Barking baker wins Channel 4 Christmas cake competition
PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 November 2019
via Channel 4
A Barking baker has beaten the competition in a Christmas cake decorating competition in Kirstie's Handmade Christmas on Channel 4.
Mum-of-two Claire Flavin-Jones wowed the judge, cake designer Cynthia Stroud, with her creation on the episode aired Wednesday, November 27.
The stacked fruit cake was decorated blue, topping with an icing Christmas fairy in a bowl of sugar made to look like glass.
Claire said she felt nervous on set at first, but the baking soon took centre stage.
"When I was doing the competition I was just so focused on getting the cake done," she said.
Kirstie's Handmade Christmas sees competitors go head-to-head in fields like Christmas tree decorating.
Claire said she was told the cake decorating contest was often one of the more bitterly fought, but she and the other contestants bonded over their love of baking.
"We were having a really good time chatting and singing and everything else. We were more like a team.
"We got to make some cakes and have a laugh."
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They've kept in touch after the show, Claire said, a useful outlet as they have to keep the show a secret from when it's filmed in October to when it airs.
But their camaraderie did mean competition wasn't tough. All the bakers produced cakes that would wow at any bake sale.
"Most of us naturally are competitive in the cake world," Claire said.
"There's so much talent, it can be very, very difficult to compete."
Claire, 42, has been baking cakes professionally for the past year. She made a career change from sales in 2016 and studied patisserie and confectionery at Barking and Dagenham College before graduating and starting her business Bombshell Bakes.
The company makes custom cakes and enters competitions. In February, Claire won two bronze awards at the national competition The Food Service Show in Birmingham.
"I've always loved baking since I was little," Claire said.
"I like creating something and making people happy with it.
Commenting on how it feels to win, she said: "I'm still in shock.
"I still don't think it's completely sunk in that I won it.
"I'm just really grateful for the opportunities I've had and that I've been a student at the college and followed my dreams."