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Sweet success

Published January 03. 2014 05:00PM

When visitors to the Pennsylvania Farm Show stop by this weekend's baked goods contests, they'll be treated to a taste of Carbon County's finest pies and cakes.

Among the dozens of entries of pies, cakes, cookies and more are four entries from the Palmerton and Lehighton areas. This year's local participants are Tracy Lyn Junglas (Blue Ribbon Apple Pie) and Nolan Wentz (PA Preferred Youth Chocolate) of Lehighton, and Christina Tomsic (PA Preferred Chocolate Cake) and Kyle Strohl (Angel Food Cake) of Palmerton.

To qualify to compete in the Pennsylvania Farm Show's baked goods contests, entrants must win first place at a qualified Pennsylvania agricultural fair, which includes the Carbon County Fair.

Each baked good will be judged by a panel of judges on a variety of criteria, including flavor, consistency, and creativity. "PA Preferred" contests, including the chocolate and angel food cake contests, must include as many PA Preferred products as possible.

Christina Tomsic

PA Preferred

Chocolate Cake

Christina Tomsic's winning entry, Say "CHEESE"-cake Chocolate Cake, was in her words a "complete accident" and a decadent one.

"Every time I've entered this contest, it's been an experiment. I've never followed anything, just hoped for the best," she said of her chocolate cake, which was her fourth time entering the Carbon County Fair's chocolate cake contest.

"I wanted to see what would happen."

From the outside, the cake is a fairly standard chocolate cake, with Hershey cocoa powder and PA Preferred eggs and milk. Chocolate fudge frosting and a dusting of white and milk chocolate decorate exterior. But as with all baked goods, it's what's on the inside that counts.

"The filling layer is a cheesecake that I baked without a crust. I whipped it in a blender so that it made a cream, and added chocolate chips," she said. "It's fabulous."

This is the third time Tomsic has gone to the state farm show. She has previously entered peanut butter chocolate and raspberry chocolate cakes.

"I'm excited that I was able to place in first (at the local fair) again," she said. "I love going to the farm show. It's really fun."

Say "CHEESE"-cake Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake:

2 cups sugar

1 and cups flour

cup Hershey Cocoa Powder

1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 PA Preferred eggs

1 cup PA Preferred milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

Cheesecake Layer:

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 PA Preferred eggs

Chocolate Fudge Frosting:

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

cup Hershey Cocoa Powder

3 cups powdered sugar

cup PA Preferred Milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


3 cup milk chocolate chips

3 cups white chocolate chips


Chocolate Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting: Melt butter. Stir in cocoa powder. Alternating add powdered sugar and milk beating repeatedly. If needed, add a small amount of additional milk. Stir in vanilla extract.

Cheesecake Layer: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat all ingredients together with a blender. Bake in a greased pan for 60 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pan. Once cooled, place pieces of cheesecake in blender and blend until slightly creamy. Add cup chocolate chips into cheesecake mixture and mix gently.

Garnish: Place both types of chocolate chips into a blender and pulverize until in powder form. Keep some chips whole for decoration on top of the cake.

Assembly: Spread a layer of chocolate fudge frosting on top of a layer of chocolate cake. Next spread a layer of chocolate chip cheesecake filling on top of that. Spread another layer of chocolate fudge frosting. Add an additional layer of chocolate cake on top and frost entire cake with chocolate fudge frosting. Once frosted, take pulverized powder and press into the sides around the cake. Use whole chips to garnish the top of the cake.

Kyle Strohl

Orange Angel Food Cake

Strohl's Orange Angle Food Cake is a creative twist on traditional angel food cake.

"It's a basic angel food cake recipe with orange Jell-o, which gives it the orange flavoring," he said. "It's pretty simple."

He continued the orange theme by adding orange marmalade to a basic icing, then topping the cake with mandarin orange slices for a burst of flavor and color.

"I've entered in other years, so every year I try to do a different idea or creation," said Strohl, who has been entering cakes and pies into local fairs (including the West End Fair, when he lived in Monroe County) since 2006.

"This was a new creation. Orange just kind of struck me."

This will be Strohl's third trip to the Pennsylvania Farm Show as a baking contest contender. He previously won the right to enter two apple pies, and placed third in the state with a Hershey's chocolate cake.

"It's a really neat experience," he said of the judging process. "It's an amazing thing to see."

Orange Angel Food Cake

1 cup flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

12 egg whites

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 teaspoons orange Jell-O powder


Sift flour, add cream of tartar. Beat egg whites. Add sugar carefully, small amounts at a time. Whip until peaks form. Then add flour and orange mix in small amounts by hand. Place in pan.

Bake in an ungreased angel food pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. After 30 minutes, increase heat to 375 degrees for 15 minutes. When finished baking, turn the pan upside down and let sweat out.


2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup Crisco

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons orange marmalade

1 can oranges

Mix powdered sugar, Crisco, vanilla and marmalade well. Top with canned oranges.

Tracy Lyn Junglas and Nolan Wentz, who will also be heading to the Farm Show, were unavailable to be interviewed for this story.

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