Monday, 24 September 2012

My first competitive bake off!

I’m an avid watcher of programmes like the Great British Bake off and the Ace of Cakes so when I saw that my local food festival was holding a “bake off” I had to enter it!

The theme was Salisbury...which is the city where the food festival is held! I decided to do my cake themed on the local charter market which has been going since 1227!

I started making all the decorations on Wednesday evening and finished the cake on Saturday ready to take along for the festival on the Sunday.

All the decorations were made out of Renshaw’s Sugar and Flower paste. I just bought the white one and coloured it with the Sugarflare pastes. I love the pastes, they give such a vibrant colour and never make the icing sticky.
Here are the selection of decorations I made! I warn you, I took a LOT of pics! If you want to know how I made any specific item, leave me a comment and I'll let you know!


I made two cakes - both were Madeira cakes as it’s a firmer cake, able to take the pressure of the millions of decorations I made!

I flavoured one with lemon (which is apparently the tradition flavouring). This was to become my fruit and veg stall. And the other I actually made a flavour discovery breakthrough!

As the second stall was going to be the “bakers” stall, I wanted to do something nice and sweet so I thought chocolate. As well as using cocoa to make the chocolate flavour though I added a tablespoon of Whittards dark chocolate and Raspberry cocoa drink. The flavour worked SO well and came through nice and strong. I’m going to experiment a bit more with their hot chocolates and see what else I can use!

I then used buttercream icing to give the cakes a “crumb coat” before covering with fondant. This just makes it a bit easier to ice as it’s a smoother surface and it helps the fondant stick too!

Then the really fun part was seeing everything come together.

I managed to find a box big enough to transport the cake to the guildhall. I actually started to have nightmares on the Wednesday night about getting the cake to the venue in one piece, or without tripping over (I’m pretty clumsy and tend to trip over my own feet a lot)!
Well luckily I didn’t trip and made it to the Guildhall in one piece, and had to do some of the finishing touches, like add the canopies. I’ve never known myself to shake so much! I really don’t know how the contestants on the GBBO do it!

There was a children’s category and an adult category, and it’s with great pleasure that I can let you know that I won! Yay! My first ever bake off was a success! It’s at this point that I have to let you into the secret that there were only a couple of entries (which I still can’t believe)! But, a win is still a win, and I had so much fun making the cake and decorations!

I won a great goody bag from a local cook shop called dinghams. The best thing in the goody bag – a pineapple peeler! I’ve always wanted one of these and it’s the most amazing gadget ever! I urge you to buy one!