I love me a good food festival, and today I went along to the Cheshire Food Festival at Walton Hall, Warrington. I'd previously been to the Great British Food Festival there over the Jubilee weekend and decided to be brave and throw my hat into the Cake Off ring this time!
I entered the Chocolate Delicious category where the brief was 'whatever you like as long as it's full of chocolate!' I decided to enter my chocolate and peanut butter cake, which has proved quite popular in the past and made a couple of appearances on the blog before (here and here). As soon as I got there and saw the other entries though, I knew I should have raised my game - they all looked great but some were magnificent!
So I'm a little bit gutted to have to report that I was in the bottom 3 out of the 7 entries. I'm not very good at losing (as anyone who have ever played any kind of game with me and witnessed my jutting bottom lip will testify!), but once I got over the initial disappointment I was still glad I had taken part. It's an excuse to bake a cake without the guilt of eating it, after all! The main thing was, I was happy with the cake and managed to have a little taste of it at the end when the free-for-all tasting ensued to check that it tasted OK - so at least I didn't put up something that I wasn't proud of. Better luck next time!
Luckily there was plenty of delicious food on hand to drown my sorrows with, and so the rest of the day was spent wandering around the various stalls, hoovering up free samples, browsing the craft stalls, quaffing fizzy wine and watching the live music.
I picked up some cheese from the Cheshire Cheese Company - this is the stall that I always make a beeline for, and today I got some caramelised onion and rioja cheddar plus some ale and mustard cheddar for my dad for his birthday. My cheese allegience was challenged by the amazing Pickle Power that I tried from the Snowdonia Cheese Company but I remained loyal (although I might have to order some online once I've eaten the rest...). After tasting what seemed like every chutney in the tents I went for the spiced carrot and garlic chutney from The Jammy Cow which will go lovely with my cheese.
I was also happy to finally pick up some Matcha tea from Vitalife which I had never got around to ordering online, plus a book of recipes to try out, so watch this space!
Despite the mud and drizzle it was a great day out, and I'm looking forward to the Christmas Food Festival in November already!