We’re no stranger to a good old fashioned Bake Off here at Design Bridge, and this year we’re doing things a bit differently – we’ve gone global!
On Tuesday 28th February, coinciding with Pancake Day, each of our 4 Studios around the world held their own bake off. There were prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, all decided by a secret ballot. But the ultimate prize was yet to come, as the 12 finalists then had their creations judged by our Group Personnel Director, Johanna Bowers. And the overall prize? An extra day’s holiday. The stakes for this Bake Off were high. Here’s how it all played out…
DB Singapore started the Bake Off proceedings, and competition was strong. Plus there was a nice selection of wine scattered amongst the bakes to entice people to the tasting table…
It was Pia who accepted the first award of the Bake Off – third place for her Banana, Choco & PB (peanut butter) Delight.
“I Lava Chocolate”, a delicious chocolate and strawberry cake baked by Mafalda, was awarded second place.
But it was Lynette who scooped first prize in Singapore with not one but TWO stunning bakes – “Queen of Hearts” (a strawberry cheesecake) and “Mar-tini Dancer” (a lychee Martini-flavoured concoction, decorated with ballerina and fresh flowers). Congrats Lynette!
Next up, it was time for the fiercely competitive London team to show off their baking skills. With a queue backing all the way up to the Realisation team area, the tasters waited patiently to fill their “Choose Cake” boxes with baked treats and make that all-important vote for their favourite.
Third place went to the only savoury bake to make it through to award-status – Laura P’s Apple & Wholegrain Mustard Sausage Rolls, complete with optional hot sauce.
Coming in second place was Mandy’s Mini Meringue and Chocolate Cake – a proper showstopper.
And first place went to Alison’s stunning Layered Victoria Sponge, filled and decorated with fruit, jam and buttercream. Lovely work, Alison!
Over in Amsterdam, there was a distinct whiff of gin about the building with not one but TWO gin-based entries in the Dutch leg of the Great Big Bake Off.
Taking third place in Amsterdam was Zayne and Nienke’scollaboration – a tasty caramel, nut, fig and date cake.
Second place was awarded to one of those aforementioned gin concoctions – Alex’s adorable Gin & Tonic Cupcakes.
It was the delicious lemon cheesecake, baked by Jade, which was awarded top marks and took the first prize in the Amsterdam Studio.
And finally it was the turn of our New York Studio – a first (but by no means last) bake off competition for the NY team. As our SVP Kasia rightly pointed out, “We scrubbed up rather well considering most of us keep shoes in our oven!”.
In third place were Emilia’s Oreshki – walnut shaped waffles with chocolate filling, baked in a special mould and presented in a beautiful basket.
Second place went to Tati’s Bunnies, which were glazed with condensed milk and had coconut shavings as tails. Spring is most definitely on the way…
But it was Laura’s incredible patriotic 5-layer America flag cake that took first place in NYC.
Once the bakes had been eaten and the crumbs cleared away, it was time for Johanna to take a look at all 12 finalists and decide on the overall winner, and we’re delighted to announce that the Design Bridge Great Big Bake Off Champion this year is – drum roll please – well, there are actually four!
Johanna made an executive judge’s decision to award the top prize of an extra day’s holiday to one baker in each Studio, so a big congratulations to… Lynette in Singapore, Mandy in London, Jade in Amsterdam, and Emilia in New York for your amazing baking creativity – you are the official Bake Off Champions 2017! And here are those winning bakes (clockwise from top left):
But we didn’t just do it for the glory or the prizes, nor to fill our tummies with delicious treats. Our Bake Off efforts were all about raising money and awareness for a cause that is very close to our hearts – CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), a charity that works to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD), supports young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions, and offers bereavement support to families. Our global baking (and eating) efforts have raised £2,000 for the charity, all of which will be donated to the Jemima Memorial Fund for C.R.Y.
To end this blog post, we thought it only fitting to share a selection of some of the other bakes that didn’t quite make the winner shortlist. Enjoy…
And lastly, but by no means leastly, a very special shout out to all of the organisers, photographers, and everyone who helped make the Bake Off happen. Couldn’t have done it without you!
P.S. if you’re inspired by all of this cake talk, don’t forget to check our Careers page for the latest opportunities to join us.