Christine Cooke has been crowned winner of the Pure Canadian Maple syrup competition, which was held at the University College Birmingham.
Cooke, who is currently undertaking a BSc three-year course in baking and pastry arts management at the Dublin Institute of Technology, baked a peanut butter and maple pie for judges David Colcombe and Colin Lomax, which she described “as a spin on a pecan pie”.
The competition, which was sponsored and supported by The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, saw 60 entries from bakery students across the UK and Ireland.
As part of the competition, each product had to contain 5% of Canadian Pure Maple Syrup on flour weight. Any decorations had to be handmade.
Cooke told British Baker she was shocked to win, and that this was the first competition she had ever entered.
“I couldn’t believe it. I almost started crying. I would have been delighted with winning anything. I entered just for the experience, but to actually win was amazing,” she said.
“I wanted to bake something a bit different and I used two different types of syrup – maple sugar and dark maple syrup. The feedback from the judges was that the pie tasted like a Snickers bar.”
Other winners included:
2nd place – Jeremy Pastor-Jacques from the Dublin Institute of Technology
3rd place – Jessica Dalton from the University College Birmingham
Highly commended – Megan Roberts from the University College Birmingham
Commended – Kinga Pecsi from the Dublin Institute of Technology