Balsham school children get baking tips from one of the ‘Greats’

Ian Cumming with Meadow Primary School pupils Emelie and Ewen.  Their classes, Heron and Squirrel,were winners and runners up in the non bake round with a rocky road and pomegranate and peach cheesecake. ANL-150112-101237001
Ian Cumming with Meadow Primary School pupils Emelie and Ewen. Their classes, Heron and Squirrel,were winners and runners up in the non bake round with a rocky road and pomegranate and peach cheesecake. ANL-150112-101237001

Great British Bake Off finalist Ian Cumming was the star judge when Meadow Primary School in Balsham held its own baking competition.

The Bake Off formed part of its Best of British whole school topic and each class had to enter four categories; bread, cake, biscuit and a fruit based non-bake.

The school also had a live, timed decorating cake challenge whilst Ian was visiting each classroom.

Head teacher, Nichola Connor, said: “The competition was fierce, with the staff showing their competitive sides and the children just thoroughly enjoying every minute of it.

“The cooking smells that filled the school were amazing. Wherever you turned, someone was whisking, rolling, beating, mixing or measuring ingredients.

“We were treated to a whole range of products from cheese topped focaccia, pomegranate and peach cheesecake, hedgehog bread, rainbow layered cake and rocky road to name but a few!

“Ian was a superb visitor, he took time to talk to each child, give advice and answer questions.

“We found out about his time on the Bake Off, the highs and the lows and why they have to wear the same clothes for the two days each week…and no the clothes don’t get washed overnight!

“The timed decorating challenge was just as tough as the baking. Each class had a cake to decorate in one hour, linked to the topic of Best of British. Decorations ranged from Buckingham Palace to Remembrance Poppies.

“There were some cakes that we really didn’t think would be finished in time, but as the bell rang to signal the end of the challenge, all nine entries were brought into the hall - finished!

“When judging time arrived, everyone packed into the hall which was literally bursting at the seams with not just children but parents who had also entered the adult round.

“There were 45 entries from the classes alone that required tasting. Ian took his time, giving feedback as he went and awarding rosettes to the winner and runner-up in each category.

He survived, having tasted absolutely everything on offer…even the slightly raw things! The cake decorating was a hard task to also judge, with every creation so different in design.

“It really was an amazing time and there was a brilliant buzz around school.

“Ian even brought his prototype chocolate well, and the cake he was presented with on Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice.

He was a great judge and the children thoroughly enjoyed quizzing him about his experience in Bake Off and what his favourite thing to make was.”