A SLICE OF HEAVEN: Sunraysia Bread and Butter Bakery owner, Dean Picken, baker Hayley Kellet and Mildura City Heart manager, Danielle Hobbs, are encouraging local residents to put their best slice forward, and enter this year’s Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph Amateur Competition. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

By MADISON EASTMOND

HOME cooks and bakers across the nation have an opportunity to lay claim to producing Australia’s ‘Best Vanilla Slice’ next Saturday, August 17, as part of the annual Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph.

And, the event will include an amateur competition this year, providing home bakers with a chance to showcase their talent in crafting the iconic Aussie treat, regardless of age. 

“We are calling on home bakers, students or anyone who might have a great recipe at home to enter this competition!” Mildura City Heart manager, Danielle Hobbs, said.

“It’s open to any skill level or age, and there are some fantastic prizes up for grabs for the winning slice.”

The amateur section is being sponsored by local businesses Banjos, Stefanos and Sunraysia Bread and Butter.

“We have supplied two recipes on the Mildura City Heart website, but you can also use your own recipe or tweak ours,” Ms Hobbs said.

“As long as your slice has been made from scratch, it will be in the running to win!”

Sunraysia Bread and Butter Bakery owner, and community-approved vanilla slice expert, Dean Picken, had one piece of advice for amateur entrants.  

“My only advice is to practice, practice, practice!” he said. “The goal is to be consistent, to have a plan and to know it well.

“If you are using a recipe, and even more so if you are tweaking it, you need to know it inside and out.

“We have made fantastic slices the day before, but come the morning of the competition sometimes it goes wrong, and that might be because of the smallest thing. But those tiny mistakes can cost someone the competition. 

“Everyone entering should feel comfortable and know what they can achieve on the day.”

Set to be held in Mildura’s Langtree Mall, the Triumph will be in full swing from 9am to 2pm, with stalls from local bakeries, and plenty of fun entertainment for the kids.

In addition to competitions and vanilla slices galore, a Coffee Dash involving local baristas will also be one to watch.

Competitors will be judged on pace and grace as they run the length of the Langtree Mall with a cup and saucer.

The Great Vanilla Slice Eating Triumph, meanwhile, is open to all, and will see people take on the challenge of eating a vanilla slice without hands. 

The event will also be used to raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention. 

“We hope people can come and join the community for a fantastic day, either by entering or just by eating a vanilla slice,” Ms Hobbs said.

“If anyone would like to register, or would like more information, just come along to the Mildura City Heart Office. We are more than happy to help – or be taste-testers!”

More information is available by contacting 5023 8010, or email info@milduracity.com.au.