Amelia wins Junior Bake OffCategory: News Release
Tonight, Amelia won the coveted title of winner of Junior Bake Off 2022. Thousands applied, but only 16 made it through to the famous tent for the most exciting junior baking competition yet. Harry Hill was the host while judges Ravneet Gill and Liam Charles had the tough job of finding Junior Bake Off’s best young baker.
In the beginning there were 16, some crumbled and others rose to the challenge, until there were 4 remaining bakers: Amelia, Annabel B, Thomas and Mya each hoping to be crowned the winner of Junior Bake Off. After two weeks of heats and a finals week, our finalist Junior Bakers entered the tent for the very last time, but it was to be Amelia who was crowned the winner of Junior Bake Off and who took home the trophy!
Over two separate heats, the junior bakers faced many challenges, expressing their creativity and personalities. The first heat began with a Technical of Fondant Fancies followed by If I Was Prime Minister Cake, then it was Unicorn Horn biscuits and My Very Best Saturday Biscuit Diorama. Tiger Bread followed with Historical Figures in Bread, and on Dessert themes it was Tang Yuan and Out of the World Freak Shakes. Filled Crullers for Pastry Day and the bakers Biggest Phobia Open Fruit Tart finished the first week.
In the second heat the Junior Bakers had to produce Cake Pops and a Hidden Talent Design Cake, then it was Fortune Cookies and the 8th Wonder of the World Mosaic. Sausage Dog Hotdogs were next and My Best Friend in Bread, followed by Muddier than Muddy Mississippi Mud Worm Pie and My Dream School Trip Decorated Blondie. Pastry day was Fried Apple Pie and Milkshake and Choux-perheroes ended the second week.
An exciting Finals week began with Stuffed Mouse Crum-Pets and Pancake Stack Cake, then Naan Shawarma, and a Filled Supersized Bagel. Up next were Bubble Tacos, and a Cookie Layer Cake, then Chocolate Dome Bunny Tarts, and an Entremet for your Baes. The final theme was a Red Carpet Event starting with a Signature Challenge of Mini Desserts – 24 which had to be identical and beautiful with two different flavours - and finally a Cake fit for a Red Carpet Event.
The junior bakers battled it out in the iconic white tent aiming to bake their way to victory. After tough Technical challenges and incredible Showstoppers , it was Amelia who managed to win the final accolade. She mixed, whisked, piped, and beat her way to becoming the ultimate winner.
On winning the trophy Amelia said: ‘I am just too speechless to talk right now I can’t believe that I have got the trophy. Oh my goodness, it’s just amazing, absolutely crazy!
Amelia’s mum Claire said: ‘It’s like a dream, she has had the time of her life, it’s been absolutely incredible.’
Rav said ‘Amelia baked consistently throughout the day, nothing phased her, she was meticulous, she was precise, and at the end of the day she pulled out an incredible Showstopper.’
Liam added ‘ It’s just been a pure joy to have her in the tent. To cap it off today with such an amazing Showstopper she is a deserved winner.’
Amelia won Star Baker in the Seventh, Tenth and Thirteenth episodes [Biscuit Day, Pastry Day and Food Hacks Day] of the series, and here she talks about her amazing win:
‘At the final episode, the judges were kind about my lemon meringue and sticky toffee pudding mini desserts, they said they were absolutely gorgeous, dainty and pretty. My Reach for the Stars Showstopper had a cherry bakewell base with an earl grey layer and passion fruit curd. They liked my attention to detail, and they said it looked fun and professional.’
‘It’s kind of hard to choose my best moment but I think it was when I made my choux pastry in Pastry Week, and Rav said I should open my own patisserie. That was beyond belief to hear and really brilliant because that is something I would really like to do one day. I had practiced it about a million times and I can say there were tears that day, but they were happy tears!
‘When I heard I was going to be in the series it was so surreal, I never ever expected that to happen, it was such a wow moment. We got through many stages but I didn’t ever think I would get into the tent. It was something that I really wanted and me and my mum just laughed when we heard that I got in, because we were just so incredibly happy, we couldn’t stop laughing.
‘My mum got my older brother Henry to film the moment when she told me I had got through the audition process, and that’s something I will always treasure and keep forever. It was an amazing moment, not just for me but the whole family.
‘The judges were so great and I feel that I have really learned a lot from them both. Throughout the series they showed me how to improve my entremets and my choux pastry and it really helped to have all their experience and comments relayed to me. Out of Liam and Rav, I wanted to impress them both, but because of my love and passion for patisserie, Rav was the judge that I was hoping to wow the most! I am such a big fan of hers and love her dresses!
‘Harry was great he was fab and dead funny, really nice and very welcoming. On the first day when everyone had a bit of nerves he was so good and helped everyone to relax a little. He knew that I do gymnastics and he tried to do a bridge, well sort of, and then he collapsed in a heap, it was all very funny. Even when you had to crack on with something, he was always there chatting away.
‘Sometimes in the tent it could be quite emotional 100% and it was really hard to see bakers struggle or when they had to leave. We would all support each other whenever we could and we always tried to rally round and help each other when the bakes were going wrong.
‘The moment when my cake fell on the floor was pretty devastating as you always want to do so well. And that was my first day! But it was ok because I could recover it and piece it back together again but at the moment it was pretty shocking, but I got over it and knew I could face anything after that. I did actually end up laughing….
‘I would really recommend any junior bakers out there to apply for Junior Bake Off – it’s a once in a lifetime experience, it’s the chance to show your baking skills – anybody can try it you just need the confidence to apply. I will always remember my time in the tent, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me ever, absolutely!
‘I watched the final episode with all the family and close friends, it was a joint party for my birthday which was 8 February, and it was great fun. We had a really good time and I made some bakes from the show - what an amazing way to celebrate my birthday!
‘I would like to keep the trophy in the kitchen because everybody can see it then. It will have pride of place on a shelf there, it’s been hiding under the bed for a while.
‘My mum and dad, Claire and Nigel and my younger sister Bea and brother Henry have shared the whole experience throughout with me, we have lived through every moment together as a family, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Bea and Henry are the best taste testers ever!
‘I want to continue baking, practising and improving and I would love love love to open my own patisserie with lovely pastries, croissants. Winning the series has given me a stronger passion to learn more and to be a better baker than ever before.
‘I enjoy baking so much and it just makes me so happy, I put all my feelings into baking and I try to express myself through all my bakes. When my family enjoy my baking it’s a special moment for me and makes me want to keep baking and trying new things. There’s nothing better than seeing empty plates after putting in a lot of effort, it always puts a big smile on my face!’
Biography - Amelia
Amelia lives with her parents, older brother and little sister. She also has a pet guinea pig called Cranberry who she describes as beautiful - and lazy.
In contrast, Amelia dedicates around 20 hours a week to training as a gymnast, so when she’s not backflipping, somersaulting or gracefully twisting through the air, she can be found rustling up ‘homely bakes’ for her family to share. Despite training in her club’s National Development Squad, she has no plans to go pro – favouring the idea of becoming a midwife or opening her own patisserie one day instead.
Amelia only started baking 4 years ago, and bread is her favourite thing to make. She loves the science involved, and can’t think of anything better than sitting around in her pyjamas eating a piece of home-made loaf, still warm from the oven.
Q&A and here Amelia talks about her experience on the show and baking at home:
Why did you want to apply for this series of Junior Bake Off, and how many series have you watched?
I wanted to apply because I just really love baking and I have been really inspired by some of the bakers on the previous four series that I have watched. I was desperate this year to be successful because I knew it would be my last chance now that the age limit has changed for the competition.
What was this year’s location like, and how soon did you make friends with the other bakers?
It was absolutely breath-taking! It felt like a dream when I walked across the field and saw the JBO letters and the tent! I could not believe I was actually there! The tent was so beautifully decorated and always made me smile when I went inside it.
We all bonded quickly and shared our love for baking with each other, we had a lot of fun and laughs along the way. I feel like I have definitely made some friends for life through the experience!
How long have you been baking and what is your speciality Bake?
I have been baking since I was about 7 years old and first started baking with my mum who I still enjoy baking with now (we used to bake apple and rhubarb crumbles together). I would say my speciality bakes are cinnamon buns, brioche and choux pastry.
What cake do your family ask you to make for a special occasion like a birthday?
My family love me to make a dark chocolate and marmalade cake or a black forest gateaux.
Being on Bake Off – was it better than being at school?
Yes, Bake Off was amazing, 100 times better than being at school, it was a dream come true! I still sometimes can’t believe I was actually on the show, I will really cherish the experience forever.
Favourite class at school?
Definitely science! I find it really interesting and have a great teacher.
Have you got a teacher/family member that really encouraged you to get into baking, and who is it?
My mum has always inspired me to bake and we have so much fun together. She is an amazing baker herself and has always shared her love of baking with me. She always encourages me to follow my dreams and is supportive of everything that I do.
How hard was it to keep it a secret from your friends?
Very hard! It was really difficult when I first found out that I had got on the show as I was bursting to tell them because I was so happy and I knew they would be too! It was also really tricky as I could never tell them what I had ‘actually’ done over the summer or why I was never around because I was practising my baking all of the time!
When you aren’t baking what are your other hobbies?
When I am not at home (baking or not!) I will be found in the gym! I have been doing gymnastics since I was 2! I am passionate about it and my favourite piece is the floor. I am in the National Development Squad for my club and train for 20 hours a week!
Music that you bake to?
I will often play the Pina Colada song when I am baking – it really makes me and my mum laugh! Other music that I like to bake to is Westlife and Rick Astley – I am a bit of an 80s and 90s music geek!!
If you were a cake at a children’s party what would you be and why?
I would be a rainbow cake because I think it would reflect my happy personality and I always try to be bright and positive, just like a rainbow!
Baking wise what do you feel you’ve gained the most from JBO and has it helped you in your baking?
I think it has helped me to try new things and to not be afraid of attempting to bake things that at first seem quite difficult (like entremets!) It has made me feel more comfortable at experimenting with flavours and baking techniques. Also, it has made me even more passionate about baking because I just want to keep on getting better and better at it!
Were you really excited to watch it on television, and who did you watch it with?
I could not wait!!!! It was sooooo exciting to see it on tv (apart from when I dropped my cake on the floor maybe haha!) and to re-live the experiences all over again. I watched JBO with my mum, dad, brother and sister and also other family members such as my grandmas and grandad, aunties and uncles as well as my best friends and other close family friends. It was so exciting to finally be able to share it with them all. I baked some of the things I made in the tent and shared with them all whilst we watched the show!’