The "Makes-Me-Wanna-SHOUT!" 2012 Competition

WI Staff Write | 4/5/2012, 5:06 p.m.

According to the website created for the competitions, www.shoutbakingchallenge.com, "In 2011, the Michon Boston Group Ltd's Church Lady Cake Diaries digital media project launched the Makes-Me-Wanna SHOUT! Coconut Cake Challenge, the first amateur baking contest in the Washington metro area to feature its winning cake on the menu of an acclaimed restaurant, Eatonville Restaurant [co-presenter of the challenge]."

This year's winner will also have their cake featured on Eatonville's menu, in addition to appearing on a newscast with Hayward, a $500 cash prize and a $250 gift card from King Arthur's Flour, one of the competition sponsors.

As the minutes ticked down, and the tasters were asked to cast their final tickets in preparation for the vote, bakers were instructed to "step away from their cakes." The tension in the room was palpable while bakers and tasters alike made small talk, posed for photos with their entourages and sipped lemonade, iced coffee, milk or the preferred water to wash down the lingering chocolate crumbs.

The judges descended, and the announcement that Donald's cake won the "Judges Choice," sending her into a fit of joyful squeals and jumps as she ran to claim her place, and her prizes - Lisa Yockelson's cookbook, "ChocolateChocolate," and a $25 Giant Food gift certificate, along with a chance to move on to the finals. Looking skyward, she blew a thankful kiss to her late mother.

Other winners included D.C. resident Austin Brown's Chocolate Trio Cake; Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream entered by Howard University student Tiffany Hall of Brentwood, Md.; "The Ora" White Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Red Bliss Cake by Valery Flood-Smith of Ft. Washington, Md.; and "Lucifer's Revenge" a decadent Chocolate Cake with Mandarin Oranges and Grand Marnier by Daryl Wright, an administrative assistant in Washington, D.C. The finals will be held on April 24th at Eatonville Restaurant [2121 14th Street, NW] during Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m.

At the end of a chocolate-laden day, some bakers raffled off their extra cakes and "open season" on cake was declared as people loaded up their plates with their favorite cakes for later snacking. But the sweetest part was the $2,000 raised for Martha's Table, a local charity in Northwest that serves the Columbia Heights community through a variety of programs that benefit some 1,100 people daily with daycare, a soup kitchen, after school programs, clothing and family services.

As Boston declared before announcing the prizes, that "everyone who entered is a winner," even those who eagerly plunked down $20 per ticket felt like winners taking the cake. "This all started from a place of love," Boston said. And one could taste the love in each and every bite of chocolate cake that day.