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Carolyn Etzler-Doyle, a local baker with a winning track record, scores at Ag Expo & Fair

July 23, 2013|BY CRYSTAL SCHELLE | crystal.schelle@herald-mail.com
  • Carolyn Etzler-Doyle's Open Class Champion butter pecan cake at the 2013 Washington County Ag Expo.
ylm / Yvette May Staff Photographer

If baking competitions selected a queen, Carolyn Etzler-Doyle could rightfully claim the crown. 

Etzler-Doyle, 61, of Hagers-town is well-known for racking up awards as she tempts judges’ palates with her sweet baked goods. If it can be baked, Etzler-Doyle has probably already won a prize in that category.

This weekend, Etzler-Doyle added grand champion in Open Class Baked Goods and Candies to her long list of accolades during the Washington County Ag Expo & Fair at Washington County Agricultural Education Center, south of Hagerstown. The judging was held Saturday, July 20, at the fair.

Etzler-Doyle, who is a contractor with U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, said she tests out recipes on her coworkers to see if the cake makes it to competition round. 

This cake, however, wasn’t able to be vetted. Her winning recipe, butter pecan cake, was one she literally whipped up for the competition.

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“This was the first time I made it,” she said.

Because Etzler-Doyle is a member of the Ag Expo’s board of directors and serves as secretary, she said she was literally running out of time. 

“I was just so busy,” she said.

This is the third time Etzler-Doyle has been named grand champion, she said. The cake also took first place and Champion Cake awards for the same cake. She received a purple rosette ribbon and bragging rights.

In addition to the baking competition, she and her son, Donnie Etzler, were awarded second place in the Iron Chef competition Sunday at the fair.

Etzler-Doyle said her secret is that she tries to use a standard, simple cake recipe that can be altered to her tastes. For instance, the butter pecan cake was originally a coconut cake, but she replaced coconut flavoring with butter pecan flavoring and added some butter and nuts.

She said what made it a nice cake was that “it was very moist. And you don’t really need to add icing to it.” Icing is replaced with a drizzle glaze, she said. 

In her spare time, Etzler-Doyle is a fanatical cookbook collector. She recently returned from a trip to Michigan where she lugged home 20 cookbooks. 

“It’s an addiction,” she said with a laugh. “There is no cure for me.”

Butter pecan cake

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups sugar

1 cup soft unsalted salt butter

5 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon butter pecan flavoring

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a bowl, add flour, salt and baking power. 

Set aside. In a medium-size bowl, mix sugar and butter until fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time. 

Slowly add dry ingredients. Add milk, flavoring and nuts. 

Bake in greased tube pan for 45 to 60 minutes. 

Check with toothpick or skewer.

Drizzle and icing cake. 

See recipes below.

Drizzle

1/2 cup unsalted salt butter

1 teaspoon butter pecan flavoring

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

While cake is in the oven, mix drizzle in a sauce pan. Combine butter, pecan flavoring, sugar and water. Let come to a boil and then turn off heat. 

Reheat to a boil when the cake is almost done. Pull cake out of oven and pour the drizzle slowly onto cake while it is still hot. 

 Cool cake completely, and then remove from pan. 

Drizzle icing on cake.

Icing

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon butter pecan flavoring

Pecan halves

Finely chopped pecans

In a bowl, mix to confectioners’ sugar, water and flavoring to a consistency of  thin icing.

Drizzle over cake. 

Decorate with halved pecans and sprinkle finely chopped pecans over cake. 

 Editor's note: Carolyn Etzler-Doyle said she purchased the butter pecan flavoring at Pennsylvania Dutch Market in Hagerstown


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