I'm a good baker and cook. People know that when I cook for them, they won't go hungry.
A friend of mine once told me that she never had to force herself to eat my cooking - it was always flavorful and delicious, and everything was tender, moist and yummy.
I need to earn $5,000 for a trip to Japan for my son next November - the orchestra is going to Japan for a 13 day trip (I will be accompanying because food allergies and a country in which you do not speak the language are a serious NO DEAL for this mom) -
and so when I saw a baking contest advertised, in which the prizes were $10,000, $7,500 and $5,000 - I entered
and then I proceeded to flip right the hell out. Because, really, I'm not a professional, and this contest was open to home and professional,
and after having a panic attack and making cakes for a week before and foisting samples off on friends and asking for feedback and saying 4 or 24 times that I was going to drop out and not participate
I finally did it.
You had to create a 3 layer carrot cake, a german chocolate cake, and a fruit pie or compote. I chose Apple pie, because I can make the hell out of an apple pie and I'm pretty confident in that.
BUT. There were 110 (!!!!!) participants.
I did not make the finals, but I did get really, really great feedback on my carrot cake and my apple pie. The cake was flavorful, moist and packed with yummy (as one judge said) and the frosting was delicious. The apple pie was cooked perfectly, the apples were not too mushy but cooked exactly the way the judge liked them and the crust was pronounced flaky and, well, perfect.
So, I feel good that I tried, even if I didn't place - there were only 6 spots in the finals and I was seriously shocked that a couple of contestants didn't get in.
I handed out some slices of carrot cake to people watching the contest and I sold two cakes - an employee of the host hotel ordered one and today called to order another - so that was good.
Not $5k, but, it's a start.
And I tried, and I'm proud of myself.
LOADED CARROT CAKE
● 2 cups flour
● 2 t. baking powder
● 2 t. baking soda
● 2 t. cinnamon
● 1 t. ground cloves
● 1⁄4 t. vanilla salt
● 12 ounces baby food carrots
● 2 cups sugar
● 1 cup oil
● 4 eggs
● 1 cup rum raisins (1 cup of raisins +1/2 cup coconut rum, mixed in bowl and microwaved for 1 1⁄2 minutes and
allowed to cool.)
● 1 small can crushed pineapple, drained and squeezed
● 2 pieces crystallized ginger, finely minced
● 1 cup walnut pieces, crushed
● 1⁄2- 3⁄4 cup coconut, toasted
● walnuts for garnish
Sift together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix thoroughly. Add raisins, pineapple, ginger, walnut pieces and coconut. Pour evenly into three well greased, parchment-lined 9 inch round pans. Bake at 350 degrees for
30-38 minutes. Allow to cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes, loosening the edges of the cakes with a spatula. Turn cake out onto parchment lined rack and allow to cool thoroughly. Stack and frost.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Mix together 1 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened and 4 T. butter, softened. Add in 3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted, 1 t. vanilla and 1⁄4 t. Fiori de Sicilia. Frost cake layers and stack, garnish with crushed walnuts.