Even though I’ve been confident to turn my baking skills into part of my business I’ve never entered a competition. When I booked a stall at the Great Box Bakeoff however, I was faced with this option for the first time. How could I not enter? The pressure was on and it was a truly nerve wrecking experience. The idea of not winning makes me break out in a cold sweat. I chose to make a cake I know tastes and looks good and is a bit different as well as being reliable too. But that doesn’t stop the last minute panic, the reading and rereading of the ‘rules’ and of course the mad crazy decision at six o clock on the morning of the bake off to make another entry. So in addition to my Rose and Pistachio Cake and preparing for my stall I decided to enter a savoury bake of wholemeal cheese scones. Oh, and did I mention that I’m 23 weeks pregnant?
Despite all that I made it there with my mother (who couldn’t help as she’d hurt her back) and my three year old and got both my cakes and stall set up with time enough for a little bit of lunch before the fun began.
It truly was a special occasion. The cakes were amazing and the stalls looked beautiful. Mine fit particularly well with the vintage theme but my personal favourites were Rockadoo http://www.rockadoo.co.uk/ a lovely lady who makes great denim aprons for both kids and adults and upcycled bags made from old jeans. Also, Lionheart Designs http://www.lionheartdesigns.co.uk who make the most beautiful jewellery using vintage pictures and photographs.
The best part of the day however was the atmosphere. The organisers from Toast http://www.lovetoast.co.uk/ put in a huge amount of effort, making sure the place was wonderfully decorated, included a live action Mad Hatters Tea Party and great singers (20th Century Foxes http://www.gavinlazarusmusic.com/cabaret/) and dance teachers (Hopping Mad Swing Duo) . Everyone made the effort, dressing in red white and blue and dancing enthusiastically.
But the cherry on the cake for me was winning first prize in my category! The rose and pistachio cake did it! I wore my rosette with pride. Phew! It would have felt a little shameful to come home without a prize. As for my cheese scones? No mention I’m afraid, but this was my first competition and I’m just happy to have received any prize!
So, a big thanks to Toast, the judges and to the people of Box who made this part of the Jubilee weekend a thoroughly enjoyable one!