Jill Neary from Ballina last week baked in the final of national baking competition, The Big Bake in Dublin.
Eight finalists from Donegal, Meath, Galway, Dublin, Kildare, and Mayo battled it out in soaring temperatures with mouth-watering tastes smoking from the Cook’s Academy kitchen in Dublin, where each of the eight had to bake his/her favourite recipe, which was chosen from a nationwide campaign.
Head judge, award-winning celebrity chef Gary O’Hanlon, who recently won the national Celtic Cook-Off competition said he was pleasantly surprised at the standard of the competition. “Jill’s fruit soda cake was delicious, I might just try the recipe myself,” he said.
Jill Neary baked a fruit soda cake. “I learned how to bake watching my grandaunt,” she explained. “I used to go down and bake with her in Limerick for my summer holidays as a child. I have since tweaked the recipe to suit diabetics. My dad and best friend’s son are diabetics. There is no added sugar or salt in my recipe.”
The winner of The Big Bake was Laoise Casey from Dundrum in Dublin, who baked a pistachio bread and butter pudding. She will bake her winning recipe on TV3’s Ireland AM next Wednesday along with TV baker Catherine Leydon.