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The great candidate baking challenge begins

By Charlotte Harper - 1 September 2016 2

Chocolate flowerpot cake

Remember the RiotACT’s great LEGO challenge of 2012? Our ACT election candidate challenge is back, and this time we’re asking sitting members and would-be MLAs for the October 15 ACT Legislative Assembly election to get baking (yes, that floral arrangement above is in fact a very Canberra chocolate cake).

Here are Shane Rattenbury, Meegan Fitzharris and Andrew Wall talking through their LEGO creations last time around.

This year, we’re challenging all 100 or so candidates to come up with a concept for a cake (or batch of cupcakes – anything sweet and baked is fine) that they can decorate in a way that is representative of their vision for Canberra. A big thanks to reader Georgia Phillips who came up with the idea.

Chocolate flower pot cake

We’ll come video as many candidates putting the finishing touches on their creations as we can, asking each to explain the significance of what they’ve come up with and to talk briefly about why they believe we should vote for them on polling day.

Each candidate who takes up the challenge should contact us via charlotte@the-riotact.com to arrange a time for the video interview and afterwards provide a photograph of themselves with their cake along with 400 words of text explaining their approach either direct to the site or via email. If the video seems all too hard, just the photo and text will be fine.

Candidates may like to create a “recipe” listing the key “ingredients” required to create their vision for the Territory.

Each candidate will also have the opportunity to include a couple of paragraphs addressing RiotACT readers’ concerns about their electorate. We’ll be posting articles for Yerrabi, Kurrajong, Ginninderra and Murrumbidgee this week following on from our Brindabella piece a few weeks back to allow readers a chance to have their say about their neighbourhood.

Chocolate flower pot cake

To spark some inspiration, I thought this week about what matters most to me about the capital, and came up with this cake based on a theme that is appropriate for the first day of spring: our garden city. My happiest memories here are of playing backyard cricket, spending time in the spring flower-filled corner of our childhood garden and in the yards of friends, and playing in public green spaces like Weston Park, Collins Park, Manuka Pool, Black Mountain Peninsula, Telopea Park, the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery and Commonwealth Park.

I would like to see us retain existing green spaces and push for new developments in the city to include parkland and space on housing blocks for gardens.

The ingredients (aside from the obvious sunshine and rain) are:

Thoughtful planning
Strategic planting
Regular maintenance
Respectful use

So, under the supervision of my food writer mum, Diana Lampe, I created a chocolate cake in a terracotta pot, which we decorated Floriade-style, with spring bulbs and violets from her garden (our own bulbs are only just coming into flower). Baking it in the pot worked remarkably well. We slotted a glass jar into the centre and filled it with water for the flowers.

Hordes of children confirmed it tasted as good as it looked after we took the photos yesterday afternoon, and Diana’s recipe for the cake is here.

What’s Your opinion?


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2 Responses to
The great candidate baking challenge begins
greenbamboo 10:25 am 07 Sep 16

Hoping to see some innovative entries. 😀

Mordd / Chris Richar 11:54 am 02 Sep 16

Looking forward to some creative lists of ingredients and weird and wonderful creations.

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