Local cooks take home State Fair ribbons

Oct. 29, 2013 @ 09:49 AM

Winners of the N.C. State Fair Special Cooking Competitions included five residents of Durham and Orange counties. Contests were sponsored by state food associations or companies, and prizes included ribbons and cash. They were judged by local media, teachers, chefs and homemakers.
Local winners included three Durham cooks, a Hillsborough cook and Chapel Hill cook. Lisa Page of Durham won first place in the N.C. Peanut Growers Peanut Dessert Contest for her Peanut Butter Cake. Ashley Boyd of Hillsborough won first place in the King Arthur Flour Baking Contest, adult category, for her Rocky Top Coffee Cake. In the same King Arthur Flour contest, Elise Easterling of Chapel Hill won second place for her Fall Harvest Coffee Cake.
In the “Anything But Ordinary!” Sweet Potato Recipe Contest, Rhianna Brandt of Durham won third place for her Rhianna’s Red Eye Sweet Potato Soup. And Durham resident Harriet Carter won honorable mention for her Festive Pecan Couscous recipe in the North Carolina Pecan Association Pecan Recipe Contest. For a full list of contest winners and recipes, visit www.ncstatefair.org/2013/Competitions/SpecialCooking.htm.
Here are some of the winning recipes:

N.C. PEANUT GROWERS PEANUT DESSERT CONTEST
FIRST PLACE: LISA PAGE of Durham
PEANUT BUTTER CAKE
¾ cup butter
½ cup creamy peanut butter
4 eggs
½ cup buttermilk
2 cups sugar
3 tsp baking powder
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup water

Cake:
Let butter, peanut butter, eggs and buttermilk warm to room temperature for easy mixing. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan or a 10-inch tube pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine room temperature ingredients with remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Beat at a slow speed with electric mixer for 30 seconds, then at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping side of bowl. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, then lower heat to 325 degrees and bake for 20 minutes longer, or until top springs back when lightly pressed with fingertip. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out, cool completely before frosting.
Topping:
¼ cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup 10x confectioners sugar
4 to 5 Tbsp buttermilk

Combine in small bowl until smooth. Spoon over cake.
12-16 servings. 


KING ARTHUR FLOUR BAKING CONTEST (ADULT)
FIRST PLACE: ASHLEY BOYD of Hillsborough
ROCKY TOP COFFEE CAKE

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 cup King Arthur Flour
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
3 Skor or Heath bars, broken into pieces
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 medium ripe banana, sliced into thin pieces
½ cup milk
½ egg, measure 2 Tbsp
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a fork, blend the dark brown sugar with the flour and softened butter. Set aside ½ cup of crumb mixture for the topping. To the rest of the mixture, add the milk, egg, baking soda and vanilla. Gently fold together the ingredients until well combined, stir in banana. Pour the batter into an ungreased 9-inch spring form pan. Top with crumb mixture, sprinkle toffee bar pieces and then hazelnuts.  Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serves 8

KING ARTHUR FLOUR BAKING CONTEST (ADULT)
SECOND PLACE: ELISE EASTERLING of Chapel Hill
FALL HARVEST COFFEE CAKE

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp orange zest
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup dark molasses
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups pumpkin purée
2 cups chopped apples
Orange Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp orange zest

Grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan. Preheat the oven to 350°. Whisk together the first nine ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, mix well after each addition. Mix well and scrape sides of bowl beat for about a minute. Add the vanilla and pumpkin and mix just until combined. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium-low and beat in the flour mixture until incorporated. Fold in apples. Beat together all filling ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Pour half of batter into the prepared pan. Pour filling batter over the gingerbread batter and swirl with a knife. Pour remaining gingerbread batter into the Bundt pan. Bake for 70-80 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean of the center of the cake. Cool completely before unmolding the cake. Glaze, recipe follows, and garnish with toasted pecan halves
Caramel Glaze
6 Tbsp butter
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup milk
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Whisk in brown sugar, milk, and salt. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract. Whisk in confectioner’s sugar and whisk until smooth. Drizzle warm glaze over the cake and allow glaze to harden.

ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY! SWEET POTATO RECIPE CONTEST
THIRD PLACE: RHIANNA BRANDT of Durham
RHIANNA’S RED EYE SWEET POTATO SOUP

3 cups roasted sweet potatoes
3 oz. NC Country Ham
3 tablespoons cream fraiche
2 1/2 cups water
Small onion chopped
1/2 cup brewed coffee
6-8 peppercorns

In a large sauce pan, brown the country ham in canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and brown. Add coffee and stir for a few minutes while simmering. Add water and bring to a simmer. Put on lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and peppercorns, bring to a simmer again. Put lid back on and simmer another 10 minutes. Put in blender with cream fraiche and blend until smooth. Serve hot.

 


NORTH CAROLINA PECAN ASSOCIATION PECAN RECIPE CONTEST
HONORABLE MENTION: HARRIET CARTER of Durham
FESTIVE PECAN COUSCOUS

1 can mandarin oranges (drained and reserve juice)
1 cup pearl couscous prepared as directed using reserved juice and water
** 1 ½ cup diced roasted sweet potatoes
*½ cup dried cranberries which have been plumped
1 cup green apple, diced and unpeeled
1 orange, zest and juice
¾ cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup pecans, chopped and lightly toasted

** cut sweet potatoes into ½ inch circles, brush with cooking oil and bake on each side for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool and remove peeling.  Cut into one inch pieces
*Place cranberries in microwave safe dish and add ½ cup water. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Cool and drain water. Mix yogurt with fresh orange juice and zest. Set aside. Mix all ingredients listed above except couscous and pecans.  Combine yogurt sauce with those ingredients and then stir in couscous.  Stir in pecans just before serving. Serves 6.