Flour power wins day for Victoria in cake contest

TASTY Victoria Forward with the winning bouquet of cupcakes.     Picture: Paul Jacobs (113170-8)
TASTY Victoria Forward with the winning bouquet of cupcakes. Picture: Paul Jacobs (113170-8)
From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at the Southsea Village in Palmerston Road Picture: Habibur Rahman

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BAKER Victoria Forward has the recipe for success – her cupcakes have been named the best in Britain.

The 40-year-old made a ‘bouquet’ of 12 cakes topped by buttercream roses when she entered the National Cupcake Championships.

And her delicious creations beat 50 finalists to clinch the top prize in the contest, run by British Baker magazine.

Victoria, of Park Avenue, Widley, who has a business called Let Them Eat Cake and makes wedding and birthday cakes from home, received her prize at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in The Mall, London.

She said: ‘I made something that I thought people would not only think tastes nice, but looks great too.

‘How you present a cupcake is just as important as the flavour.

‘I love the creativity that goes into baking them.

‘It’s a lot of fun and I feel like I’ve won an Oscar!’

Husband Jason, who works for cake-making firm Rich Products Limited, in Fareham, encouraged Victoria to take part in the competition after she ran a close second in last year’s finals with her red velvet cupcake design.

The competition was held in the run-up to National Cupcake Week, which will start on Monday.

And this time around the mother-of-two has stepped up a gear.

Her winning cakes contain vanilla sponge, swiss meringue buttercream and essence of roses.

She said: ‘I wanted the texture to be along the lines of a smooth rose petal.

‘I piped buttercream into the petals to make it look like a rose.

‘I’m really proud of it and I’m enjoying going around and telling people.’

Victoria, who can make up to 100 cupcakes an hour, studied sugarcraft at Highbury College, in Cosham. She said: ‘I love making cakes for other people. The best part is when you deliver them to people.

‘I get a real kick when a bride beams with delight at a cake I’ve made for her.’

Her mini creations also go down a treat with her daughter Alexandra, 10 and son Jonathan, seven. She said: ‘The kids love watching me bake.

‘I’ve been kept busy in the kitchen all summer!’

Vanilla and Rose cupcakes:

· Cream 125g of stork margarine and 125g of caster sugar. Add 5ml of vanilla essence, two eggs and whip. Sieve 125g of self raising flour and fold into the mixture.

Add 10ml of milk then portion out into 12 cupcake cases in a muffin tin. Bake at 20OC for 10 minutes. Leave to cool.

· For the buttercream; put four egg whites in a stand alone mixer’s bowl and place as a double boiler over a pan of simmering water.

Add 250g of caster sugar and whisk until smooth and silky. Remove from the boiler and place on the mixer. Whisk until the mixture and bowl are cool. Add 500g of butter, keep whisking and add one tsp of rose water. Pipe buttercream onto cakes when they are cool.