Great Business Bake Off Final
31 OCT 2014

Congratulations to all 6 contenders who took on St Basils 'Great Business Bake Off' final in association with UCB on Wednesday 29th October! 

The businesses organised their own bake sales at their workplaces to both raise money for St Basils and choose a champion to progress to the final.

The bakers were (pictured from left to right) Fionnuala Reihill (Gateley), Cecelia Russell (Barclays), Rachel Crump (Birmingham Hospital Saturday Fund), Eloise Lewis (JHC Systems Ltd), Natalie Hurdwell (Town Hall Symphony Hall) and Chloe Lee (Keepmoat).

On the night the competition format was modelled on popular TV series 'the Great British Bake Off' and included both a 'signature' challenge which competitors could prepare for in advance and a 'technical challenge', the details of which were revealed on the day. The competitors had to bake 12 cupcakes in three different designs/ flavours. The technical challenge was to create edible 'clothes' so that the gingerbread chef wasn't a "naked chef". The competition was judged by UCB's lead Bakery lecturer Charlotte Thompson, Apprenticeships lecturer Stuart Wildsmith and Birmingham Post food journalist Mary Griffin. The judges spent half an hour deliberating. They announced the overall winner as Natalie Hurdwell (Talie to her friends) of THSH with Chloe Lee of Keepmoat ‘highly commended’.

 Charlotte Thompson presented Talie with a Luxury Hamper kindly donated for the occasion by long time suppoter of St Basils, Harvey Nichols in the Mailbox. All 6 finalists received certificates for taking part.

The winning entry created by Talie from THSH incorporated three different designs and flavours of cupcakes; 3 apple and cinnamon cupcakes with custard frosting and caramelised apple on top, a lemon and ginger cupcake with lemon frosting and and an almond and raspberry cupcake with Vanilla icing. The cakes were decorated presented on a grammar phone to represent THSH’s strapline ‘Connecting people through music’.

Winner Talie Hurdwell said: “My colleagues and I had a brilliant time at St Basils Bake Off final, it was all such a lot of fun! It’s been really exciting cooking in a professional kitchen. Considering we’re all homebakers, we were made to feel quite special. I want to pass on my thanks to St Basils and UCB for a great experience.”

Anne Morton, Fundraising Officer at St Basils said: "We were absolutely astounded by the level of preparation, enthusiasm and skill shown by all 6 contenders. It's a shame there can only be one winner - they were all fantastic! Congratulations to Natalie! And a massive thank you to UCB for offering us this opportunity, our three judges, all 6 finalists and to all the businesses who organised bake sales to help raise money for our services and have supported their colleagues in their endeavours. It all helped to make this an exciting event". 

Our Congratulations also to Barclays Bank (Birmingham) (represented by Cecelia Russell, second from left above) who raised the most money through their Bake Sale and therefore have won our overall Bake Off prize of a Luxury Spa day with cream tea for two, kindly donated by New Hall Hotel and Spa in Sutton Coldfield.  

See our Flickr Photostream for more photos