Home baker ready to spice up festival

Coral McCauley will share her secret to making the perfect cinnamon oyster at a workshop at St...
Coral McCauley will share her secret to making the perfect cinnamon oyster at a workshop at St Peter’s College on May 28. PHOTO: BEN ANDREWS
The secret to the perfect cinnamon oyster will be revealed at a workshop this week.

The workshop is one of many events being held as part of Bayleys Tussock Country music festival and will be hosted by Gore local Coral McCauley.

Mrs McCauley is a longtime member of the Gore Country Music Club and has become well known for her cinnamon oysters — small, cream-filled sponge cakes.

"I’m not sure why I have earned a reputation for making them. I don’t know why they are any better than anyone else’s. I just decided to make them one day," she said.

"I saw the recipe in the Edmonds cookbook and wanted to give it a go. They were an easy treat for events — you make them, cream them and put them in the freezer, and can take them out when needed. I took them to the country music club more than 15 years ago and they were a hit. I’ve been making them ever since."

She said the classic Kiwi treat was not something she had eaten before she began making them.

"I was never really into baking and Mum didn’t bake them when we were kids. We don’t eat a lot of them in our house and a lot of people don’t really know what they are. They think it’s some kind of oyster.

"Some people seem to have trouble making them and find it quite difficult. I think it’s more of a knack than a secret recipe. It does take a while to work out as it can take as long to cream the oysters as it does to cook them."

Mrs McCauley admits she was not keen to run the workshop initially but is looking forward to sharing her baking tips.

"It’s a bit of fun, but not something I ever thought Id do. I’m not much of a public speaker so I’m looking forward to it but with trepidation.

"It’ll be a great opportunity to learn a new skill and learn how to make the oysters, especially if it’s not something you’ve done before."