IN a moment of sweet baking serendipity, the winner of the dreaded Country Women’s Association baking challenge on MasterChef All Stars last Thursday turned out to be none other than Dalmeny’s own Julie Goodwin.
The inaugural winner of the Australian series and part-time Narooma area resident baked a Neapolitan cake that was judged the best by a group of tough CWA judges that included Far South Coast Group cookery officer Nelleke Gorton, my mother.
In another local connection, the lumberjack cake presented on the show was made by Narooma CWA branch president Dot Mahoney.
The show started out with the three CWA judges delivering eight classic Australian cakes that the All Star contestants had to recreate to exacting competition standards.
These cakes were really baked in their own kitchens as I witnessed my mother wrestle with the baking paper around the chocolate honey sponge roll, a challenge that tripped up contestant Marion, just before hopping on a Rex flight to Sydney.
Julie ended up drawing the Neapolitan cake, obviously doing it justice being named the winner by Nelleke and her fellow judges Merle Parrish and Alison Mutton.
And being the winner of the first series, she had avoided the infamous previous CWA challenge held outdoors where none of the cakes made the grade.
This time all contestants came close to measuring up, and I mean literally with the carefully packed rulers and tape measures deployed. Well almost all.
Julie told the Narooma News this week that she thought all the contestants did well except for Callum, who was tasked with the fruit cake, which turned out to be mission impossible, with half the recommended baking time allowed.
“Poor Callum, not having enough time was a little bit rough,” she said.
She admitted not having a lot of baking experience prior to MasterChef, where she really was a family cook, but since then she had come to appreciate skills and challenges of the art of baking.
Right now, Julie is busy as MasterChef All Stars wraps up but is also doing photo shoots for her new book “Gather” with corporate appearances with Qantas and appliance maker Blanco all in week’s work.
She and her family plan to come down from Gosford to their Dalmeny holiday house in the October holidays for some relaxation and time with her parents who also now live locally.
And oh, for the record, Poh’s passionfruit cake and Kate’s lamingtons were the other offerings that made it to the top three.
Nelleke meanwhile after watching the show with her family in the Bega area celebrated by producing two of the cakes featured in the show she had baked early, including Julie’s Neapolitan.
Oh yes there are benefits to being the son of CWA baking aficionado, as there have been many years of taste testing not to mention all those “not just right” cakes.