TV baker Frances Quinn creates cake for In the Making exhibition

Great British Bake Off winner and Nottingham Trent University alumnus Frances Quinn created a show-stopping cake to celebrate 170 years of the University's School of Art and Design.

Great British Bake Off winner and Nottingham Trent University alumnus Frances Quinn created a show-stopping cake to celebrate 170 years of the University's School of Art & Design.

Frances graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2006 with a degree in Textile Design. She showed the nation how she successfully merges the creative skills she learned then with her culinary flair by winning the BBC show Great British Bake Off in 2013.

And Frances returned to Nottingham Trent University for the opening of the Since 1843: In the Making exhibition which features work from more than 100 alumni, marking 170 years of the School of Art & Design.

She brought with her a stunning chocolate button and marzipan decorated cake in the shape of the dome on the top of the Waverley building – the purposefully built home for the School of Art & Design constructed 150 years ago.

Frances said: "Originally I was going to do a tower of cakes similar to the wedding cake I produced for my final show stopper piece on the TV series. Then I looked at the top of the Waverley building and the shape of the tiles and their colours reminded me of chocolate buttons and I thought, 'that's it, that's what I'll do.""

Layers of different coloured chocolate buttons make up the rows of tiles on the roof while with biscuits used for the brickwork. Frances painstakingly placed individual chocolate shards to become the Roman numerals on the building's clock face. 

She said her studies at Nottingham Trent University are part of what has made her a star baker.

"When people ask me what I prefer, design or baking, I can't separate them. For me they are interlinked," she said. "When I'm doing pieces like this, design and baking flow together.

"My time in Nottingham was great. Paul Smith was a huge inspiration for me during my time here and meeting him when he opened the Bonington Gallery the year I graduated was fantastic. I met him again recently and I am hoping to create something for him – hopefully!"

Amanda Briggs-Goode, who was Frances's lecturer in printed textile design at the University, said: "I have eaten some of the cake. It was delicious.

"To have it made by one of our graduates was wonderful. It was the icing on the cake for the exhibition."

The exhibition, which opened on 8 January and runs until 7 February, features work by more than 100 alumni, including Turner Prize winning artist Simon Starling, Sexy Beast film director Jonathan Glazer and comic actor Paul Kaye. Other artists featured include St Pancras 'clouds' artists Lucy Orta, top rock music photographer Andy Earl, graphic artist Jon Burgerman and a screening by artist and award-winning film-maker, Jeanie Finlay.

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TV baker Frances Quinn creates cake for In the Making exhibition

Published on 20 January 2014
  • Category: Press office; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment; School of Art & Design

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