Imagination and creativity were on display last week, when eight talented bakers from five Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) schools took part in the final of the GDST Bake Off 2016, hosted by Sheffield High School.
Aged from 11 to 18, the girls were challenged to bake and decorate cupcakes in honour of a favourite heroine, real or fictional, in three hours.
Representing Portsmouth High School were Ruby Newport Spiers and Grace Waring, both in Year 9. Ruby’s cupcakes were inspired by JK Rowling and Grace’s by Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games. Other heroines honoured included Marie Curie, Fraulein Maria (from the Sound of Music), Florence Nightingale and food writer, presenter and GDST alumna Mary Berry.
‘I chose JK Rowling as my heroine because of the way that she triumphed over adversity by becoming a world renowned author after earlier struggling as a single parent on benefits. The cauldron cake represents her struggle through those difficult years and coming out better than before. It is also symbolic of our time at school, with all the raw ingredients being mixed together to produce something completely different at the end.’
‘I chose Katniss Everdeen because she is very brave and everyone admires and looks up to her. The cupcakes I designed represented all the different dangers that she was up against in the book, Catching Fire.’
The finalists were selected from the entrants from 16 schools following two semi-finals, at Nottingham Girls’ High School and Portsmouth High School, in October.
The judges, Howard Middleton, a former Great British Bake Off finalist, and Tiina Carr, who runs a boutique hotel and restaurant in Sheffield, found it very hard to choose between the delicious and imaginatively-presented creations.
The runner-up was India from Oxford High School, whose cupcakes honoured the US civil rights activist Rosa Parks.
The winner was Clara from the Royal High School Bath, whose mountain-like meringue-topped ginger and lime cupcakes were inspired by Junko Tabei, the Japanese mountaineer who was the first woman to conquer Mount Everest.
Well done to all the girls involved on their brilliant, and delicious, designs.