Monday, October 10, 2011

Perth Royal Show - Cookery Competition

This year I decided to give myself a bit of a challenge, so I entered the Cookery Section of the Perth Royal Show. I had entries in five categories, and unfortunately no wins/places, but I had fun!

My entries all packed up a ready to go!

I entered class 411 - Biscuits, class 426 - Orange Cake, class 436 - Classic Coloured Macarons, class 459 - Jam, Berry and class 468 - Chutney.

The show ended on Saturday, and entry collection day was today. I left work early to head off  to the Claremont showgrounds in time to collect my entries and feedback. Mostly I was after the feedback. Who wants a two week old cake?? I opted to leave the stale bikkies and (very) mouldy orange cake behind, but took home my jam and chutney.

As I said, the feedback was what I was really after. I had a good look at the entries in my classes on opening day, and I wont deny I was a bit sad to see I hadn't got even one highly commended. Its really hard to walk around and see your entries along side others with the 'first place' card on them, and not be able to see much difference between the two. I had a chat to one of the stewards on the day, and she assured me I would get feedback when I came in on collection day; 'How else will you do better next year, love?'.

Unfortunately I didn't get the judging notes on all my entries, the biscuits below being one of those, so I'll just have to give it another go next year and hope that goes better!

Class 412 - Biscuits (mine are bottom row, second from the right)
The comments on my chutney were not that surprising - good presentation, colour/appearance and texture/consistency, but lacking a depth of flavour. Unfortunately I didn't make it when tomatoes are at their peak, which I think has a lot to do with it. I just need more practice!

Class 468 - Chutney (bottom left corner)
Again, no comments on the jam, but having seen the open jar this afternoon, I think it was probably too thick/well set. It had a bit of a 'hospital jelly' consistency.

Class 459 - Jam, Berry (top row, second from right)
The orange cake was my main disappointment - I had been practising that baby for months (not that anyone in the office is complaining!), and the judges comments were good too; good appearance & colour, nice texture, and good flavour; so it's hard to know what went wrong...

Class 426 - Orange Cake (bottom level, back left)
I don't have a photo of the macaron entries (class 436), but it was fairly obvious on the day why mine weren't winners. They were quite bumpy on the surface in comparison to the others, and the piping marks were still visible. The judges notes reflect that; appearance - 'a little uneven, a smooth surface is preferable', texture - 'needs to be more crispy', but a good colour and flavour. I generally make macarons using the French method, but I think it might be time to give the Italian method a try as it seems to give smoother shells.

I also entered a couple of soft toys in the craft competition, with similar results (i.e. none...).

So that's how the show went for me. No real successes, but some things to work on for next year.


1 comment:

  1. I'm not complaining as I was able to eat all the 'extras' that did not make the cut for the show! :D