Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Christmas Cake-off 2015, by judge Lee Dingain

Boxing Day at the Dingain household was the venue for the third Dingain-Walls Christmas Cake-off - where Rachel 'RAW Baker' Walls battles it out with with Patricia 'I make one Christmas cake for everyone else and another one for me' Dingain, for baker of the best home-made Christmas cake.

These two legendary bakers are usually very good friends, but with one win each to date, the gloves were set to come off for this year's competition.

This year there were four judges this year - Stacy and Phill Dunkley joining John and Lee Dingain. Each cake was graded using the same criteria as last year - rating the presentation, icing and marzipan and fruit cake as either crap, poor, average, very good or the nuts. In the interest of fairness, cake samples were given to the judges labelled A and B - very serious stuff this competition!

Judge John Dingain

Judge Stacy Dunkley

As with the last two years, both cakes were baked to an exceptionally high standard and judges Stacy, John and Lee had a very difficult but enjoyable time grading them. The forth judge, Phill, on the other hand, who dislikes Christmas cake was overheard saying "they're both God awful".

As usual the scores were extremely close, and both competitors were neck and neck on the presentation, marzipan and fruit cake (despite Pat's cake missing a slice before the competition). However, Pat's tradtional Royal Icing won over the judges and swung the score in her favour. So for the second time the title of Champion of the Christmas Cake-off 2015 went to Patricia Dingain.

Christmas cake samples for the Judges to taste

Rachel conceded defeat gracefully, stating "I do like Pat's icing. I might have to reconsider my strategy for next year", and then "I better win next year!". Pat offered some encouraging words to the runner up "Commiserations to the loser who made an excellent cake", before adding "but not excellent enough!".

Afterwards we all (well, Phill excluding) scoffed our faces with both cakes, and talk had already turned to next year's competition.

Final category scores are:

Presentation: Patricia 13 points/Rachel 12 points
Icing and marzipan: Patricia 18 points/Rachel 14 points
Fruit cake: Patricia 13 points/Rachel 15 points

Total: Patricia 44 points/Rachel 41 points

Homemade Christmas pudding

I made my first Christmas pudding this year, using rum bought from Goa earlier this year. I was really pleased with the results as you can see form this photo! It was worth the 14 hours it took to steam in the slow cooker. It lit up marvellously and tasted very good. You cannot make beat a home-made pudding.

Rawbaking Christmas pudding

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Rawbaking Xmas home baked goodies 2015

Order your Christmas Bag- £6 each 

Butter shortbread

1. Snow Flecked Brownies. A best seller. Dark chocolate, fudge style brownies filled with white chocolate chippings.

2. Butter Shortbread. Butter shortbread sprinkled with sugar and topped with glitter.

3. Fruity Flapjacks. Delicious flapjacks, bursting with mixed fruit.

4. The Triple R - Rachels Rocky Road.  My favourite! A sticky chocolate base mixed with shortbread biscuit and stuffed with marshmallows.

5. Chocolate ginger slab. Chocolate filled with crystallised ginger pieces.

6. Xmas Jammy dodgers. Biscuit filled with jam and sprinkled with icing sugar.

7. White chocolate & cranberry fudge.  Velvety Smooth white chocolate fudge filled with tasty cranberries.

Email Rachel at rawbaking@gmail.com with your order!