Christina Tomsic has been baking since she was a kid and even considered becoming a professional baker. She entered the Hershey Cocoa Cake Classic contest at the Carbon County Fair this year and placed first. She intends to enter at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show, for which the local fair was a qualifier. She had qualified last year also and said the state show was overwhelming.
Tomsic is a certified pharmacy technician living in Palmerton. She is attending Lehigh Carbon Community College to get a business administration degree and wants to work for a nonprofit.
Cake decorating classes led to Tomsic's asking "Let's see what I can do."
She said she has so many pans and supplies and makes cakes for friends and family for special occasions.
Her cake for the fair used both light and dark chocolate, had buttercream frosting and a filling using Bailey's Irish Cream Liquor. She drizzled a little of the filling on top and scattered it with tiny Hershey Kisses.
Tomsic planned to make a banana, chocolate, peanut butter cake, but her brother-in-law Jamie Tomsic suggested the Luck of the Irish cake.
"He was my taste tester. I was just trying to come up with something by trial and error. I've used this recipe for years," said Tomsic.
Until last year, Tomsic had never attended the farm show. She and her husband, Cory, watched it on television, but now they want to go out every year because there is so much to see.
For this year's county fair, Tomsic also entered the apple pie and angel food cake contests. Her apple pie recipe used caramel with crushed Heath bars. She will enter that again, she said, but not the angel food cake, which uses too many egg whites.
Luck of the Irish Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1- cup flour
cup Hershey's cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup boiling water
1 cup butter
cup Bailey's Irish Cream Liquor
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons water
2 pounds confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons meringue powder
2 pinches salt
cup Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa powder
Additional water as needed to spread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium until well mixed. Stir in boiling water. Bake 30-35 minutes.
Beat butter. Add 1 cup sugar and 1/2 of Baileys. Add remainder of sugar and other 1/2 Baileys.
Cream shortening, vanilla and water. Add dry ingredients a little at a time. Add water if needed.