Eight contestants bravely put their baking skills to the test at Caketober’s Great Manchester Bake Off on Wednesday night, as the Forever Manchester fundraising efforts continued.
City centre restaurant Grill on New York Street hosted a wonderful evening, and even created a special cheesecake cocktail for the occasion.
Once everyone had had a chance to look at all the cakes, theEword CEO Al Mackin reminded everyone of the fantastic work Forever Manchester does in the community, paying special thanks to all those who had taken the time to attend the charity’s inaugural bake-off event.
But who baked the best cake? Well, the judges deliberated long and hard, but in the end they came up with a clear winner.
So how did our bakers fare?
WINNER – Chris McCarthy (Adam Recruitment)
Adam Recruitment’s Chris McCarthy ultimately took home the crown, as the judges declared his Halloween-themed cake had the required ‘wow factor’ to take the top prize.
Decorated with an inventive pumpkin and spider topping and its own illuminations, the tasty treat was enough to convince the panel to award Chris the coveted golden crown and one-of-a-kind Caketober apron.
Runner-up – Deanna Thomas
Just behind Chris was the super talented runner up Deanna, with her quadruple-layered spiced caramel, hazelnut and praline cake. It looked pretty spectacular, and to paraphrase Mary Berry would not have looked out of place in a cake shop window!
Third place – Rachel Smith
Rachel’s chocolate and Guinness cake enjoyed a lot of support in the room, with the flavour combination proving a real winter favourite.
Wooden Spoon – Captain Manchester
Captain Manchester sadly trailed in last place, with his many Twitter followers made aware earlier in the day that his chocolate cake had stubbornly failed to rise, or indeed bake very much at all.
A quick chat with everyone’s favourite superhero revealed that an experimental attempt to substitute flour with protein shake had not had the desired effect, leaving the judges baffled. He will now return to carrying out good deeds across the city, although only if the citizens of Manchester can raise enough money to free him before Halloween!
Other entrants included Downtown Manchester’s Michael Taylor, who created a wonderful coffee cake in his home Aga and was certainly one of the more relaxed contestants during the baking process.
Studio North’s Michael Di Paola had given the impression in the build up to the competition that his cake had been a disappointment, lamenting that it had sunk in the middle. However, with some tactical strawberries-and-cream hiding any cosmetic worries, his sponge cake proved something of a hit.
Sandy Lindsay from Tangerine PR brought in a delicious caramel apple tart, and even made a little menu card to go with her bake. As we all know, salted caramel and sweet apple is a classic combination, and it didn’t disappoint on this occasion.
Tunafish Media’s James McDonald and Richard Brooks had never baked a cake before, so it’s fair to say no one really knew what to expect. In the end, the guys produced a tasty chocolate and strawberry cake that earned a second visit from many guests once the judging was over.
Last but certainly not least, Kate Vokes from Bruntwood gave us some delightful millionaire’s shortbread squares, which this writer can happily report were decidedly moreish.
Congratulations and thanks to all the bakers and judges, and to everyone who attended this event. We succeeded in raising even more for Forever Manchester, and it’s not over yet!