Baking is a skill more and more people picked up during lockdown, but few have taken the hobby to the award-winning level that Sophie Greig has.
The north-east food blogger has now been crowned Scotland’s finest home baker.
Miss Greig, of Ellon, came top of the class in a Great British Bake Off-inspired national competition held by the Scottish Cafe and Restaurant group.
The family business, which is located at the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, went on a nationwide search for the most talented home cooks of all ages earlier this year.
Amateur bakers across the country were encouraged to slip on their aprons and show off their mouthwatering culinary creations for a chance to be featured on the restaurant’s afternoon tea menu.
Miss Greig was chosen as this year’s “Contini Bake Off” champion, having impressed the judges with her classic caramel apple Paris Brest recipe.
While baking has been a new-born passion for many during the months of lockdown this year, the 21-year-old has been a “food obsessed amateur cook and baker” from a very early age.
Speaking to the Press and Journal, Miss Greig said she was “thrilled and shocked” to have won the competition.
She said: “I was very surprised to have actually won, but it’s so lovely to be recognised this way.
“I’ve been baking since I was very little, as I spent a lot of time cooking with my family just for fun.
“I love making all sorts of pastry and I have a lot of cook books, which are my favourite thing to flick through.
“But the best thing of all is when you share your food with somebody and you see how much they enjoy it.”
She shares her recipes, reviews and food inspiration on her Instagram channel, ‘“Sophie’s Slice“, which has more than 1,300 followers.
The chemical engineering student launched the page during lockdown, when she dedicated most of her days to experimenting with new recipes and mastering the craft of baking to perfection.
Her “delicious and eye-catching” caramel apple Paris Brest, which is her family’s favourite, can now also be found as the latest addition to the Scottish Cafe’s signature afternoon menu.
Head “Contini Bake Off” judge and Scottish Cafe owner, Carina Contini, said Miss Greig “dazzled” them with her talent.
Ms Contini was joined by the venue’s specialist pastry chefs to select the overall star baker for their technical ability, creative flair, originality and use of local ingredients.
“We’re absolutely delighted that Sophie has become the winner of this year’s Contini Bake Off competition”, Ms Contini added.
“With the home baking trend continuing to grip the nation, we wanted to encourage talented amateur cooks of all ages to put their culinary skills in the limelight.
“Sophie really did rise to the challenge and dazzled us with her creative flair.”