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Baking Grand Prix - Silverstone

A closely fought contest - baking doesn't get tougher than this!

You've seen the people on TV's Great British Bake Off? Rank amateurs. (Or is that Rank Hovis McDougall amateurs?). At least compared to the 16 superb bakers who produced cakes, biscuits, flapjacks and other tasty sweet comestibles. Savoury is allowed, but nobody broke that barrier. (I have Simon Hopkinson's Cheese and Onion Pie in mind for next year....)

The task of judging, using points out of 10 for presentation, texture and taste fell to Judith (Simon's wife) and myself. It's a tough job, but somebody had to. Simon had already acted as eligibility scrutineer and eliminated a shop bought entry. We took the role very seriously and compared notes in agreeing the scores. Wine tatsing was nothing compared to us ("I'm getting an interesting aftertaste"; "You know, I think that's vanilla pod rather than essence or flavouring.").

In the end, first fell to Dayla & Jaz Tye of Team Green for Chocolate and Vanilla Sponge (an incredible 90% score), second to Sharon Spiller of Team Reed for Raspberry Sponge, and third on a tie break to Laura Landamore (Omicron) for Raspberry, White Chocolate and Amaretto cake. We were grateful to Himanshu Shah, who, after much persuasion, agreed to try both Laura's cake and Sarah Harvey's Chocolate Cake, and after tasting both (several times - he's nothing if not conscientious) made the difficult decision.

I'm not giving the other places because they were, without exception, all terrific cakes/biscuits and, in a very real way, everybody was a winner. However, other competitors were, in no particular order:

Welsh Cakes Jonathan Baggott
Ginger Fudge Cake Elise Timms
Strawberry Cheesecake Cup Cakes Joanie
Carrott Cake Cupcakes Joanie
Blueberry Pound Cake Donna Fern
Tiffins Jane Griffin
Sesame Street Cupcakes Jen Sirrell
Chocolate and Orange Marble Cake Phillipa Davers
Caramel Cake Sarah Harvey
Victoria Sponge Rachel
No. 22 Car Emma Bell
Choc Caramel Biscuits Laura Landamore

Thanks to everybody, and I wish I could make cakes like any of these. Thanks also to Judith and Himanshu, to Sarah for admin, and to Jon Reed for trophy pics. And to Codsall Swimming Baths where I did 64 lengths to try to swim away all that lovely cake I ate.

First, Dayla & Jaz Tye   Sharron Spiller, 2nd   Laura Landamore, 3rd
Dayla & Jaz's superb cake   Emma Bell's cake was recognisable as a Reynard, though the ground clearance was a bit low.   Mmmm, cakes
Mmmmm, more cakes   The bitter rivalry of the entrants reaches fever pitch.   Himanshu was SO unhappy to accept the task of tie-break judge. You can tell.....
Oooh, yet more cakes   Judith enjoyed the task but wore an official WI uniform to go with the clipboard and judging schedule   Jonathan Baggott's attempt at a late entry of Lettuce Cake was sadly misconceived

Tony Cotton




Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover. Subheadlines and captions are not originated from the named author. We are unable to reproduce results due to copyright reasons. If any pictures are copyright and the owner wishes them removed please email us.