Every baker has heard of rock cake – but Sheffield mum Liz Laycock has toeen it to a whole new level!
Molten lava and hatching baby dinosaurs are a world away from the regular themes of cake decoration.
But Liz’s show-stopping designs with a geological touch have scooped the mum-of-three a national prize for her creative flair.
The Sheffield Hallam University lecturer impressed judges with 10 edible artworks, including sinkhole cupcakes, the Pacific ring of fire and the Giant’s Causeway.
Liz, of Walkley, said baking was a ‘break’ from her work teaching students about the natural built environment.
She added: “I’ve always loved cooking cakes, it is something I am passionate about. My mum always had cakes on the go and it’s from her where I got the idea that you never have the oven on unless you are making at least three pounds of cake.
“I do all the birthday cakes for my kids and just thought this was a fantastic opportunity to do something with a twist.
“In the end I did all of the cakes in three days, probably for 12 hours each day.
“There were scraps of cake and icing and children everywhere.”
The Geological Society of London came up with the idea of the Great Geobakeoff on its online blog – and received more than 100 entries from across the country. Fossils, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Durdle Door limestone arch also featured, but Liz was the only person to cook all 10 suggested challenges.
She won a rock hammer USB stick for her efforts, but said it was more about the taking part. Liz said: “The Giant’s Causeway was a tough one. I tried to make it in chocolate pana cotta but it was not a success – it worked much better with biscuits.
“I tend to shop for ingredients at the Moor market, the most specialist piece of kit I use is my mum’s old Kenwood chef mixer from the 1970s! They are mostly made of Victoria sponge and jam.
“I don’t think they realised how big the competition would get.
“People have said the cakes look good, but the first thing they really ask is if they can eat it.”