Monday, December 10, 2012

How To Judge a Cake Competition

A month or so ago, my friend Jenny Ford asked if I'd be interested in judging a chocolate competition.  I thought about it for about 15 seconds and said YES!

This is the first time I've judged anything professionally (I'm totally putting this experience on Linked In) but iKeith and I judge things all the time.  People's outfits, people's children and beer.  We've judged many glasses of beer.

I was happy that someone finally saw my potential for judging people things!

This was fourth year for the Holiday Chocolate Festival at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.  You will find over 60 vendors available for all of your holiday needs.  Do you need a truffle that is infused with Rosemary for your dear foodie friend?  How about a beautiful belt buckle or pair of earrings?  Have you always wanted to see a dress made out of candy wrappers?  They have so many unique gifts that you're sure to find something you're loved one will adore.

But that's not all!  They also have entertainment.  Next year, I'm leaving my family at home so that I can enjoy wine/beer and chocolate pairing classes and live singing. I'm also going to stay at The Broadmoor ALL BY MYSELF.

There is also a competition.  The catagories are as follows:

  • Cakes and Cupcake: Top 'Holiday Themed' Cake
  • Chocolate and Sweets: Top Sweets Item, Top Chocolate (non-truffle item)
  • Truffles: Grand Champion Truffle, Best Tradition Truffle, and Best Non-Traditional

I judged the Cakes and Cupcake division and let me tell you....tasting and judging eight cakes is hard work.  It is not for the faint of heart or the diabetic!  I will never eat cake again without thinking about the layers of flavor, the consistency of the frosting and the moisture level of the cake.

The cake that I loved the very most, was the Baileys Hot Chocolate Cupcake. It had the most delicious marshmallow-like filling and it even smelled like Hot Chocolate with a shot of Irish Creme.  And the presentation was adorable!

Things you need to judge cake:

  • A clipboard and score card
  • A pencil (instead of a pen) so you can erase when you make mistakes
  • Wine Water to cleanse your palate between cakes
  • Detailed description of the cakes you are tasting
  • Pictures of the cakes you are tasting 
  • Non-drapey clothes so that you don't get frosting on your jacket
  • Good friends with discerning palates to taste with

Whatever you do, no matter how much you love the cake.  Do not hug the cake.

About the judge: