Bake-off brings history to cakes

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CAKES of all different shapes and sizes were created during an three-hour Edwardian bake-off on Tuesday.

The eight competitors, who beat 38 others to become finalists, were a mix of West Suffolk College catering students and Horringer Women’s Institute members.

They researched Edwardian recipes and cooking methods to produce authentic cakes, which were judged in the finishing kitchen under the Rotunda at Ickworth House.

Food historian Annie Gra, said the Edwardian period had an ‘explosion of cakes’ which led to ‘the real quintessential cake baking occasion of afternoon tea’.

WI member Suzanne Veal came up with the winning recipe, an orange cake baked using Mrs Beeton’s cookbook. Her prize includes a family meal at Ickworth’s West Wing restaurant and specialist baking training at the Ickworth Hotel.

The 61-year-old, who bakes every weekend, had to replace her food mixer with a wooden spoon for the competition. She said: “I’m really pleased, I did not expect to win.”