Last week, five mixed teams competed for the coveted title of the Inter-House Cookery Champion. The inaugural competition was held as part of a series of events to celebrate 50 years of Co-Education at Dean Close School. The teams tentatively entered the Cookery School to find the necessary ingredients for two complex dishes; a custard slice and the classic, Swiss roll. Pupils were given a recipe to follow for the deliciously tricky custard slice, the Swiss roll on the other hand was to be attempted with no recipe at all! The ten pupils taking part were paired with pupils from different houses and year groups and had varying levels of baking experience, some having never baked at all.

The Great British Bake-Off style evening was hosted by pupil presenters, Lewis Heywood and Felix Nelson. The presenting duo kept the evening flowing with plenty of comedy and offered a helping hand to teams in need. Most of the teams opted for the custard slice first, thankful for the safety net of the recipe provided. However, some attempted the risky Swiss roll, all failing on their first attempt. With the teams set up with new ingredients, they were on their way again. However, one team clearly felt that one practice attempt was not enough and botched the Swiss roll for a second time. Sophie Brown and Matt Smith managed to pull through on their third attempt, though undercooked and somewhat raw, their Swiss roll required some DIY, as they tended to their desert with a blowtorch! The custard slices seemed to go according to plan with thanks to a 25 step recipe allowing little room for failure. Unfortunately, this proved too little for one team who struggled to tell the difference between self-raising flour and caster sugar.

As the final ten minutes dawned upon the teams, tensions were high as they scrambled to make their dishes look as close to the picture on their recipe sheets as possible. Washing up was heavily neglected and the finished dishes made their way up to the judges table. Dean Close’s very own Paul Hollywood, Deputy Head Mr Hall, impressively consumed over five custard slices! Finally, the winners were crowned and Phoebe Wharton (Fawley) and Matthew Chan (Gate) were the first winners of the Inter-House Cookery Trophy.