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Students whip up a Bake Off bonanza
Proving that baking is for everyone, student, Fionn, organised a Great British Bake Off-style event for his Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). The competition, held on 19 December, brought together four enthusiastic teams of RNC staff and students, all visually impaired except for one staff member who donned "sim specs" to experience baking with macular generation.
Picture above shows Jim's view, wearing the "sim specs'
The teams were tasked with creating a decorated chocolate sponge tray bake within two hours. Once given their ingredients the competition got underway with all the fun and camaraderie shown on the real
Pictured above, Antonia and Freya weighing out but on the talking scales
For those watching on, it also provided an opportunity to see how blind and visually impaired people are able to navigate the kitchen with a variety of special techniques, adapted equipment and specialist equipment such as talking scales and talking thermometers.
As time progressed, teams anxiously waited around the ovens, keen to ensure they didn't under or over cook their bakes. Once they were out and cooled down, it was time to decorate.
Pictured above, Guoguo and Sonali decorating their sponge as Chaminda, Saku and Nicky look on
There were some very creative designs - most teams chose a Christmas theme but teachers, Jim and Rich, suggested that their design was inspired by Salvador Dali!
Once the bakes were safely placed on the
altar, in front of the team photos, it was time to introduce the two expert judges.
Pictured above, Saku and Mark judge the cakes placed in front of team pictures. Fionn looks on.
The first judge, Mark, is Assistant Manager with College caterers, Baxter Storey. Before joining the team at RNC, Mark taught patisserie baking across the three counties for many years.
The second judge, known to millions of
viewers, was none other than Saku, a contestant from this year's
Great British Bake Off
Both took their duties very seriously and apart from judging the decoration, also gave each cake a taste test. After much deliberation, Mark announced the winners, saying:
'We think everyone did a fantastic job of decorating, they are all equally good. So we had to judge it on flavour, texture and lightness of sponge.'
Saku added that she was 'so impressed with everyone' before awarding the winners, Guoguo and Sonali with their 'Star Baker' aprons.
Pictured above, the star bakers Guoguo and Sonali with Saku, Mark and Fionn
Saku presented all participating teams with a wooden spoon which had
written in Braille on them, expertly applied by student, Raven.
Pictured above, the full group of teams and judges
Fionn, the organiser, said:
'Thank you all for coming and thank you Mark and Saku for taking time off to come and judge this.'
Saku responded saying:
'Thank you very much for inviting me, I'm so privileged to be here. Well done for organising the whole event, you've done a grand job, Fionn.'