Getting egged on for Easter treats

The winning cake

The winning cake - Credit: Archant

The first Easter Cake Competition held at The Pudding Stop and organised by Christopher Place was a huge success with over 40 cakes entered.

Johnny and I had to have a strong coffee before we started judging, and I promise you we tasted every cake. There were amazing designs including giant Easter eggs, nests complete with eggs and chicks, a life-size daffodil made from icing, a huge cross, and hundreds of chocolate bunnies, chicks and flowers. We saw some wonderful drawings in the seven-and-under category , and the winner was Sophie, aged two, with her cute, very simple chick with a vibrant orange beak.

Johnny and his team at the Pudding Stop will be turning Sophie’s design into cakes for Easter.

Massimo de Bellis won the adult (and older teen) category with his delicious Simnel cake, which was packed with fruit and flavour. Shula Berrington was placed second with her “Let the dog see the rabbit” chocolate cake. Emma Goldengay (12) won the under 14 category with her delicious dark chocolate and raspberry cake, which was glazed in dark chocolate ganache and topped with spun sugar and fresh raspberries. Closely followed in second place was Roberta McGuinness (13) with a dark chocolate and raspberry cake with flake chocolate topping and a raspberry sauce. Both made sophisticated and well-finished cakes.

The under 11s was the most difficult to judge as we had so many entries and of such variety. Florie Geurts (10) won with her beautiful white bunny cake. Scarlett Gardiner (eight) was second with her Easter egg cake, decorated with sweets. Daisy Shaw (10) was third with her lovely chicken and baby chick cakes. All were beautifully baked and well decorated. Winners won donations for their schools or chosen charity and vouchers to buy pudding at The Pudding Stop.

The Inn on the Park Annual Easter Egg Hunt is on Easter Sunday, April20, from, 11am-3pm. Children follow the clues to collect their prize. They promise that they won’t send you too far, so it is perfect for little ones. Entry is £3 per child. The Easter Bunny will be there helping you to find the clues, and you can have your photo taken.

There will also be stalls from local traders.

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In St Albans The City Market Co. is selling attractive Easter Cookie Kits at Chloe James (£11) which will make a charming gift for anyone who doesn’t love chocolate. Marlowe and House will be having Easter goodies on Good Friday and Easter Saturday where you can stock up on indulgent treats for the weekend.

The Shaken Cow have an Easter holiday special ‘The Bunny Boiler’ which is a hot shake made with Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, topped with whipped creme (sic), mini eggs and toffee sauce. Prices start at £2.95 – only for those in need of a huge sugar rush!

I loved the chocolate in Raindrops and Roses. I chose large chocolate lollies, shaped like Easter Eggs, with mini eggs embedded in the chocolate (£2.50) and a bar of chocolate from The Chocolate Library labelled “I used to be an Easter Egg but I got run over” (£4.30). Both items are made with Fairtrade chocolate. It is also worth knowing that any profit that the shop makes goes to cancer charities. It is a wonderful business to support.

Bourngiorno Italia is always worth a visit, and even more so at Easter when the shop looks fantastic, piled high with foil-wrapped Italian Easter eggs. Prices for Goslino eggs start at £5.95 and go up to £19.95 for a 1kg egg, which would be great fun for a family to share. The largest egg in the shop at 2.5kg is being raffled, with funds going to HCPT who fund trips for children to go to Lourdes. Tickets are £1, and £4 for a strip of five tickets. The draw will be on Saturday so you have a day or two to get your tickets. Look out too for the divine Pastiera Napoletana tart which Tony and team sell each Easter.