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First all girl’s team competed in a 24hour challenge to create the biggest, tastiest and best looking wedding cake for cable’s new TV show Monster Munchies.
Former England rugby player and renowned foodie Matt Dawson travels to Gretna Green, the Mecca of weddings to meet the two teams, The Cross Keys Hotel from Cannonbie and BabyCakes from Carlisle. At the sound of his claxton the two teams race back to their destinations to begin their monster challenge.
Emma Barnes, Proprietor of BabyCakes, formed her all girl team, which consisted of Jeni Banks, Managing Director of May Fifteen Limited, Nina Whittam, Landscape Designer at Moota Gardens, Diane Aitchison, Calder Food Limited and Sophie Whittam, law student.
Using the Richard Rose Central Academy’s kitchens to bake and mould a 6ft chocolate wedding cake in the shape of the Cumbrian landscape the girls utilized all their networking skills and roped local businesses such as Carrs Flour Mills to donate 90 kilo of flour and 68 kilo caster sugar, Calder Food Limited kindly loaned their men and transport to lift the cake from Richard Rose and transport up to Gretna Green.
Each team on the series has a ‘secret weapon’, which Emma proudly reveals her team’s as the pupils of Richard Rose Central Academy. The chosen six children helped grease tins and created all the sugar flowers to decorate the landscape of the cake. All beautiful connotations of Cumbria including Hadrian’s wall, Beatrix Potter bunnies and ducks, the heart shaped forest off the M6 were all handmade by the pupils and Head Chef Lucy.
Emma Barnes said: "When I was first asked to take part in the new series it was obviously an opportunity I couldn’t refuse then reality hit me and I had no doubt what so ever how much of a challenge and how much hard work was ahead of us. I did have my reservations about creating an all girls team at first but we truly showed female solidarity and supported each other throughout the 24hours with Jeni Banks providing some hilarious comedy to keep us awake.
"I came up with the concept of a Cumbrian themed wedding cake as anyone who knows me will know that I am for from traditional when it comes to my designs. I wanted something unusual, creative and something that would represent us Northerners on TV.”
The cake comprised of all chocolate sponge smothered in green buttercream with the pièce de résistance blue chocolate fountain supplied by Chocolate Eruptions.
The two cakes were judged on size, presentation and taste. The judges were: two newlyweds Cath and Steve, Local Vicar Donald Frith, Ashley Spence from the Cheerful Cake Company, Addie Clarkson from the British Sugarcraft Guild and Scottish Piper John Johnston.
Ashley Spence said: "Emma’s cake was ‘creative’ and she really loved the idea of the scene and the chocolate fountain was WOW". Whilst Scottish Piper, John Johnston said: "The icing was really nice and the sponge is really soft and moist."
Due to a ‘landslide’ moment for the girls the cake was quickly downsized to save it from collapsing, which gave the Scottish team a win on size. The girls were soon back in the game winning the presentation with flowers supplied by Moota Garden Centre and two 2ft bride and groom sheep adourning the front of the cake. The taste category was the deciding vote with all five judges voting for BabyCakes, a 2-1 win to the English all girl team!
Anyone wishing to watch a repeat of the series can tune into the Good Food Channel (SKY 249 or Virgin Media 260) on Sunday 13 November at 2.00pm.
Emma Barnes added: "This was an exhausting yet exhilarating experience of a lifetime and something I am very proud to have done with the girls and thrilled to have won the Monster Munchies Wedding cake challenge.”