The winner of the The Great South African Bake Off second season has been crowned!
The 19-year-oldrestaurant manager from Cape Town, Cait McWilliams whisked and piped her way to star baker with an extravagant Easter boiled fruit cake for tonight’s very last Showstopper Challenge. Also competing in the final was industrial psychologist Nasreen Chamda and Carol Ndovela, a Promo Producer.
On being crowned South Africa’s best amateur baker, Cait commented, “It still hasn’t sunk in. I entered the competition to try and learn as many new baking skills as possible to help me on my way to becoming a successful professional pastry chef. So to actually be crowned the winner is just unbelievable to me. I feel honoured and humbled to be crowned South Africa’s best amateur baker, especially if I look at my fellow competitors all of whom are brilliant, passionate and talented.”
Cait says she will continue to bake now the series is over and will take the skills that she has learned with her into her studies and training to become a pastry chef, “I was nervous entering the competition as the youngest contestant. I thought that my passion and love for baking might not be enough compared to the experience that many others brought with them. Taking part in The Great South African Bake Off and being crowned the ultimate star baker has given me so much confidence and affirmed my love for baking and now I am just so excited to get started on my dream career as a pastry chef.”
Judge Shirley Guy commented on Cait’s win, “Cait has performed consistently well throughout this year’s competition. Her bakes have been creative and she has always managed to keep calm in the Bake Off tent. Thanks to her great array of baking skills and an exceptional palate for flavour combinations, she came out triumphant.”
Fellow judge Tjaart Walraven agrees, “Congratulations Cait, a deserved winner! Cait consistently showed us that the more creative you get each week when it comes to baking, the better. Cait folded great flavours into her baking and always kept her cool proving that she really was this year’s star baker in the final week. I wish her all the best and know she will go very far.”
Kully Kaur-Bains, Head of Programming South Africa, BBC Worldwide commented, “It is fantastic to see such a young baker come out on top in this series. Bake Off now has local versions in 23 countries and nicely demonstrates how popular baking is amongst younger and older generations globally. We are, however, really proud to have one of the youngest ever winners right here in South Africa. Congratulations Cait, what an achievement.”
Throughout the series, The Great South African Bake Off helped BBC Lifestyle to become the number one channel in its competitor set on DStv’s platform. It attracted on average, 100,000 viewers each week.
The Love Productions format is produced by Rapid Blue and is locally sponsored by Mugg and Bean.
Profile on Cait McWilliams
Hometown: Cape Town
Occupation: Restaurant Manager
When/how did you get into baking?
I grew up around baking. My gran and mum are both avid bakers, and eventually I figured out that it was my passion and definitely something I should pursue.
What’s your signature dish?
Anything to do with chocolate and salted caramel.
What type of cook are you?
I am a focused cook that enjoys classic flavours.
What’s your most memorable cooking disaster?
It wasn’t so much a cooking disaster as a serving disaster. My mum and I were moving a tart to a plate and ended up dropping it upside down on the floor. We collapsed laughing and still giggle about it to this day.
What sets you apart from the other bakers?
Probably my love of bringing together exciting flavours and classical techniques
How would other people describe you?
Driven but maybe a little too calm.
What are you most nervous about in the competition?
The technical – I hate not knowing!
If you could describe yourself as a type of cake, what would it be and why?
It would have to be a dark chocolate cake with salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream and raspberries. Because I adore chocolate, can be light and sweet, but can have some surprises too.
If you could bake a cake for anyone, who would it be for and why?
Darren Purchese – I cannot get enough of his work and would love to hear his feedback.
What slogan would you have emblazoned on your apron?
Never lose your temper.