September 22, 2007
I finally decided to enter the German Chocolate Cake in the Fair competition. I love this cake. I remember one of the first German Chocolate Cakes I made. Funny story. A few years ago, I had a crush on this guy, and I was trying to win brownie points with his mom, and so I baked her a German Chocolate Cake for her birthday. I used the famous Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate recipe. Ended up just being friends with the guy. As usual, the mom liked me more than the son did.
A few years back, Auntie shared the German Chocolate Cake recipe from Cook's Illustrated with me. The folks at Cook's took the original Baker's recipe and experimented with a few changes until it was vastly improved. They used less sugar in the cake and filling, kicked up the chocolate flavor, and dispensed with whipping egg whites separately for the cake. We had it for Daddy's birthday in April, and it was an instant favorite with me.
I took the cake to the fair on Thursday morning for the judging. You have to take a whole cake, then they cut it in half and return half to you. I took the leftovers to work. I didn't know the judging results until my boss spilled the beans on Friday. A few of the managers from work went to the fair for lunch. When they got back, Russell said, "Congratulations on first place." I must have looked surprised, because then he started going back and forth and changing the story to tease me. He talked about looking for the cake, since they knew I took one. He said they looked and looked and finally found it in the corner with the Culinary Best in Show.
This morning I went to the fair to see for myself. I talked to the lady that got Best in Show for her cloverleaf rolls. This lady was amazing. She does a lot of gardening, canning, and baking. She had more than thirty different entries and won fifteen first place ribbons and placed with some others. Her husband and grandson won ribbons for something they brought, too. Also, the husband worked for a decade and a half at the cotton gin where my Dad takes his cotton. Small world. I walked around and looked at all the cakes, cookies, candy, and bread. Reading some of the names, you know that the food was made by a little old lady when you see Doris, Ida, or Shirley. The youth division entries were fun to see, too. There was a chocolate cake that was already growing some fuzz.
Mom and I decided to compete against each other next year with our respective Peanut Butter Cookie recipes. I'm going to have to get Katie to send me some more peanut butter from Taiwan. I don't know what's different about the consistency of Skippy from Taiwan, but those PB cookies were just better.
Fun stuff. Thanks to Auntie for sharing the best recipe ever, and thanks to Granddaddy for sharing his wonderful homegrown pecans.