Philippa James joins the judges at the 2012 Lakeland Cake of the Year competition
PUBLISHED: 21:15 11 October 2012 | UPDATED: 22:04 20 February 2013
Food editor Philippa James has her cake and eats it at a Lancashire Life baking competition Photography by Kirsty Thompson
Eileen Jones (@CumbriaPR) September 1, 2012
Hannah Lomas (@hannahlomasitv) September 1, 2012
Tim Farron (@timfarron) September 1, 2012
Lakeland Cake (@LakelandCake) September 1, 2012
I was humbled to meet 16-year-old Alice Pyne at the Briery Wood Hotel at Windermere, which was hosting our Lakeland Cake of the Year Competition.
As well as giving us all a fun day out it also raised money for her charity, Alices Escapes, which aims to fund respite holidays for families with sick children. Alice also wants to encourage as many people as possible to sign up for the bone marrow register.
The event was sponsored by Lancashire Life and Lake District Life. Cakes had to be on the theme of the Olympic Games, and they were judged by a panel which included our editor, Roger Borrell, ITV presenter Hannah Lomas, food writer Robert Cockroft, and me. We also welcomed the MP and Lib Dem president Tim Farron and his family.
Hannah summed up the quality on show when she said: I was blown away by the standard of the entries. It was a very hard decision. And Robert added: Its great if a cake can make you smile!
The entries were fantastic, showing a wide range of eclectic ideas, both in their designs and in the variety of cake, from the classic, vanilla, Victoria sponge, to parkin, light and rich fruitcakes, and dark, intense chocolate offerings.
The idea for the competition came from former Briery Wood staff member, Jennifer Braithwaite, and manager Roger Benson agreed to stage it. Lancashire Life writer Eileen Jones heard about it pitched in to help.
Now, Lakelands best bakers might be stars of a new prime-time TV show, Food Glorious Food. The shows producers are hoping the entrants for the Lakeland Cake of the Year Contest will feature in their new ITV series when it airs next year. And the ultimate winner could see their cake on the shelves in a well-known store!
Jennifer said: We are really excited about this. If they can go on to be TV stars and win a major national prize that would be the icing on the cake.
It was lovely to discover that the winner, Maggie Pearce, an amateur cake baker and management consultant, came from Ulverston, which is also home for Alice. In second place was David Moratto Smith, the gracious bakery manager at Amblesides Apple Pie Eating House.
Maggies cake was stunning, and featured fondant Olympians, including Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, Beth Tweddle, Jessica Ennis, and Bradley Wiggins.
Her children, Freya, nine, and Ewan, seven, concurred that their mums and grandmas win (Marilyn Henderson, Maggies mum, helped with the winning cake) almost ended disastrously. On the way here we kept having to check the cake because Mo kept wobbling, and looking like he was going to fall over, they told me.
Maggie decorated her first cake when Freya was four and now regularly decorates cakes for friends and family, under the guise of Maggies Cakes. I wondered if the children did any cooking?
Maggie said it wasnt difficult to be inspired by the Olympics because they had all watched the events avidly. Ewan piped up: It was really funny when Bradley Wiggins was cycling for gold.Dad was shouting Go, Wiggo! at the telly!
So, you can imagine how excited both the children were when I told them I live in the same village as Wiggo, and that we now have a gold postbox. Ewan was beside himself, and jumped up and down, shouting: If mum will let us, please can you take our model Bradley to the real Bradley? I tried, but thats another story.
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