Jill takes the cake prize

Hampshire Chronicle: Cakemaker, Jill Chant, with her metre-high cake, which won the Showstopper class at the Southwest Cake and Bake Fest Cakemaker, Jill Chant, with her metre-high cake, which won the Showstopper class at the Southwest Cake and Bake Fest

They wanted a “Showstopper” and she certainly gave them one.

Lockerley baker Jill Chant took first prize with her one-metre high creation at the Southwest Cake and Bake Fest 2014, held at Bournemouth Pavilion on Saturday.

“It is made up of all things that made her think of Bournemouth - beach huts, the helter skelter on the pier, flip flops, the beach, the sea, and the balloon,” said Jill, 45.

Her seaside special of a cake took the top spot in the Showstopper category, inspired by the same category in TV’s Greatest British Bake Off, where entrants are given free rein to go wild with their decoration skills.

Transporting the towering confection to Bournemouth was a nerve-wracking experience.

“It just about fitted into the back of my car,” said Jill. “But I had kittens every time I drove over a pothole!”

While it may look amazing, Jill’s cake wouldn’t be much good to eat – as beneath the three kilos of icing it is made of polystyrene!

“This was the only class where the judge didn’t taste the cakes, so you didn’t have to have a real cake underneath,” explained Jill.

However, Jill showed her creations can taste as good as they look by winning another category at the bake fest – Best Free From cake – with an egg and dairy-free chocolate cake in the shape of a giant Feast ice lolly.

Jill, who has run her own baking business, Jill the Cakemaker, from home since 2010, specialises in wedding cakes and she is currently working on one in the shape of a three-dimensional tree for two tree surgeons who are to wed.

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