Last weekend, I was very happy to be a judge at the extremely successful Great Roath Bake Off. After meeting organiser Wayne Courtney at an event recently I was thrilled to be asked to be involved and it really was a fantastic event and one that I would love to be involved in again.
Leading up to the event, there was quite a lot of hype on Twitter and Facebook but I had very little idea how popular the event was going to be and how many people were going to enter so when I arrived on Saturday to endless streams of people bringing in their baking creations I was shocked.
The event was held at The Coffi House in Roath. Organiser Wayne Courtney raves about this quaint little cafe and it is often the venue of choice for other events he holds to promote independent businesses and causes in Roath. I can see why. The owners and staff were lovely and the Coffi House was perfect for this type of event as it is so laid back and the whole evening had such a wonderful friendly community feel.
I watched eagerly as the cakes and bakes continued to pour through the doors until there was nowhere left to put them. The place was packed to the point where some people just couldn’t get in. My fellow judges and I (Sarah from the Cakehouse, Matt from Roathcardiff.net, and student journalist Emma Gilbertson) took our seats and the competition began.
We judged on three categories: Taste, Presentation and Originality. With 35 entries in total, there was a lot to eat! There was a real mixture to work through from a beautifully decorated cake resembling The Coffi House, some prawn canapes (someone misunderstood what baking is), pasties, cupcakes, a ‘penis cake’, tarts and many many cakes. Some were delicious and some not so…
We picked three winners with first place taking the money from the entries and the raffle. We also awarded a special prize to 6 year old Silas who impressed us with his ‘weird cake’ which was smothered in chocolate and green on the inside. Very creative!
And the winners were……..
THIRD PLACE- Stefanie Lehman – Pineapple Praline Creme Torte.
This lovely cake gave us some much needed freshness after eating so many cakes. It was beautifully sweet and moist but also fresh thanks to the pineapple.
SECOND PLACE- Lisa Watts – Sticky Toffee Walnut Tart
For me this one was very close to being a winner. I liked it because it was different so it really stood out. The walnuts went beautifully with the toffee in what is traditionally more likely to be a toffee and pecan tart.
FIRST PLACE- Kate Lloyd Hughes – Earl Grey infused Chocolate Cake
Kate’s cake was a unanimous winner. It was one of the first ones we tried but it stuck in our minds. The subtle tea went beautifully with the chocolate and the moist cake was baked very well. A lovely cake.
All in all this was a fantastic event. Wayne Courtney certainly has a knack for this kind of thing and I hope he does it again next year. Wayne will be the first to tell you that he doesn’t cook and prefers eating out so this really wasn’t something he would usually do but he was a fantastic host and organiser. There were also some great decorations from Crafty Cakes. It was a wonderful thing to see a community come together and to have such a range of people attend. I might even enter myself next year.