When Linette Moore heard she had won first prize for apprentices in the Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph she burst into tears.
The apprentice baker has been working at Elmore Bakery for four years. Due to be qualified shortly, 2018 was her last chance to enter in the apprentice section of the competition.
Ms Moore wasn’t the only one to win big at the triumph. Bridgewater Bakehouse took out the stop spot, and can now boast the best vanilla slice in Australia.
Owner and baker Patrick O’Toole was hoping to maybe scoop up second or third place in the Triumph. He certainly wasn’t expecting first place.
This was the fourth time the Bridgewater Bakehouse had entered the competition.
“It’s a good feeling to get first overall,” he said.
“I sort of didn’t believe it at the start, but once we did win, I was quite happy with it.”
Back in Elmore, Ms Moore believes it was her rich, creamy custard – the results of weeks work – that won her the prize at the competition held in Mildura on August 18.
Ms Moore had had plenty of time to practise. She first entered the Great Vanilla Slice Triumph in 2015, when she took out second place in the apprentice slot.
In her book, the perfect vanilla slice has thin base, a light custard for the creamy, smooth filling, and a layer of fondant to top it off.
Making vanilla slice is one of Ms Moore’s daily jobs at the bakery.
For the past two weeks she has been practising for the competition, tweaking her recipe to achieve perfection.
Since the Triumph, Ms Moore has switched over to use her winning recipe in her daily duties at the Elmore Bakery.
Now nearly a fully qualified baker, Ms Moore was delighted to come to the end of her apprenticeship on a high.
She watched the judging via livestream from her partner’s kitchen.
“I was quite overwhelmed actually, I ended up in tears, because I just couldn’t believe it for a moment,” she said.
“It’s one of those competitions, the bakers, they want to win it, they strive to win it, and to actually win it was unbelievable.
“It’s my last year in the apprentice category, so it was nice to go out with a bang. To me it proves I’m ready to step up and play with the big boys.”
Elmore Bakery owner Leah Wilson also attributes Ms Moore’s success to custard.
She was quietly hoping Ms Moore would win first, after her success in the 2015 competition.
Ms Wilson is already planning the next step, saying she’s excited to have Ms Moore able to enter the professional section next year.
Her custard may have got her so far, but Ms Moore says passion is what’s really needed for a perfect vanilla slice.
Passion was what got her into baking in the first place.
When she was 18 her mother sat her down and asked what she wanted to do with her life.
“The only thing I could think of was a baker,” Ms Moore said.
“It was something I have a great passion for doing, and I couldn't think of myself doing anything else.”
Ms Moore had always loved baking. She can recall sitting for hours watching a breadmaker as a child, just because that’s all she wanted to do.
And despite the 2am starts, it’s not a move she’s ever regretted.
Ms Moore loves the satisfaction of seeing customers enjoy what she has made.
“The most enjoyment I get out of it is seeing customer’s reactions when they walk in the shop,” she said.
“You see a customer walk in and their eyes just light up.”