BAKING SKILLS: Eunice Gifford with her prize-winning boiled fruit cake at the CWA finals.
BAKING SKILLS: Eunice Gifford with her prize-winning boiled fruit cake at the CWA finals. Vanessa Jarrett

Award winning fruit cake: What is the secret?

AFTER two cakes she thought weren't good enough to enter, Eunice Gifford placidly entered her third cake - with no expectations whatsoever she would win.

To her surprise, Ms Gifford took out first prize in the boiled fruit cake category at the Queensland Country Women's Association competition division finals.

"I don't have any secrets.... I have been cooking for years,” she said.

"I did make two others (an orange cake and date roll) but they didn't turn out the way I wanted to so I didn't enter them.”

For the annual competition, entrants must follow a supplied recipe from CWA.

While they all use the same recipe, the cakes are judged on various aspects from air holes, fruit dispersion, moistness and more.

Ms Gifford commented sometimes it depends on way the batter is beaten.

A member of the QCWA Gracemere branch, Ms Gifford has been a member of the QCWA for 47 years.

She was originally a member of the Capella branch in the Central Highlands.

Ms Gifford and her husband owned a cattle property in area and raised their three girls out there.

She moved to Gracemere 11 years ago to retire and transferred to the local CWA branch.

The branch meets up once a month, something Ms Gifford always looks forward to.

"You can do handicraft, international work, study a different country every year,” she said.

"It is a good way of making friends ... you go statewide and you go to conferences so you meet other people in all parts of the state.”

QCWA boiled fruit cake recipe

  • 155g butter or margarine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 375g mixed fruit
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1½ cups SR flour
  • Few drops each vanilla, lemon and almond essences
  • Don't cut up fruit. Place in saucepan butter, sugar, water mixed fruit, spice and soda. Bring to boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Cool. Lightly beat eggs and add with essences. Stir in flours. Bake in a 20cm round tin in a moderately slow oven 150c for approx. 1 ½ hours until cooked when tested.


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