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Friday, 13 May 2016
Twenty-two Girls’ Division pupils in Years 7 to 9 took part in this year’s Bake Off. Competing over the course of five weeks leading up to the Final, the girls had to create bakes during lunchtime to fit the theme, creating traditional desserts with a modern twist and their own take on regional delicacies to impress the judges.
At the end of the themed rounds, the girls were whittled down to just three contestants who would go head-to-head in the final: Yasmin Rose in Year 7 and Year 8 pupils Anna Boyers and Olivia Stubbs.
The Bake Off Finalists were tasked with creating a ‘Showstopper’ bake that showed off the best of their talents. This could be sweet or savoury, and could be inspired by one of the previous rounds or something completely new. Throughout the competition, the girls had to take both presentation and taste into consideration, but this was never more important than in the final, when wowing the judges was their ultimate aim.
The pressure was on as a large audience of supporters, including members of staff, gathered to watch the three young bakers compete in the final round of the competition.
Yasmin baked ‘Queen’s Birthday Gateau’: a summer fruits gateau with thin top of bottom layers of vanilla sponge, a centre of raspberry and lemon whipped cream with mixed fruits and halved strawberries forming the sides, topped with brûléed icing and a crown of chocolate filled with mixed berries. She chose to make a Showstopper to celebrate the Queen’s birthday and selected the colours used in the cake to tie in with the colours of the British flag: red, white and blue.
Anna’s creation was inspired by the recent anniversary of Unilever, the company that grew from Lord Leverhulme’s Lever Brothers company. She made white chocolate and vanilla ‘Dove Soap’ brownies with ‘Dove Soap’ icing, complete with a carefully carved logo, presented in home-made Dove Soap boxes and on a flannel. There was lots of care and attention to detail in the background to this bake, which showed in the final product.
Olivia’s Showstopper bake was titled ‘The Three Sisters’, and it was a Baked Alaska representing the three schools that make up the Girls’ Division: the “soft and springy” sponge representing the children of Beech House, the ice-cream representing the Junior Girls, and final the meringue to represent “the sophisticated, elegant Senior Girl”. The dual red and white colours in the meringue looked amazing, and Olivia had also brought home-made ice cream for the centre of her bake.
All three girls worked hard over the course of their lunch hour to finish baking and presenting their creations within the tight time limit. They handed over their Showstoppers to the judges: Food Technology teachers Mrs Smalley and Mrs James and Head of Middle School Mrs Field. They had the difficult task of deliberating over who would be the overall winner.
Finally, the time came to award prizes. Mrs James praised the huge amount of dedication that all three finalists had showed over the six weeks of the competition, and said how proud she was of them all for creating these technically challenging and very ambitious bakes in such a small amount of time.
Mrs James announced that the winner this year was Yasmin with her ‘Queen’s Birthday Gateau’.
All three winners were given certificates, two cookbooks and a set of baking equipment to take home. Yasmin also won a book token which she can use to buy another baking book of her choice.
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