- By Diana Ascher
- Published 02/1/2013
In keeping with festive spirit of Michaelmas Term, FoodCycle LSE staged a Great Christmas Bake-Off in The Quad during the penultimate week. Inspired by the famous television series ‘The Great British Bake Off,’ FoodCycle LSE incorporated a competitive twist into their standard tradition of baking and eating cakes and chocolate brownies in the name of charity.
FoodCycle has fourteen hubs across British universities, run entirely by volunteers. It aims to create a positive social change in the community by combining volunteers, surplus food from supermarkets and free kitchen space to create nutritious meals for people affected by food poverty in the UK.
The Great Christmas Bake-Off was split into two rounds. A variety of colourful desserts were crammed onto tables before being judged.
The first round of the Bake Off saw Head Pastry Chef at The Delaunay, Regis Negrier, as the guest judge. FoodCycle’s donors, such as Graze and luxury cake makers Konditor and Cook, had offered a variety of expensive rewards to the winners of the Bake Off. Tensions among contestants were running high as the judges scrutinised and sampled the range of festive desserts.
After sampling the cakes, Negrier narrowed down three finalists. Contestants waited with baited breath before Negrier announced the ‘Chocolate Mousse Layer Cake’ by Hoa Doan as the winner. Doan was awarded a free lunch for her and a friend at The Delaunay as well as an exclusive ‘Behind the Scenes’ experience in The Delaunay kitchens, with Negrier showing her the works of great cooking in a professional environment.
The second round of the competition left judging down to the public. Eager to sink their teeth into succulent desserts, staff and students swarmed to The Quad where they were able to sample any cake of their choice, and then pay what they thought the cake was worth. The winner was the cake that was valued highest.
An impressive red velvet cake, dusted with coconut and a pair of fondant snowmen was instantly popular with students and staff. Shareen Kuldip’s rich chocolate brownies, shaped as presents and Christmas crackers, were not only in keeping with the festive spirit but also proved to be a serious contender for a top-three position. Meanwhile Joe Davey’s unusual banana cake, with essences of lime, black treacle and cinnamon got several thumbs up from students.
About the Author : Diana Ascher is writing about Chocolate brownies