"FANCY flaunting your baking skills in front of the BBC's Hairy Bikers for charity at the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival next month?
The Great Manx Bake-Off cake competition will celebrate Manx produce while raising money for the Eve Appeal Gynaecology Cancer Research Fund which aims to halve death rates in British ovarian cancer patients.
'We are hoping to get both home bakers and professionals across the Isle of Man creating a spectacular display of Manx cakes,' explained Samantha Honey-Pollock of the charity. 'I was inspired by the pictures of the delicious cakes on the Eve Appeal's fundraising ideas web pages and then even more so by the availability of local Manx produce to bake with. So I decided to take a leaf from Ilovemanx.org and suggest to the Department of Tourism and Leisure that an exciting cake baking competition using Manx ingredients to raise money for the charity be planned. And the idea just grew from there!'
Last month, Samantha, of Ballasalla, won the southern heat of the I Love Manx Chef competition at the Southern Agricultural Show with her honey pollock and rose petal salad dish. So, as well as organising the cake competition, she will also go head to head with northern winner Lizia Medina Quinn, of Andreas, at the festival where the Hairy Bikers will choose the overall winner.
The Great Manx Bake-Off will take place at 3pm on Saturday, September 26, as part of the festival in the Villa Marina Arcade where the finalists will be judged by the bearded television presenters. Islanders will also have the opportunity to take part in a fun auction with the celebrity duo, a cup cake workshop for kids and kids at heart, a cake quiz and a sale of the competition cakes.
'I love to cook, yet my own cakes are usually disasters,' explained Samantha. 'But cake does happen to be my favourite food on earth. I can't think of anything more comforting than sitting down with a beautiful china cup full of tea and a fresh slice of home-baked cake.' All cakes must be Manx-themed and made using Manx flour, eggs and milk - with extra points being awarded for using even more Island products. 'Maybe we will have entries that look like a Manx cat, TT motorbike or Tower of Refuge,' said Samantha.
There will be two categories in the competition: one for professionals and another for home bakers. All entries, which can be individual or as a family, workplace or group of friends, are free.
Semi-finalists will be selected on Friday, September 25. All cakes submitted will receive a £5 voucher for Shoprite, which, as supporter of the competition, has also donated more than £400 worth of prizes to be won. Proceeds will go to the Eve Appeal, which shares its donations with Ovacome - a charity that offers support and advice to ovarian cancer sufferers. 'I have personally been touched by an ovarian cancer scare,' said Samantha, 'and was quickly given excellent treatment at Noble's Hospital before being transferred to Liverpool Women's hospital at the end of last year.
''We have lost ladies in the Isle of Man to this disease which is often left undiagnosed until it is too late,' said Samantha, 'Support helps raise awareness and the funds necessary to provide an early detection technique for ovarian cancer and help save 4,400 women's lives a year.'
The closing date for entries is Friday, September 11..."
Fancy flaunting YOUR baking prowess? Download an application form in the box top right! We hope to raise more than £2500 this day- oh how wonderful- so delicious cakes of all shapes and sizes made from fresh Manx produce are invited.
did you know... your cake will be on display at the prestigious launch party of the Isle of Man Food & Drink festival on Friday night? And, if you'd want to keep your masterpiece and not have it sold or auctioned by the Hairies, you can donate £30 to the Eve Appeal and keep it all- as well as the glory (!)- for yourself. The Entry form has full details!