24th Oct, 2016

Great British Bake Off star Martha Collison stopped off in the borough to judge the 'bobble hat' themed competition in aid Macmillan Cancer Support

Shaun Reynolds 6th Oct, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

EMPLOYEES at Solihull’s npower office and keen bakers at Waitrose took part in a ‘bobble hat’ themed cake competition in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support.

Great British Bake Off star Martha Collison was on hand to judge the winner in celebration of npower’s 12-year partnership with the cancer charity.

Staff at the npower site on Prince’s Way and the new Waitrose store on Homer Road battled it out as the energy company ran competitions across its eight main sites to mark Macmillan’s 26th World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

The sweet treats were judged on flavour, texture, effort, creativity and appearance – and star npower baker Robbie Virdee scooped first prize by baking a classic Victoria Sponge with vanilla layers.

Robbie admitted he’s not much of a baker, though the help of his wife helped him bag the win.

He added: “Sponges are my wife’s speciality so it was a no-brainer – I just focused on the design.

“Macmillan is a wonderful cause and I always do what I can to help.

“I love the idea that my cake is going to be sold to make money for Macmillan, especially as they have been a great support to close relatives of mine who have been affected by cancer.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to have won the competition, and I’m sure my wife will be too.”

Waitrose’s star baker was Fiona Butler, who also went down the Victoria Sponge route by creating two layers of strawberry jam and buttercream, covered in twisted fondant.

Bake off star Martha said: “It’s not every day that you get to encourage people to bake for such an amazing cause.

“Cancer can have such a devastating impact on people’s lives so any opportunity to create awareness, especially through baking, is a cause I’m incredibly proud to be involved in.”

Beth Gardner, head of community at npower, said: “Our employees really rose to the occasion, showcasing their baking skill in our cake competition.

“We’ve seen and tasted a whole range of cakes and bakes – and not a soggy bottom in sight.

“We’re proud to work with Martha to deliver such a fantastic event.”

Visit www.macmillan.org.uk/coffee to take part in this year’s Macmillan Coffee Morning.