A company twist on the traditional Battenberg cake
Over the last few summer weeks, the Air-IT Service Desk team have been busy in the kitchen, after turning their talents to home baking.
Inspired by BBC One’s hit show, The Great British Bake Off, our technicians have been busy cooking up an impressive host of freshly baked goods to share and sell to colleagues, with all proceeds going to Breast Cancer Research at the end of a 3 week bake-off charity challenge.
Bringing on the bake-a-thon
The first two weeks included a series of themed challenges to test all aspects of our IT Support team’s home baking and creativity skills.
Remote Support Technician Richard Smith
The all-tech team were tested against a ‘Cookie and Biscuit Week’ as well as a ‘Traditional Cakes Week’.
Our in-house Judges, Operations Manager, Simon Smith and Managing Director, Todd McQuilkin, were looking for the ultimate bake based on appearance, taste, creativity and recipe difficulty.
Selected entrants then went through to the third and final rounds for the renowned ‘Showstoppers’ battle in week 3, when one of our bakers was crowned winner.
To ensure fair standards and quality control, a strict but simple set of rules were rolled out.
1. Shop bought mixes not permitted, including items such as ready items.
2. All entries baked without help – photo evidence required at request.
Raising the stakes and funds
The competition soon proved popular around the office and staff were keen to pay in small donations in return for tasty treats.
Stakes got higher as things progressed and we began to see a vast variety of bakes including muffins, cookies, brownies and some iced ‘eat me’ biscuits. But things got even more interesting with the arrival of a bespoke Air-IT branded Battenberg!
A sampling of our bake-off entries
Like the mother TV show itself, there were a few disasters along the way – and some cakes – including the fresh cream Victoria sponge and baked cheesecake were so delicious that they were eaten before the camera could get there. But all in all, the challenge was a roaring success!
Show stopping creations
Through a tough elimination and scoring process, the judging panel whittled our contenders down for the final showstopper round.
Finalists included: Charley Clarke; Jason Parsons; David Fortescue and Paul Driver who had all produced some outstanding and unique cakes in both the initial and later grand finale stage. With this in mind, our judges had a tough decision to make and eventually settled on two equally deserving entries.
1st place Air-IT bake-off winners were:
- Jason Parsons – who stole the visual show with his exploding candy, multi layered rainbow sponge cake, which was recognised on appearance, structure and creativity.
And in joint place was…
- Charley Clarke – who also won with his lemon meringue & raspberry eclairs – a decision based on taste and appreciation of pastry skill.
Head Judge, Todd McQuilkin comments:
We’d like to say a big well done to all entrants, runners-up and to both our winners. The standard has been incredibly high and it was a hard ask to pick just one winner, so congratulations go to both Charley and Jason.
Mixing it up for a good cause
The team all made a top effort but more importantly raised a fantastic £133.35 to donate to Breast Cancer Research. The charity was chosen and drawn from a selection of proposed causes which were put forward by our finalists at the final stages of our competition.
Todd announcing the winning charity fund – Breast Cancer Research
In total we were able to donate an incredible £266.70 after the amount raised was doubled by MD and head Judge, Todd at the last count.
This money will help continue research in to the UK’s most common cancer, which is diagnosed in nearly 50,000 women each year – including some of our team’s closest family members and friends, making this an extremely popular, personal and worthy cause for the team to support.
A big well done!
We’d like to thank everyone at Air-IT and MBC for getting involved and especially to those who baked in their own time and at their own expense.
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