Ready… Steady…BAKE!

The festive season is officially in full swing at Encore Care Homes with Fairmile Grange being crowned the winner of our very first Encore Christmas Cake Competition 2018.

Each home was invited to take part by entering their Christmas cake into the new challenge. The home’s representatives channelled their inner Mary Berry and created three unique cake designs to represent each home. All of the entries demonstrated our teams’ exquisite catering skills and creative flair.

Our CEO Rachel Dryden led the panel of judges, which featured some of our own residents, and Niki Richards, Care and Quality Director for Encore. The judges were tasked with scoring each home out of 10 on the presentation, flavour and creativity of their submissions. The judging took place on Monday December 17 at Hamble Heights and Tuesday December 18 at Great Oaks and Fairmile Grange.

Great Oaks in Bournemouth entered a Christmas cake that was decorated with an intricate design of pecans and cherries. Chefs, Patrick Fensterseifer and Sam Davey, clearly put a lot of time and effort into their joint entry and this didn’t go unnoticed by the judges. The cake was very traditional, extremely stylish and the taste was amazing.

Fairmile Grange in Christchurch certainly didn’t disappoint with a Christmas dinner-inspired cake design. Head Chef Stuart Davey wowed the judges with his entry which would have taken him hours to complete. Stuart constructed the cake to look like a traditional dinner table complete with marzipan turkey and vegetables. It almost looked too good to eat…but the judges DID devour it and the cake was sublime. The judges were particularly impressed with the team effort that had gone into the concept for the cake. The wellbeing team had asked residents for ideas for the cake and the maintenance manager, Ian, had constructed the miniature table for the cake to sit on.

Last but certainly not least, Hamble Heights in Fareham’s entry touched all of the judges’ hearts with a special entry inspired by the Christmas wishes of each resident. Zoe Morris, Wellbeing Assistant of Hamble Heights, made her cake in the shape of a Christmas tree to represent the home’s tree where each of the residents have written a Christmas wish that they have hung on the tree. On the cake, there are letters with the number of the resident’s room, so loved ones can collect them to treasure. Zoe’s tree also had lights and was decorated with photos of the team and residents. It was constructed with two cakes; a chocolate and orange sponge on the bottom, and salted caramel at the top! One resident on the judging panel commented, “It’s one of the best cakes I have eaten”!

Well done to all of our homes. It was so hard to pick just one winner as the standard of the entries was so high. Everyone should be proud of their cakes and they certainly all deserve a ‘Hollywood handshake’. The 2018 winner, Fairmile Grange, shall be presented with the Encore Christmas Cake Competition trophy in the New Year!