The plan for the scone off was as follows
1. Revisit all the cheese scone short listed venues, by bike of course, and purchase two cheese scones to take away.
2. The scones will be collected over two rides on the 9th and 10th December. Unfortunately the scones are too far apart to do on a single trip at this time of year.
3. Back at Crusader Towers I will correctly reheat scones ready for tasting
4. Myself and fellow judges will then blind taste the scones and rank them purely on our tasting experience
5. Winning scone will be announced and awarded a coveted Cake Crusaders winners certificate in time for Christmas.
|Bike loaded on train to Beccles ready to start scone collection|
|Market Row Scone in the bag|
|Perfect weather for collecting scones|
|Coco Mamas scones and chocolate|
|Large scones in large bag from the Pennoyer centre|
|Final scones loaded on bike outside Pandoras|
|Day 1 scones lining up for semi final scone off|
With day 1 finalists decided it was on to find who the day 2 (North Norfolk) challengers would be.
For Day 2 I was joined by North Norfolk cafe expert Andrew (who is notoriously hard to please). The weather had turned and the forecast was poor with heavy rain predicted. I brought plenty of plastic bags to protect the scones from sogginess. Andrew had previously asked me what would happen if it rains on collection day. I explained that we would get wet.
Our first stop was Heydon Tearooms,
Next came the long 20 mile ride into the wind all the way at to Great Walsingham cafe, unfortunately it also started to drizzle. As well as purchasing the scones we stopped for some lunch by the warm log burner. It was very relaxing and I therefore forgot to photograph the scone.
Our final stop was Byfords at Holt and my collection work was done.
By now the skys had turned grey and it was raining hard. As I had correctly predicted this meant we were wet but fortunately the scones were dry.
|Damp and dark ride back to Hard to Please House in Alysham|
|Day 2 semi final scones about to be warmed|
So with scones safely packed it was now back to Crusader Towers (this time in the car, I'm not mad) to prepare for the final.
All 4 finalist were correctly warmed by me before giving a section of each scone to myself and each judge for ranking. It was a very hard decision with much retasting and discussion until eventually it was decided that the Market Row scone just edged out the Coca Mama scone to be declared the winner.
|Cheese scone of the year finalists|
Funnily enough this was the first scone I purchased on day 1 so I could have just collected this one and saved myself 115 miles of cycling, but that's hindsight for you.
I have now had over 50 cheese scones this year so many congratulations to Market Row for beating off all the competition and winning the title of Cake Crusader Cheese Scone of the year 2015. Also a big thank you to the other 10 scone providers as they were all a joy to taste.
I will be emailing Market Row their Cake Crusader winners certificate (once I've made it) ready for Christmas.