The Great Faculty Bake Off

On Wednesday last week, we were a hive of activity in the Faculty Office. Well really the activity had started at home several days before as we all baked for the Faculty Bake Off!

When we talked about the potential cakes and pies we were going to bake (or fake in some cases!) we realised how many potential baked goodies we were going to have. Now normally that wouldn’t be a problem for the Faculty Office as they wouldn’t last long, but this was our last week before breaking for Christmas, so there had already been Christmas dinner and chocolates and don’t forget the spoils from Secret Santa! Catherine (already a member of my support team) came up with an idea, that we could invite colleagues for a Christmas cake sale and raise funds for my MS Trust challenge! What a lovely idea!

In the fortnight before the Bake Off I was so chuffed to see all of Catherine and Jo’s efforts to organise and promote the cake extravaganza! However we did panic a bit, that with the message being spread, we now wouldn’t have enough baked goods! So Catherine, Jo and I got baking the days leading up to the bake off!

At 11pm, the evening before the baking competition, I jumped out of my skin, when I was so focused on adding the maltesers to my chocolate Christmas pudding cake when there was a knock on the door. There was my Mum, standing in the dark with a cake she had baked for our cake sale. How lovely!

So the big day arrived and I was so impressed with everyone’s efforts. Everyone was wearing their Christmas jumpers and nervously brought in their bakes. A raspberry and amarreto cake by Mark, a bundt cake with cloudberries made by Vanessa, a chocolate and ferrero roche cheesecake by Catherine, my malteser chocolate cake Christmas pudding, corn beef pies by Jo, Victoria sponge by Bethan and a chocolate reindeer cake by Tim and his daughter! Mary Berry would have been proud as there was no soggy bottoms on the table!

Catherine had made prizes for the best sweet and savory bakes and those who were very close. Our two lovely judges got to work straight away, judging the anonymous bakes on taste and looks. I didn’t envy their task of choosing as the competition was high as they all looked so good!

But they managed to decide and announced the bakes that had been honoured, with the bakers being revealed:

Firstly runners up for the sweet bakes: Mark (his first ever bake with a scrummy Raspberry and Amaretto cake) and Bethan (a gorgeous Victoria sponge) pictured here with our lovely judges!

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And then the winners were announced:

Best savory bake: Jo (for her most amazing corned-beef pies!)

Best sweet bake: Me!!! (Wah! A complete surprise and one I will be reminding everyone of for a long time as I usually don’t win anything! Can you tell how happy I was by my huge smile in the photo?)

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And then the real fun started. The table filled up with all sorts of yummy bakes that people had made to sell including Emma daughter’s delicious Mars Bars cakes (I only had two I promise!) and Margaret’s chocolate gateau.

We opened up the doors for the cake sale and it was a real team effort. Emma and Mark brought all of their meeting attendees to the table and encouraged them to buy and Vanessa took trays of the goodies to her meetings with a collection bowl!

Thanks to the Faculty Office bakers and organisers, my mum and the support from colleagues from various departments in the University we raised over £190 (plus gift aid) for my challenge! Amazing! Welcome to my Support Team!


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