Great University Bake-Off

Possibly one of the most popular events of the week has been the Great University Bake Off, held at the New Town Cookery School. The event was open to all students and staff and the contestants came from across the university. Consisting of five teams made up of three contestants each, they were given two challenges; both of which had a Scottish theme.

For the first challenge, the contestants had to make some snowballs. For this they were given part of the recipe and they had to work out the missing details themselves. Each team would have to make these snowballs and the finished articles would be judged on taste, look and consistency.

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For the second challenge, they had to make a Scottish-themed cake using their own imagination leading to some very exciting and creative cakes! The teams had three hours to complete both challenges.

We arrived with only fifteen minutes left to spare in terms of cooking. Sadly, we had missed the controversy surrounding a certain team’s (excessive?) use of coconut flakes, which resulted in one team thinking on their feet to finish their snowballs! The kitchen in the heat of the action was a hive of activity as each team rushed to finish their own cakes.  However, one contestant was kind enough to give me a sample of whisky so I was quite happy. George, on the other hand, was looking longingly at the cakes like a drooling dog sat at your feet!

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Just in time, the contestants finished their creations as the judges (see below) called time.

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First they tried the snowballs, talking quietly among themselves and taking notes before it was time to taste the teams own original creations. They were:

Tunnock’s Surprise which had chocolate marshmallow icing with layers of caramel wafers, a nice touch was an icing Tunnock’s label on the top!

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From One Course to Another, a lemon sponge with cream cheese icing, raspberry layers, marzipans thistles and ILW shortbread!

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Nessie on the Rocks, a hot cross bun cake with whisky and cream cheese frosting and walnut and ginger rocks!

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Cranachan Mountain, this had a honey oat base and with raspberries, whisky cream and a white chocolate and raspberry dome with meringue tower.

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Purple Lake, a chocolate whisky cake with raspberry jam and honeycomb mountains.

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The event’s organiser, Celine Rojon of the university’s Business School, said they had seen some ‘wonderful pieces of baking’.

Finally it was time to announce the winners. In second place came Tunnock’s Surprise; described as ‘elegant’ and had ‘balanced flavours’. With tensions as high as the heat of the ovens surrounding us, first place was announced as Cranachan Mountain, which, the judges stated had ‘good texture and ‘good construction’.

And so ended for another year ‘The Great Univeristy Bake-Off’.

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