A day care and after school club hosted the Great Bradford Bake Off on Saturday following the finale of the nationally popular Channel 4 show last week.
A2Z Learning Centre created the Bradford Bake Off as a way for children to develop their skills in preparing, designing, and baking a cake.
The competition was serious, with the children competing for £500, either to be given to their school or split equally between themselves and a charity if they are homeschooled.
Prior to the bake-off, the children had to submit a design sheet of a cake that they would bake if they got through to the final. The kids had to design the cake around their hobbies and interests as the theme was ‘all about me’.
Out of the twenty-five entries, only seven progressed to the finale.
Manager of the centre, Shaziyas Younas said: “We thought the bake-off would be a really good way for children to build on their skill set as well as giving them a boost of confidence.
“It was a really good opportunity for parents to get involved with their children as well.
“We chose the theme ‘all about me’ because we wanted the kids to put a bit of themselves into the cake. They wrote down on the design sheets why they chose the colours, the flavours, and the design.”
Ms Younas added: “It was absolutely amazing. The children are so talented, it was difficult for the judges to pick a winner, but the carrot cake won in the end.
“The parent of the winner, Manaahil, was a home-schooling parent so she received £250 to help with her daughter’s education and the other £250 was donated to a charity of their choice.”
Sandy Docherty, a former finalist on The Great British Bake Off (TGBBO) who is from Yorkshire, kicked off the event with an inspiring talk to the children about the joy which baking brings to not only yourself but others.
Mrs Docherty shared stories about her past baking experiences, including when she was on TGBBO and how her love for baking grew.
The children had come prepared with a basic cake, ready to be decorated with their final touches such as fondant or sweets. The children were then given 40 minutes to finish off their cakes with their chosen design.
Four local expert bakers judged the competition, including Mrs Docherty, Bano Hussain from Cakes by Bano, Tracey Snaith from Cakes to Please, and Tanzeelah Kosar from Cupcakes by Tanny.
The judges had previously been provided with the designs of each cake and marked these accordingly. On the day, the judges quizzed each of the children to ascertain how the children had prepared and baked their cakes – their responses were marked. The judges tasted all the cakes and were very impressed with the quality.
In terms of choosing a winner, the judges had a difficult time as the standard was so high. As a result, the judges decided to include additional prizes for 2nd and 3rd places.
Coming in third place with her amazing roller coaster and lemon themed cake was Maryam Bismillah, 7, with second place being awarded to Asbah Shaheen, 8, for her simple yet beautiful pink chocolate drip cake. Cakes to Please donated vouchers to the runners up.
First place, and the winner of the £500, was awarded to Manaahil Raqeeb, 11, who presented the judges a stunning semi-naked carrot cake decorated with handmade fondant hedgehogs, squirrels, and pine trees. Manaahil has chosen to send £250 to the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice as they are a cause close to her heart.
Ms Younas added: “I just want to thank Jodie who is one of our Kickstarters. She is the one who has planned the bake-off. We supported her all the way but this project has helped her develop her skills in so many ways. It has been amazing.
“It was her idea for the bake-off as she has a passion for TGBBO, so I want to thank her for her efforts and making this project come alive.”