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Bake Off to find the Dales' tastiest town

Water will be a key ingredient - Carsington Water to be exact - as Fairtrade chefs battle it out to be the pride of the Derbyshire Dales at a bake-off grand final this Saturday (7 March).

The five Fairtrade towns of Ashbourne, Bakewell, Darley Dale, Matlock and Wirksworth staged bake off heats last weekend for a tasty final in the Henmore Room at the Carsington visitor attraction from 3pm.

Winners at the Bakewell bake off heatThe Great Derbyshire Dales Fairtrade Bake Off is a fun competition with two categories - one for adults and one for young people aged 14 or under.

And, according to Derbyshire Dales Fairtrade representative Councillor Irene Ratcliffe, organisers really have found a recipe for success this year to mark Fairtrade Fortnight. She said:

"We've run with lots of brilliant ideas in recent years, some of which have gained national recognition, but introducing a fun competitive element this year really has motivated our five Fairtrade towns.

"The key message though remains the same. We want to encourage more people to buy Fairtrade products - including the ingredients needed for any baking bonanza. We all have a role to play in looking after the food we love and the people who grow it. Farmers in developing countries desperately need our support and, as a group, we urge people to buy products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark."

Use of Fairtrade ingredients will gain marks in the bake off final, as will presentation, taste and innovation. The destination of the 2015 Derbyshire Dales Baker title rests with Andy Auld, baker from The Loaf bakery, and a judge from Divine Chocolate Company. The prizes will be presented by the Chairman of the District of the Derbyshire Dales Councillor Mrs Carol Walker.

The identity of the 10 finalists is now known following Saturday's heats.

In Ashbourne the winners were mother and daughter Hannah and Amelia Bridge. Amelia, 11, won the under 14 age group with a Fairtrade banoffee pie baked with Fairtrade bananas, lemons and sugar, with clever use of Fairtrade cocoa powder to create the Fairtrade mark on the top. Mum Hannah baked a Fairtrade honey cake, spiced with Fairtrade ginger and cinnamon.

Ashbourne organiser Stuart Green said:

"We had some fantastic entries and the judges thought all the bakes were great. Our winners went the extra mile in finding recipes which showcased the wide range of Fairtrade products that are available in Ashbourne."

There were six entries at Bakewell, where Sally Gregory won the adult class and Constantine Chandler the under 14s, each receiving medals from Town Mayor Alyson Hill. Paul Morgans, Bakewell's Fairtrade organiser, said:

"All the cakes were really fabulous and tasted delicious. As everyone knows, the key to anything tasting this good is getting great quality ingredients - and Fairtrade supplies some of the best."

Darley Dale hosted a Fairtrade coffee morning followed by the competition in the afternoon, where the winners from a total of seven entries were Pauline Hall (adults class) and Rosa Kiernan (under 14s). Medals were presented by judge Judith Holt.

Maisie Brown of TansleyIn Matlock, the adult winners were Kate Boltwood and Jake Robinson of Tansley, who made a Fairtrade carrot cake, and the junior winner was Maisie Brown, also from Tansley.

Barbara Daniels of Matlock Fairtrade Town Group said:

"We had 16 amazing entries and the room was packed out with competitors and their supporters. The younger entrants were very excited about being part of the competition - and our youngest competitor was just six years old. We would like to thank both Co-op food stores in Matlock for supplying wonderful hampers of Fairtrade goodies for the winners."

Judge Colin Smith from Clove Kitchen said:

"I was really impressed with the standard of the entries. I couldn't tell which ones were from the adults and which were from the young people."

Wirksworth winners Camilla Veitch and Joe Bellingall with from Town Mayor Alison ClampTen delicious cakes were tested in Wirksworth, where 12 Fairtrade ingredients were sourced and the youngest competitor was only six years old. Adult winner Camilla Veitch, who made mouth-watering chocolate brownies, and junior winner Joe Bellingall, who made a marble cake, received their medals from Town Mayor Alison Clamp.

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