A guest post from Amy Smith about the Great Cardiff Cake Off
On 19 May in Tiger Tiger on Greyfriars Road, Forever Vintage staged the first Great Cardiff Cake-Off to raise money for family hospice charity Ty Hafan.
A late start to the proceedings allowed a quick browse around the venue. The private booths were transformed into Alice in Wonderland style delights with plenty on offer for young children. The event was certainly targeted at families.
200 guests and 27 entrants were coming and going over the course of the day, with plenty to see and do on site besides the contest.
The judges board was made up of choice individuals:
Sarah and Mariclare own a small independent baking company called ‘The Cakehouse’. They’re currently looking for the perfect location within Cardiff which allows them to be part of a greater community. They have already judged at the Roath, Canton and Spring Bake-Offs, so are no stranger to this job.
Nikki Vivian has been a food blogger for a year and a half and in February launched a critic website with the aid of a small team. She’s passionate about baking and enjoys meeting people who enjoy it too.
Shena Sarjeant is the only qualified judge on the panel and is part of the Glamorgan Federation Women’s Institute. She enjoyed that the competition allowed her to meet the contestants which is unusual.
Piers Bramhall is the face of Welsh tourism after a long advertising campaign where he toured around Wales to encourage 18-30 year olds to travel to rural areas of Wales. It was his first time judging a competition, but he enjoyed it greatly.
Tom Shanklin, former Welsh rugby player, joined the judging panel for the final round: the professional bakers round. He joined the panel through his connections with the venue, but he supports the chosen charity too. Like Bramhall, this was his first time on a judging panel.
Finally, event organiser, and founder of Forever Vintage, Jade Jones joined the judging team.
After a delayed beginning, the competition kicked off with the children’s round. The winner of this round was Jacob Foot. Judges Mariclare and Sarah were delighted with his chocolate stars. They said they were impressed that he made them himself and would offer him a job with them “when he’s older of course.” A bright future for a young baker. His fairy cakes winning him the trophy for the children’s round.
The fruitcake round was the first amateur category up. With only one entrant, Louise Miles-Crust won the category.
The chocolate cake round quickly followed, with 3 entrants. The winner, Louise Webb, created a sensational cake topped with chocolate roses and lined with chocolate cigarillos.
The scones round was next and only featured two entrants. The winner, Gwen Howells entered 2 other rounds.
Next up was the victoria sponge round. This saw 6 amateur entrants and Lisa Davies came up trumps.
Like the fruitcake round, the pastries round saw only one entrant, Carol James, who like Gwen Howells entered several categories.
The international cake round saw four entrants with very exotic cakes, including a German black forest cake and a parsnip and maple syrup cake. The latter took the crown for Stephen Phillips.
The competition took a short break to allow for the spectators to enjoy the booths, which included vintage hair & make-up and a sweets stand which included a chocolate fountain and freshly made popcorn. There was also a final chance to enter the raffle and the silent auction with many prizes for both donated by many local companies.
The break was short as the competition got back down to business with the most popular round: the cupcake round. This saw 8 entrants and the competition was fierce. With multiple shapes and sizes, incredible decoration and the judges asking for recipes and taking pictures. However, the winner was Carol James, and the judges couldn’t hold back with compliments for her chocolate and orange cupcakes.
The last round was the professional category and 2 entrants submitted their vintage wedding cake designs. The winner of this round won a 12 month contract with Forever Vintage to supply their clients. The winner was Rhian Tatchell of Kooky Cakes.
Finally, the overall winner was announced. This was selected from the winners of the amateur categories. 3rd place was awarded to Carol James for her cupcakes. 2nd place to Louise Webb for her chocolate cake. 1st place was awarded to Stephen Phillips for his parsnip and maple syrup cake. Sarah and Mariclare were so impressed with his cake that he has given permission for them to use his recipe in their shop.
A great family day out, and if you missed it this year, Jade Jones was so impressed with how the day went, that she’s already planning to make it an annual event.