Ah I’ve absolutely loved looking through all the amazing bakeoff entries. Now it’s down to our lovely judge Catriona to choose a winner to receive all those lovely Yeo Valley goodies. Good luck everyone!
So once upon a time, back in… ooooh… 2010, I did this competition called The Great Cupcake Challenge. The entries were fab, and encouraged by this, the competition morphed into English Mum’s Big Bakeoff, (yes, before that one on the telly) and since then we’ve had various different ones, including the ‘baked with love’ bakeoff for Valentine’s Day, an Autumn bakeoff and even a fresh bread bakeoff. My fave, though, has always been the Christmas one.
So without further ado, I give you… The Big Christmas Bakeoff 2013!!
As usual, there really are no rules, and since the ‘send English Mum a piece of your entry for testing’ rule was scrapped (dammit) these are the only ones that remain:
1. You actually must have baked something yourself (although see below re: sneaky rule breaking) – doesn’t need to have been specifically for the bakeoff though.
2. You must take a picture (there’s none of those dodgy ‘I baked it, but then I ate it’ excuses…). The picture MUST be of your baking and MUST be original (I do check them!).
3. Email it to me at english[dot]towers[at]gmail[dot]com, telling me what it is and who you are. Entries must be received by midnight on the closing date (see below).
The Cheaty Bit
Hey, it’s Christmas, and any bit of Christmassy cookery is basically fair game. And I do like a healthy bit of skulduggery amongst friends, so any entertaining reason why your entry should be considered will be looked upon favourably. For example, if your trifle is beautiful, but obviously not exactly baked, let me know. I’m a flexible type and I’ll probably allow it. No lying though.
Okay, a bit of lying then, but not too much…
The Social Media Bit
If you’re a blogger, please link back to this post, and if you’re on Facebook or a tweeter or Instagrammer, please use the hashtag #bigChristmasbakeoff – if you’re none of the above, then just ignore this bit completely.
The Exciting Bit!
Those lovely little pixies down on the farm at Yeo Valley have very kindly agreed to give the winner a copy of their brand new cookbook. The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook, plus a lovely cool bag full of delicious Yeo Valley goodies!
The Inspirationy Bit
Get that camera or phone out and snap a picture of your home made mince pies, your festive cupcakes or your Grandma’s old Christmas cake recipe. Or maybe you can have a go at my jaffa cake Christmas trees, or some cranberry and pistachio biscotti. Whatever floats your boat.
And don’t think you have so be some sort of uber super duper food stylist. The bakeoff is all about the fun.
The Judgy Bit
Entries will be displayed in one enormous blog post and accompanied by the usual descent into hysteria while I wrestle with pixels and uploading and all that other complicated stuff. Follow me on twitter (@englishmum) to witness the carnage as it happens.
The very lovely Catriona from the very popular Irish food blog Wholesome Ireland has very
foolishly kindly agreed to be our judge this year. You can find her on Twitter @wholesomeIE if you want to attempt a bit of online judge tampering. The judge’s decision is final. No arguing. She’s an Irish mammy y’know, she’ll take none of that boldness.
So that’s it, then. You’ve got loads of time, plenty of inspiration, and some very ambiguous rules. Let’s get baking!
The Small Printy Bit
This competition is open to everyone in the UK and Ireland. No age limit. The closing date will be Wednesday 18th December at midnight. There is no cash alternative to the prize. If you’re outside of the UK and want to enter, please feel free. If you win, I’ll mail you the cookbook but I’m afraid the yogurt won’t travel!
So yesterday I showed you all the beautiful entries to the ‘baked with love’ bakeoff.
Lovely Helen, our judge and resident wino (sorry, wine expert) had a terrible time picking a winner, but eventually decided on the one she’d most like to scoff (perfect way to choose, I reckon), which was…
Mari’s amazingly squishy chocolate, mascarpone and raspberry tarts.
Congratulations, Mari, because not only have you got two of these beautiful pink fizzy babies winging your way from the fabulously generous Jacob’s Creek, but two extra ‘secret squirrel’ wines not on general release!
Special mention from Helen went to Iris’ blackberry mascarpone macaroons, Laura’s chocolate whoopie pies and Helen from Icklebabes’ gorgeous caramel banana French toast, oh, and Yvonne from Hey Pesto!’s ‘heart’s desire’ cake too…. along with ‘anything with a small child in the photo’.
Thanks so much to everyone who entered, big squishes and snogs to our lovely judge, Helen, who was steadfast in the face of much crawling and flattering, and many thanks also to Jacob’s Creek for their generosity. Thanks all!
So it’s bakeoff time again! I wanted to do something around Valentine’s day, because you guys always bake the most amazing things, BUT I don’t want to limit you all to just heart-shaped things, oh no. So our theme for this bakeoff is ‘baked with love‘.
If you’re not loved up, but just want to bake yourself a big mahoosive cake to eat in bed while watching a film, that’s fine too. First, then, to the housekeeping:
Because we’re rebels who ride with the wind in our hair and laugh in the face of danger (or something), the rules are few and far between, to be honest, but I know some of you love a rule or two, so just for you:
1. You’ve actually got to bake something – preferably connected to the theme (although see below re: sneaky rule breaking)
2. You must take a picture (you won’t get far with any of that ‘the dog ate it’ nonsense)
3. You must email it to me at english[dot]towers[at]gmail[dot]com, telling me what it is and who you are. Entries must be received by midnight on the closing date, which is, of course, the day before Valentine’s Day, the 13th February.
The Cheaty Bit
As usual, a healthy bit of downright sneakiness is to be encouraged, and any entertaining reason why your entry should be considered will be looked upon favourably. For example, if your trifle is beautiful, but obviously not exactly baked, let me know. I’m a flexible type and I’ll probably allow it. No lying though.
Okay, a bit of lying then, but not too much…
The Techy Bit
If you’re a blogger, please link back to this post, and if you’re a tweeter, please use the hashtag #madewithlovebakeoff . If you would like to display the ‘baked with love’ badge, you can download it from the links below. There are two sizes to choose from.
If you’re neither, then just pretend this bit never happened. Moving on, then… nothing to see here…
The Exciting Bit! (and the judgy bit – they’re combined this time)
That most wondrous and luscious of wine experts: the fragrant, and frankly fabulous Helen from Knackered Mothers’ Wine Club has very kindly agreed to be our judge. Not only that, but she’s also offered to provide the winner with a bottle of pink fizz!!
Entries will be displayed in one enormous blog post and accompanied by the usual descent into hysteria while I get all hot and bothered about uploading and labels and all that other complicated stuff. Follow me on Twitter to witness the carnage in real-time hissy fit tweets as they happen.
The Small Printy Bit
As usual, all attempts at bribery and any dubious approaches must be made direct to the judge (hint: she likes wine) and not via this blog. The judge’s decision is final.
This competition is open to all comers, regardless of location, although if you live in Outer Mongolia we might have a bit of trouble posting you a bottle of fizz, but hey, we’re triers so don’t let that stop you. There is no cash alternative to the prize.
So that’s it, then. You’ve got loads of time, plenty of inspiration, and some very ambiguous rules. GO TO IT, TEAM!
And lo, many moons ago (three years, to be precise) there was a foodie obsessed blogger who thought it would be really nice to get lots of pictures together from all the other foodie obsessed people out there and have a bit of a ‘look what I made!’ type get together. And it’s grown to this – the wonderful Big Christmas Bakeoff.
Thanks so, so much if you entered this year. Every single entry is amazing – some are technically brilliant, some are made with love by very small people… but all are fabulous in their own way.
The winners will be announced at the bottom of this post as soon as I can track down the chief judge, English Grandma.
The main winner will receive brand spanking new copies of both Jo Pratt’s books: In the mood for entertaining and In the mood for food, along with a load of other goodies like Leisure tea towels and oven gloves from Leisure Range Cookers, and FIVE lucky little bakers will win a Jingle the husky Story Buddy, complete with their very own storybook. Mahoosive thank you to both Leisure and www.hallmark.co.uk for being so generous with the prizes.
So feast your eyes, then, and I’ll be back soon to tell you all about the winners!
AND IT’S OVER TO ENGLISH GRANDMA WITH THE RESULTS!….
The winner is Chelsea Mamma’s Baileys Cheesecake
Christmas biscuits by Cari’s 3 year old [so love that angel – with wings!]
Chocolate yule log from Marie & twins [yummmmm]
Carol & BG’s Christmas biscuits [so pretty]
Cass’ daughter’s gingerbread house [clever]
Nessa and family’s chocolate marshmallow brown sugar fudge [need you ask?]
Well done everyone! Get in touch and we’ll get your prizes to you asap 🙂 And thanks to my fab sponsors and my wonderful Mum too!