BENJAMIN Hirst’s carrot and date muffins, created under the expert guidance of his grandmother, have been awarded as the best in the state.
The 12-year-old from Mailors Flat took out first prize at last weekend’s Victorian Agricultural Society Limited (VASL) state final at Mount Gambier.
He has been cooking competitively for the last six years, with the help of his seasoned cooking competitor grandmother Alice.
Mrs Hirst is highly regarded across Victoria for her cooking talents and is a regular at state and royal shows.
Benjamin said he followed the carrot and date muffin recipe, but made a few small changes to produce the scrumptious muffins.
He adjusted the temperature after two practise runs saw muffins that were too small and hard.
Benjamin qualified for the state final at the Port Fairy agricultural show last November.
He won $250 for his efforts and said he would probably spend the money on a new saxophone.
“I didn’t expect it,” he said.
“We had a lot of trouble finding the right size muffin tins in Warrnambool.”
The home cook said he had a passion for making sweet treats and his favourite item to bake was fruit cake.
Last year he won the junior aggregate in the cooking section at the Warrnambool show and he will enter again this year to defend his title.
The Warrnambool College year 7 student said he had received an A grade for his cooking classes and in the future he hopes to carve out a career as a chef.