Apprentice Challenge 2021: Thanksgiving Bake Off

Published on December 8, 2021 by Alex Eade

For the final Apprentice Challenge of the year, we combined a Thanksgiving celebration with a mad dash around the kitchen to create three bakes in under 2 hours!

Our Business Development Manager, Bailey, hails from the US and she wanted to bring her traditions to us this year. She says that Thanksgiving is all about adding your own traditions to the day, so we all made a dish or drink from our home country or county and headed to the office on 25th November laden with dishes and excited to try what everybody else had made! We were not disappointed… but first, the Apprentice Challenge.

We quite quickly realized we would be baking, when Tom B turned up with a Prue Leith mask on! At Footprint Digital, whenever there is a birthday or celebration, we get a Colin the Caterpillar cake. Tom wanted each group to create their own Colin inspired bake, which we would then have to pitch to him and two guest judges after 2 hours.

The teams quickly split up – Baker’s Dozen and Scan the Team that Can headed to Tom’s friend’s house, and Steve’s girlfriend’s flat to make use of their kitchens, and Shaak to the Future stayed in the Footprint Digital office to make their bake – and then bake it at the local Bagel Café across the street (thank you to everyone who helped us – without you our bakes would’ve had very soggy bottoms!)

By the time we’d decided on a bake, been to the shops and got back to baking HQ, we all had just enough time to whip something up, stick it in the oven and create our marketing pitch! We all had to meet back in the office with our Colin creation at 12:15, ready for Tom to try them.

Shaak to the Future went first, with their spiced sausage meat and puff pastry ‘Porkapillar’ called Cregg. Cregg had boiled egg eyes, was stuffed with herbs, cumin and cranberries, and came with a homemade apple sauce and red onion chutney.

Following Cregg, was Darwin – who was presented in a very fancy box! Scan the Team who Can had created a chocolate brownie style baked butterfly with pink and white frosting (there was also meant to be a sponge cake, but the less said about that the better!)

The final bake was Christina, a sassy caterpillar cake complete with blonde wig and pink crown. Baker’s Dozen presented Christina alongside a very convincing poem about her travels – and this excellent advertising alongside her solid white chocolate face swung it for the team and they won!

Once we’d all tried each other’s bakes, we started off our Thanksgiving meal with Appetizers. These included mini prawn and crayfish cocktails from Rhys, vegan and quails scotch eggs from Alex, Portuguese chorizo and cheese from Rita, and spicy puffed star biscuits that Shaak brought back from Sri Lanka.

Main courses came out next – Tom J had made Domoda, a Gambian peanut stew from his childhood, whilst Steve brought Haggis, and Emeke made Egusi Soup & Pounded Yam. Simran served up vegan chickpea curry, and Mike made an Irish Guinness and Beef with homemade soda bread. Tom B provided the pigs in blankets, and Bailey created her traditional American style stuffing (which went brilliantly with Jo’s roast potatoes and Charlotte’s Yorkshire Puddings!) This was all washed down by Rita’s Sangria.

For dessert, Vicks had brought a Bailey’s cake, and we had Rosie’s apple crumble, Bailey’s Pumpkin Pie, Dave’s cupcakes, and Helena’s Norwegian brown cheese and biscuits. It’s safe to say, we all waddled home afterwards!