Well, when I lay down a challenge, I now know you will rise to the occasion, tea cups and measuring cups in hand! I thought I might be asking a lot – this was not an entry-level baking recipe to start this monthly series, but I should have known that I’ve been talking to a group of “smart cookies” through my shows and blogs. I am also thrilled with the level of confidence to adapt or adjust the recipe to suit your tastes – from green tea and chai tea versions to individual desserts and Canada Day décor.
I was impressed with the food styling, the cake results, but most of all the touching stories of the process, the parties and the people you baked for – and THAT is the true spirit of baking, baking for others. It made it quite a challenge for me to select a winner, but happily there is a challenge every month.
The next Bake Off Challenge is a two-part feature: something to bake with or for kids, and something for the grownups, but the 2 desserts served together are a super summertime treat! But in the meantime, here are some interesting stats from this month’s tribute to the Queen and to all things British. Enjoy watching the Olympics! (And check out the photo galleries below. Be sure to click on "caption" to read the accompanying stories).
- Number of Teapots counted in this month’s food photos: 15
- Number of Piano-shaped Teapots: 1
- Number of Teacups: 40+ (gave up counting :) )
- Number of tea parties: 3
- Number of statues of Queen Elizabeth: 1
OK, and for the winner, I think the Kitchen Aidmixer should go to Hannah Partridge, age 13, and the cookbook to Marlene Unruh – they both earn it for their dessert AND story. Here’s a congratulatory note to each.
To Hannah Partridge, age 13: Your photo and story are an inspiration to me and to everyone I am sure. It sounds like you have a great summer business already started and I am humbled and honoured to know that you baked my recipe for the Canadian Women’s Olympic Soccer Team. With the Canadian décor you added to the cake, it makes a perfect fit for this month’s theme. I wish you continued success, Hannah, and am very proud of you!
To Marlene Unruh: I was so touched to see your family photo of 4 generations of your family making an event out of this month’s Challenge. Your cake looks great at the centre of the table, but the message that baking is about sharing with those you love speaks volumes, since it was from my own grandmother that I inherited my love for baking.
Stay tuned for the Next Bake Off Challenge soon.
Professionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network's Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!
by Anna Olson