TWO local women rose to the occasion recently to display their brilliant baking skills to secure runners-up prizes in the Victoria Square bake-off competition.
In front of a live audience in the heart of Belfast, Portaferry WI’s Muriel Smyth and Downpatrick WI’s Debbie McKibben went head-to-head with four other finalists in the competition organised by the Women’s Institute and Victoria Square to find the best Victoria Square sandwich in Northern Ireland.
Muriel and Debbie, alongside their fellow competitors, worked against the clock to bake and decorate their own show-stopping cakes to impress expert judge Jenny Bristow.
Muriel’s creation incorporated soft pastel green and yellow icing with edible flowers and there was a special nod to the WI on the front of the cake. The central feature on top was a decorative sugar dome inspired by the Victoria Square dome.
And as a unique feature for extra flavour, Muriel’s cake was made with two teaspoons of elderflower cordial which clearly impressed the judges.
Debbie’s creation incorporated a springtime theme with an array of edible, brightly coloured pink, green, purple, blue and yellow flowers.
The judges highlighted the incredible attention to detail considered by all the bakers in their finished masterpieces, especially given the time constraints and the conditions of baking in front of a live audience.