There were almost as many secret ingredients as there were cups of grated cheese on Friday night as the Great Eltham Scone Night took place at the Eltham town hall.
While the student team from Ngaere school used "a bit of apple and cinnamon" for their secret twist in their cheese scones, Karl and Jeanette Uhlenberg claimed that their scones would have the edge thanks to the addition of "speedway petrol" in the mix.
The TET team, consisting of Andrew Wood and John Campbell went for a slightly more corrupt ingredient, carefully placing a one dollar coin into their scone before it went to the oven.
"It will tempt the judges' tastebuds," claimed John.
The judges, South Taranaki District Mayor Ross Dunlop, his wife Jan, and Joyce Lawrence, were not so easily swayed however.
"It should have been at least $10 really," commented Ross, while Jan pointed out that the middle of the scone was still raw in parts.
Guest speaker for the night, Dillon Boucher, spoke about his experiences playing for the Tall Blacks and the NZ Breakers, as well as entering the celebrity category of the scone making competition. His team-mate for the scone section was the evening's compere - Philip Keenan, who had fond memories of teaching Dillon when they were both at Spotswood college "a few years ago".
It was a case of the pupil becoming the master, or maybe the blind leading the blind, as the duo followed the recipe with a little bit of help from fellow competitors Laura Wood and Emily Short, who were representing the Stratford High School Basketball team.
Possibly thanks to the loan of a measuring cup and some well timed advice, Dillon and Philip's scones received high scores from the judges, landing them in third place. Notably, Laura and Emily placed second. The winners on the night were the team from E-town, who were the crowd favourites and received thunderous applause on being announced the winning team.
For more pictures from the night, see page 8.