Malya top young baker

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A passion for baking has earned Malya Hooper the title of Trainee of the Year.
The 22-year-old, who works at Cafe Time in Tinwald, produced a top notch three-tier double chocolate drizzle cake, batch of sweet and savoury brioche rolls and 15 stand out profiteroles in the final bake off to lift the title.
Malya entered the Baking Industry Association of New Zealand competition with hopes of doing well, but did not expect to win.
‘‘I was totally surprised, overwhelmed and really happy.
‘‘I was feeling the heat and nervous in the lead up to the final, but I got in the ‘zone’ and just got things done,’’ she said.
Malya and hundreds of other apprentice bakers submitted sour dough bread, two identical neenish tarts and two identical muffins to enter the competition initially.
She and five other finalists then spent two days in Christchurch working with top bakers to prepare and practise for the final.
With the clock ticking, finalists had two hours of prep time and then three hours to complete their mouth watering offerings.
Malya said she was passionate about baking, worked hard and was organised in the kitchen.
Her earliest baking memories included making lolly cake with her mum.
After leaving school she completed a sixmonth bakery course at Aoraki Polytechnic and was now nearing the end of a three year apprenticeship, which she would likely complete six months early.
As well as her Apprentice Baker of the Year title and trophy, Malya received a $3000 voucher towards a Richmond baking course, an expensive knife set and prize pack from Chelsea Sugar. Malya Hooper hopes one day to travel the world to expand her baking skills further.