Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The Cambridge Bake Off Round One - Chocolate Cake

On Saturday, I was lucky enough to be invited to help judge 100 chocolate cakes as part of the Cambridge Bake Off with the Cambridge Evening News. Yes, you read that correctly, one HUNDRED chocolate cakes! Jimmys Night Shelter We took over the Cambridge Cookery School and the lovely owner, Tine Roche guided is through each cake, allowing is to sample a tiny mouthful of each in a controlled manner so as not to make any of us sick with cake overload. It was great to meet the other judges, especially Jimmy from Jimmy's Night Shelter, where the cakes went down to after the competition. At the start, it was a very daunting thought as the entire room was filled with chocolate cake creations with the smell hitting you as soon as you walked into the room, all home baked by talented and local novice bakers. In fact, no two cakes were the same, all were unique in taste and appearance and it was a very difficult task to whittle them down to just 38 cakes for the next round, they were simply stunning. They were all numbered, not named and as a judge, I hadn't seen the bakers arrive, so it was a fair judging not knowing who's cake was who's. This, I'm glad of as I knew a few of the entrants personally from my own cakey adventures, so there was no unfair advantage ; ) This round was not only being sponsored by local company "Tucker Gardner", it was also sponsored by "Chocolat Chocolat" and they had very kindly donated mini packs of truffles for every entrant as well as a bouquet of their famous chocolate shards for the "Cake of the round". This particular cake was a worthy winner, smooth ganache and a simple decor, filled with gorgeous layers of chocolate & raspberry flavours with a genoise sponge, it reminded a few of us of a "Fitzbillies" creation (a local bakery). The owner of this cake had worked hard on it, as had everybody else, but it was well deserved regardless. I can't really single any other cakes out, they were all delicious and it was tricky to know which to put through. The next round is "Victoria Sponges" next weekend and the bakers will have to piece their concoctions together at the venue! The professional shots were taken on the day by the lovely Ashley at Groover Photography. Miss Sue Flay

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