Sunderland children strive for the perfect muffin in Bake Off-style competition

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Budding bakers have been putting their imaginations and cooking skills to the test in a Bake Off-style competition in Sunderland.

Pupils from every primary school in the city were invited to send in their recipes for the perfect muffin, along with pictures of their finished product and culinary design.

Primary school pupils Harper Scott-Cousins, Samuel Bailey, Kendra Price, Alfie Johnson and Lennox Crosdale, with their muffins.

Primary school pupils Harper Scott-Cousins, Samuel Bailey, Kendra Price, Alfie Johnson and Lennox Crosdale, with their muffins.

The five winning entries were put forward to a Bake Off-type challenge today in the school kitchens at Farringdon Community Academy.

The children baked and then decorated their muffins for a panel of judges with the winning recipe and design to be recreated and put on schools menus across the city for everyone to enjoy during National School Meals Week (13 - 17 November).

All of the finalists will also have their muffins featured on the menus at their own schools for their classmates to enjoy.

Shortlised Kendra Price, five, from Grange Park, Alfie Johnson, eight, from Dame Dorothy, Harper Scott-Cousins, eight, from Richard Avenue, Lennox Crosdale, seven, from Hill View Infants, and Sam Bailey, aged give from Newbottle, were invited to mix their ingredients, bake, and then decorate their muffins in the final.

Winner Harper Scott-Cousins

Winner Harper Scott-Cousins

Senior councillor Amy Wilson and Kelvin Linstead, the head chef from Sunderland College, led the panel judges.

The winning entry was an Orange Choc-Chip muffin baked by Harper Scott-Cousins.

The eight-year-old winner said: "I'm very happy to have won, and will definitely keep on baking. I must admit I was realty relieved when the icing finally came out the bag when I was decorating it."

The runners up still had a great day, however.

Alfie Johnson

Alfie Johnson

Other finalist Sa: "The best thing about this was everything, we've all had a great time.

Lennox added: "I've really enjoyed taking part, and will continue to cook."

AlfIe said: "The best bit for me was probably decorating my muffin with the funny monkey faces" and Kendra added: "It has been a great competition and I'll keep on making my muffins for my friends and family."

Councillor Wilson said: "I'd like to congratulate our winner Harper and all our finalists, what we've seen and tasted today has been amazing.

Alfie

Alfie

"Competitions like this are a great way of capturing children’s imaginations, and it has given them all the opportunity to dazzle us with their amazing culinary skills and talents.

"We have invested a lot into providing schools with the best schools meals service and kitchen facilities that we can in Sunderland, and work closely with our community health partners to promote nutritional and fresh food."

She added: "Today shows what can be achieved when we all work together to encourage children and their families to get involved with cooking."

Mr Linstead said: "I was really impressed with the enthusiasm, skills and knowledge of all the children.

"Baking is a real art, and we all want to encourage them to keep on developing their talents.

"From what we've sampled here today, we have a great, younger generation of chefs and bakers coming through and Sunderland's culinary future is in safe hands."

Primary school pupils Harper Scott-Cousins, Samuel Bailey, Kendra Price, Alfie Johnson and Lennox Crosdale, with their muffins.

Primary school pupils Harper Scott-Cousins, Samuel Bailey, Kendra Price, Alfie Johnson and Lennox Crosdale, with their muffins.

He added: "All the children and their families are very welcome to visit us at the college and see me and the other chefs in action in our kitchens."

Councillor Louise Farthing, cabinet member for Children's Services in Sunderland, said: "We asked children to really use their imaginations and taste-buds to come up with some great looking and fantastic tasting muffins.

"Marks have been awarded for the best, and sometimes unusual choice and use of different ingredients, and a keen eye for design when decorating the cake.

"It’s sad we could only choose five to go forward to the final, but everyone who entered can be very proud of their efforts, we obviously have a lot of very talented young chefs and bakers in Sunderland."

Samuel Bailey

Samuel Bailey

Lennox Crosdale

Lennox Crosdale

Kendra Price

Kendra Price