THE always hotly contested SA Country Shows' rich fruit cake, Genoa cake and Laucke scones competition attracted a crowd of familiar faces, all vying to see if their prowess in the kitchen would be rewarded.
Judges Peter Eglinton, in the scone section, and Jean Biggins, Naracoorte, for the cakes, had the entrants on the edge of their seat as they cut open and inspected the entries.
While judging, they also provided some of their tips, such as the potential benefit of lemon essence in bringing out flavour in a Genoa cake, and using a hand mixer when show cooking to ensure the sugar is fully dissolved.
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Winner of the scones section was Adrian Bates, Kingscote, with Wendy McDonald, Port Lincoln, second, and Jaimee Button, Nairne, third.
In the Genoa cake it went to Emma Tiller, Owen, first, Gloria Buck, Millicent, second and Nicholas Tremain, Parndana, third.
The rich fruit cake section was particularly tough for Ms Biggins, and in the end, she said it came down to picking up tiny faults to split the entries.
The Margaret Hurst perpetual trophy went to Kaye Bottrall, Jamestown, while Wendy McDonald, Port Lincoln, was second and Cheryl Miegel, Murray Bridge, came third.
Ms Bottrall said she was surprised and honoured to win a competition as prestigious as this.
"I don't ever class myself as a cook at this level," she said.
She said she had cut open a cake that morning for the shearers and been grateful it was not the one entered in the show, so knew how difficult it could be to get the cake right.
Winning convenors, responsible for attracting the most cake entries, went to Margaret Douglas, Mount Gambier, for the rich fruit cake, and first time convenor Tamara Attrill, Murray Bridge, for the Genoa cake.
This was Ms Attrill's first time convening, taking on the duty to ensure her late mother Helen's goal of a healthy cake competition was realised at the 100th Murray Bridge Show.
- This story first appeared on the Stock Journal.