Embrace Your Inner Star Baker With Mary Berry at this Fabulous Irish Baking Competition

Mary Berry

The National Dairy Council has announced that Great British Bake Off star and Queen of Cakes Mary Berry will be the special guest at the NDC stand at this year’s National Ploughing Championships.

The ever-popular Ploughing Competition will be held in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly from 18th – 20th September.

To celebrate this star guest, the NDC are launching an exciting baking competition that sees finalists getting the chance to win Afternoon Tea with Mary Berry herself.

Mary Berry

Competitors are asked to whip up their most creative and delicious sweet or savoury bakes that must include dairy in some form.

Offering her priceless advice to the budding bakers, Mary said: “It must be the very best of Irish dairy produce and the best of its type, whether that’s a quiche, tart or cake – we don’t want to see curdled custard or separated filling, the pastry must be beautifully done, it has to have great flavour and beautifully presented. No soggy bottoms.”

The judging panel for this baking competition includes food writer Lilly Higgins, Dromoland Castle Head Pastry Chef Chandima Gamage and Consumer Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal Ciara Leahy.

Lilly also offered her advice to competitors saying: My advice would be to keep it simple and execute it well, whether it’s a cake, tart, quiche or even a sandwich, get the basics right and it will be delicious!”

Mary Berry

Pastry Chef Chandima Gamage gave some top tips too, reminding entrants that their beautiful bakes must hold up under scrutiny. You will be carrying your creation to the Ploughing competition so be sure your bake won’t collapse – as Mary says “no soggy bottoms.”

Commenting on the competition, he said: “I’m looking forward most to meeting people and food producers and tasting some good Irish food. Irish stew is one of my favourite dinners, even better with a chunk of soda bread. My mother used to make it when I was young and I still make it for my children and grandchildren. You just can’t beat a good crumble or pie with homegrown berries or a stew with neck of lamb,”

Each of the three finalists will receive a fabulous prize of an Afternoon Tea Hamper filled with delectable treats, a €300 voucher for the renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School and will be entered into the draw to win Afternoon Tea with Mary Berry.

To enter email your recipes, along with a full ingredient list, method, a picture and cooking times to competitions@ndc.ie.

Closing date for entries is 5.00pm on Monday the 13th of August. For more information, visit here. Good luck and get baking!

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