvious that Sara and I had picked up the same strengths and weaknesses in the entries, and we were able to come to a joint decision perfectly amicably.
Best Flavour: strawberry meringues
A meringue is a common item, but these were in a different league - nothing short of perfection. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside.
Best Presentation: hedgehog macaroons
And yes we did feel guilty eating these as they looked so good and, er, cute!
Overall Winner: passion fruit gin and tonic cupcakes
I swore I would not be swayed by presentation and I am sceptical of the current lady-vogue for cupcakes, but the icing on these magnificent looking mini-sponges tasted amazing - beautifully balanced between sweet and sharp. Caitlin, our worthy winner, and is now booked in for a free night's stay at the castle's AirBnB!
|passion fruit and gin and tonic cupcakes|