Giselle Martin: The Great NBS Cake-Off Competition

It’s my favourite time of the year! Bake Off time! I love watching The Great British Bake Off every year. Getting to know the bakers, their personalities, and their style of baking. Nottingham Trent University hosted their very first ‘Great NBS Cake-Off Competition’ with Selasi Gbortmittah, who was not only the Great British Bake-Off Semi-finalist in 2016 but also an NBS Economic & Finance Alumnus.

We were challenged to design an A4 illustration and annotated brief of a cake with the theme being ‘Nottingham’. The first step was to send the design of what we think Nottingham looks like in a cake and then the top seven candidates were selected to bake and design their cakes to be judged by a panel including: Selasi and Melanie Curry, Deputy Dean of Nottingham Business School.

When designing the cake, I wanted to invoke all the different elements of Nottingham in my four years of study here. I decided to make a confetti geode cake with buttercream icing and rum apple sauce. I choose a geode cake to depict the Nottingham caves which is where my partner and I went on our first date here in Nottingham. Rum apple sauce was inspired by the famous Bramley apples in Nottingham and rum pays homage to all my student nights out. This was also another reason for choosing a confetti cake as it depicts a party and celebration of my time in Nottingham. Lastly, NTU has not only been a part of my studying but has helped me get a placement at NTU Enterprise and a part time job as a student mentor and student ambassador for Nottingham Business School. This is why I have put the NTU lanyard as the border of the cake to showcase the significance NTU has had on me.

On the 28th April 2022 I presented my ‘Notts a Cake’ to the judges. The other candidates, staff and I were also invited for a lunch with Selasi as well as a networking event. The cakes were judged on taste, appearance, presentation, sustainability, creative direction and link to the theme ‘Nottingham’. We all had a sugar rush at the end of the day!

Even though my cake did not win the competition, I learned a new skill in baking and got inspired by the others to improve my baking abilities and to never take a risk and put myself out there. The networking event allowed me to come out of my shell and talk to people that ordinarily I would not introduce myself to. If given the opportunity again to bake a cake for a competition I would 100% do it all over again!

Written by Giselle Martin BA (Hons) Business Management and Marketing student.