Possibly the grossest cake in the world has been pulling in the votes in the increasingly popular Cake-Off organized by staff and students at The University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus.
The competition has raised a record £800 for Vets in the Community, a Nottingham Vet School project which offers free pet care to homeless people in the city.
The winning entry in the Science Meets Cake category was a confection made by vet students called ‘Spay that Bitch’ – a realistic interpretation in sponge and icing of a nasty canine infection of the uterus called Pyometra. The cake was deemed ‘the best decorated cake of the day but too gross to eat!’ by the judges.
Other winning cakes included a sugar-paste scene illustrating the provenance of a chicken dinner in the Farm to Fork category; a hot dog cake with a chocolate dachshund as the sausage in the Vets in the Community category; and a beautifully crafted Arboretum Tree Walk with chocolate trees and caramel crumb footpath in the Responsible Consumption and Production category.
Leader of the team that made the ‘Spay that Bitch’ winning entry, vet student Anna Burrows, said: “Our cake was really fun to make and we wanted to get it as realistic as possible. We used a veterinary photograph of Pyometra as our inspiration, stuck our sponge shapes together with buttercream and covered it in fondant icing laced with red and blue food colouring to get the purply brown colour of the organ. We used lemon curd for the pus and to put a shine on the whole display, with coke flavoured laces for the veins!”
Anna added: “Our cake may look gross but we hope it will drive home a more serious message about Pyometra which is an extremely painful and life-threatening condition in a bitch dog. We see many cases in veterinary practice but the good news is it can be completely avoided by owners getting their dogs spayed.”
Vet School staff member and co-organiser of the Sutton Bonington Cake Off, Dr Wendela Wapenaar, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s Cake Off which was the best ever. We were delighted that, thanks to our online voting system, more than 500 people from all over the world were able to vote on the entries, bringing the event and its important scientific messages to a much wider audience. Who would have thought baking could be used to spread our science and medicine in such a way? Roll on next year’s Cake Off which could be even bigger!”
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…