SHOW-STOPPING CAKE: Joan Mead admires her first place winning fruit cake on display at the 71st annual Cooyar Show.
SHOW-STOPPING CAKE: Joan Mead admires her first place winning fruit cake on display at the 71st annual Cooyar Show.

Champion baker spills the tea on what it takes

JOAN MEAD is no stranger to the pressure of producing high quality baked goods.

Her biggest claim to fame would have to be her champion fruit cake which took out first place at the Ekka some 20 years ago.
While Mrs Mead wasn't going to part with all of her award-winning baking tips and tricks, she did have some wise words of advice for amateurs looking to up their fruit cake game.

"It's all in the fruit," she said.

"You can't skimp on it, but you also can't put too much in … you can't have the cake being too fruity because then the judges won't be able to see or taste the other components to the cake."

Joan Mead admiring her handiwork at the 71st annual Cooyar Show.
Joan Mead admiring her handiwork at the 71st annual Cooyar Show.

Mrs Mead said sometimes perfection can take time, and you can't rush the art of baking.
"The year I entered my fruitcake in the exhibition I cut every single sultanana in half, one by one," she said.

"It took an awfully long time, but I suppose it all paid off because I ended up number one."

It should come as no surprise the award-winning baker took out first prize in the fruit cake category at this year's Cooyar Show, with the long time local also nabbing first prize for her champion figs and stunning plums.

The Wutul resident also said when it comes to award-winning cooking, you've got to stick to a tried and true recipe.

Joan Mead took home first place for her figs and plums at the 71st annual Cooyar Show.
Joan Mead took home first place for her figs and plums at the 71st annual Cooyar Show.

"I've been using the same Watkins recipe I cut out from the packet all those years ago, I'm not sure how many exactly but I moved to the area 67 years and have been entering my cooking in the show ever since," she said.
 

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