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King's cardiac researcher Syabira Yusoff wins GBBO final

Syabira Yusoff, a cardiovascular research associate from the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, has been crowned the winner of The Great British Bake Off 2022.

Syabira wins

She dazzled judges in the final with a multi-mini cake, pie and finger sandwich bake, and an orangutan showstopper. "This is the biggest achievement of my life," she said shortly after she was crowned. 

Over the past nine weeks, Syabira has showcased her inventive flavours, sunny personality, and unique designs. She is the only contestant to win Star Baker four times and brought her scientific background into her baking. In the semi-final, Syabira drew on her science background to construct a towering DNA-inspired structure which would make Rosalind Franklin, who joined King's in 1950 and took Photo 51, proud.

She said: “In the beginning I was happy just to be on the show, but I’ve improved so much and learned so much as a baker. The survival instinct kicked in and I pushed myself harder.”

Syabira is a relative newcomer to baking. Two years ago, she watched an episode of The Great British Bake Off and decided to apply. That year, she broadened her repertoire to include bread and pies, as well as perfecting her unusual flavour combinations.

She said: “I found out I was going to be on Bake Off in the lab, so even though I was thrilled I couldn’t scream. It was so surreal. My colleagues weren’t surprised when they found out I was on Bake Off. They said they knew I could make it. They’re my guinea pigs, and I always bringing in cakes and biscuits with random flavours for them.”

 

I’ve been recognised on the street and in the department. Everyone is very positive, supportive, and kind. I couldn't ask for more!”– Syabira Yusoff

Syabira has provided an exclusive recipe for red velvet sandwich cookies. To celebrate her win, Syabira’s special bake will be available on campus in King’s Food cafés and canteens, from 21st November.

Red velvet sandwich cookie

Shortbread cookies (makes 25-30 cookies)

150 g castor sugar

275 g unsalted butter (room temperature)

250 g plain flour

50 g cocoa powder

150 g corn flour

Half tsp red food colouring

  1. Using a spatula or spoon, combine sugar and butter in a bowl until the mix is creamy.
  2. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  3. Chill the dough while making the ganache.
  4. Lightly dust the surface and roll the dough to 0.5 thickness. Use a round cutter of 5cm diameter cut out circles.
  5. Arrange cookies on a tray covered in baking paper.
  6. Bake in the oven at 165 C for 10 minutes or until light golden brown at the bottom.
  7. Leave aside to cool before piping the ganache on top.
  8. Bake leftover cookie dough and crush to be used as decoration.

Cream cheese frosting

200 g white chocolate

30 g buttermilk

140 g cream cheese

40 g icing sugar

  1. Over a bain-marie, or a saucepan with boiling water, melt the chocolate and then add the buttermilk.
  2. Stir the mixture until combined.
  3. Add the cream cheese and icing sugar, whisking until well combined and creamy.
  4. Cover the bowl with cling film.
  5. Keep in the fridge to thicken as it cools.
  6. Once cool, transfer the frosting to a piping bag.

Assemble sandwich cookies:

  1. Pipe 1tsp ganache on a cookie, then sandwich with another shortbread.
  2. Decorate with melted white chocolate using a bain-marie or microwave and drizzle on top. Sprinkle crushed cookie crumbs on top.
  3. Ready to serve!