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How to Make a Prizewinning Cake

I have been baking cakes, pretty successfully, for many many years. I have never ever entered into  competition but for the Parwich Horticultural Show yesterday I was persuaded to do so, and some plum jam and some biscuits…

Pride comes before the proverbial fall, not that I expected to win but I fondly imagined I might at least come in with a Third. No such luck: my poor Victoria sponge  was not commended in any way at all. Nor was my jam (that was possibly less of a surprise, although I must admit it tastes pretty good but maybe it isn’t quite up to the perfectionist’s standard. The biscuits actually won First Prize, which I must try to remember but cakes do take more skill.

Later last night Ben’s wife let us into the secret. The secret, she advises, is not to wear too many clothes! No wonder I didn’t get a prize.

Anyway, the out and out winner of the cake section was our good friend Ben who to the best of my knowledge isn’t baking cakes every day of the week. It had risen beautifully (he did use five eggs as against my three…) it was light and airy and tasted divine (I know because I begged a mouthful off Kevin who successfully bid for it at auction at the end of the show).

FInally, to become a lot less personal, the Parwich Strongman Competition was held on Saturday afternoon, on the football ground at the bottom of the village – a lovely green and spacious setting with plenty of space for the children to run around in, and for the Parwich A52s ‘Folk-tinged rock from the land of the peaks’ to play.

Sad for Parwich’s reputation for manliness the competition was won for the second year running by a man from Belper, but – it must be pointed out – he was put under serious pressure until the last moment by young Tom Slater, Parwich born and bred. Plenty of photos on the Parwich blog: they certainly have to do some pretty amazing and alarming things

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