Photo: Scottish Bakers
A bake-off at Trades Hall between City of Glasgow College students marked the beginning of the annual competition, run by Scottish Bakers.
In the competition, five students went head-to-head in a 45-minute showdown to demonstrate their baking skills, tasked with challenge of creating 'Scotland on a Cake'. Rising to the occasion, the contestants offered up intricately iced and perfectly piped variations on a number of Scottish icons including the Saltire, Irn-Bru, and the Highland Cow.
The joint winners of the day were Maryam Mehdizadehkasri and Diane Cleland, for their cakes celebrating the heraldic emblem of Scotland and one of its most iconic animals, respectively. Both will receive a work experience day at the award-winning Mimi's Bakehouse as a reward for their efforts.
Mich Turner MBE, an ambassador for Scottish Bakers, has said: "The last two years have been incredibly hard on us all, but Scotland’s bakers have shown great resilience and creativity through the toughest of times."
She is now calling for everyone who shops at their local bakery to make their voice heard in deciding which baker will receive this year's Customer Choice awards. "Let’s show them how much we appreciate their hard work and skill... Each vote helps recognise your favourite local baker and counts towards the Customer Choice awards."
Voting is easy, too. Just ask your baker for either their unique QR code or a voting form. You can also log on to the competition website, www.bakeroftheyear.scot, to cast your vote.
The coveted title of Scottish Baker of the Year is judged separately to the Customer Choice awards, and will be awarded after judging day on the 16th of March. With registration now open, all bakers are welcome to enter up to 10 items for consideration, with the final winner due to be announced on the 7th of May. Anyone wishing to enter the running to win the title can do so from the competition's website.
So, pre-heat your oven to 180 and get baking! Alternatively, get down to your local bakery and let the experts show you how it's done...