A FIVE-YEAR-OLD girl from Swords has been named Ireland’s Best Junior Baker for her banana bread recipe.
Cait Flood from Balheary won favour with celebrity chef judge Donal Skehan who embarked on a nationwide search to find Ireland’s best banana bread recipes.
The junior infants class pupil at St Colmcille’s Girls NS mastered a mouth-watering recipe for banana bread and banana muffins during lockdown.
One of three children, Cait secured the Best Baker title in the under 10 category despite most of the entrants being almost twice her age.
Her proud parents Sean and Edel Flood were joined by her older sister and younger brother in expressing their pride and delight at her success.
Her mum Edel told how baking has been one of Cáit’s interests from an early age.
She said: “Her winning recipe was a particular favourite and one she was used to making. She made a number of improvements, white chocolate chips and some decorative touches.”
Encouraged by her mother, a home economics teacher at Loreto College in Swords, Cait has been baking since she was just three years old.
She has honed her skill watching her mam’s classes for kids on Instagram (@ace_kidskitchen) – with plenty of time for baking since March.
Edel revealed: “Like many families ours has looked to home baking as one way to relieve the stress of being locked down over recent months.
“We hope her success will lead Cáit to take an even greater interest in home baking and food preparation as she gets older, for the pleasure and enjoyment that it gives.”
RTE chef Donal Skehan praised Cáit for her “imagination and creativity” – qualities he said he was “delighted to see in someone so young”.
Reflecting on what he called “the amazing volume and quality of entries” he added: “Ireland has some exceedingly creative and talented home bakers.
“It was refreshing to see such imaginative ideas, ingredients and methods being shared, particularly amongst junior and dietary-restricted entrants.”