After six exciting weeks of Bake Off Technical Challenges in the Westbourne Food Tech Kitchen, it was finalist-decision time for Mrs Bonn. She had a tough job: after sampling close to one hundred tasty entries in the qualifying heats, including chocolate fridge cake, chocolate brownie cakes, mini apple turnovers, cheesecake, tiramisu and profiteroles, Mrs Bonn claims her waistline was expanding quicker than a well-risen soufflé.
Representatives from each year group took part in the Grand Final, split this year into two groups: the juniors and the seniors. Our proud finalists were:
- Juniors: Mimi G, Idris K (unfortunately absent), Maggie M, Millie P, Arabella B and Hazel B
- Seniors: Safia P, Imogen F, Martha B, Alice T, Josie B and Anoushka G
The contestants were challenged with creating their very own sweet treat, designed to tantalise the taste buds and inject some sweetness to delight the senses.
Each contestant was given one hour to perfect their gastronomical creations and they certainly baked themselves proud.
In the Junior Final, Mimi mixed up a fantastic festive flapjack; Maggie crushed a Christmassy fridge cake; Millie stirred up a sumptuous syrup pudding; Hazel magically conjured up a Harry Potter-inspired dark mark brownie and Arabella rolled up a ravishing roulade.
Not to be outdone by the juniors, the seniors put their additional life experience to good use and created a show-stopping array of tasty treats. Safia created mouth-wateringly delicious candy cane cupcakes; Imogen combined confectionary and biscuits to create an ingenious Oreo and fudge cake; Alice braved the MasterChef nemesis - the chocolate fondant, accompanied by a sharp raspberry coulis; Martha shaped and baked some magical stained glass star ginger biscuits; Anoushka swirled salted caramel sweetness into her oozy brownies and Josie foamed up her fabulous French blueberry and coconut and raspberry friands.
Guest judge Alex Halswell, local food writer and editor, was in charge of determining which entries were the most outstanding! Points were awarded for overall presentation, shaping, colour, texture, flavour, an even bake and the ratio of any fillings/toppings added to the dishes.
Alex was in awe of the quality of dishes created and scored each one deservedly high. There really was very little between each entry, however in the end there where two dishes which provided faultless sensory sensations and those where Arabella's chocolate roulade and Alice's chocolate fondant with raspberry coulis and caramel shards.
Mrs Bonn was brimming with pride at the sheer talent of all of this year’s contestants. She said: "The contestants embraced and braved everything the Bake Off had to throw at them! It is safe to say that the baking bar has been raised yet again.
"Amongst some fierce competition in the final, I witnessed a lot of kindness and empathy with pupils helping those struggling to meet the deadline. I was proud to see this great compassion and sportsmanship amongst our fabulous finalists. A phenomenal competition, congratulations to everyone who took part in the Great Westbourne Bake Off 2021.
"Until next year, keep baking!"