In small country towns, everyone gets involved in events, and that’s exactly how Erin Davis and Amanda Petersen are approaching their inaugural Great Marburg Bake Off, which will cater for all ages.
Erin, a steward for the local show’s cooking section, and friend Amanda decided to start the Bake Off over coffee one day.
“We were just having coffee at our local coffee shop and I said ‘I’d love to have just a cake competition in town and sort of capture the nostalgia of CWA (Country Women’s Association) cooking and that sort of stuff’,” Erin told Baking Business.
“We drank more coffee and chatted more and said ‘let’s do it’ and that’s how it evolved.”
As a small town where everyone knows everyone else, Erin said they quickly had local business owners on board with sponsorship and hired the local Anglican church hall for Saturday, October 2.
“All of our volunteers are just friends we catch up with at the coffee shop—we all just love a fun event, really,” Erin said.
Not wanting to overwhelm everyone in the event’s first—but hopefully not last—year, the competition will have just four categories: Chocolate Cake, which is a show-situation with a set recipe; Decorated Cake, which is any cake from the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday cookbook; a People’s Choice of any cake; and a Children’s category, which is decorated Milk Arrowroot Biscuits.
Despite being one of the competition’s founders, when it comes to judging, Erin won’t be stepping up to the (cake) plate.
“I actually have Coeliac’s,” she explained.
“When I got involved in show baking I thought being a judge would be so cool, and then of course I can’t taste anything!”
Instead, they’re hoping one of the local show judges—a prize-winning baker himself—will live-judge the Chocolate Cakes, along with a judge from the CWA.
“We’re speaking with the CWA and just waiting to nail that down,” Erin said.
They’re also in negotiations with local identities to judge the Decorated Cake category, and the Children’s will be judged by a local librarian and a prep teacher.
“For the People’s Choice, which is the one people are most excited about I think—we’re hoping to get at least ten entries, and if we do, we’ll cut up every cake into as many slices as we can and then you can buy a box of cakes, then taste every piece and vote for your favourite,” Erin said.
“It is literally people’s choice, which is very exciting. Because people will always laugh when you say you’re having a cake competition and they’ll say, without fail, ‘Oh I’m available to be a judge!’”