And The Cook Like Celebrity 2015 Champion is.......

#CookLikeCelebrity was a series of first.  First time in a cooking context. First time on a cruise-ship. First time, I baked brownies. So what happened?.....

Let me introduce the other two contestants: at the top, next to Executive Chef, Paul Carroll is Urvashi Roe of Botanical Baker: Urvarshi bakes splendidly,  she is a former contestant on Great British Bake Off. Her addition of botanical ingredients make her pictures instantaneously recognisable.

Andrea Soranidis as in The Petite Cook is a relative new-comer to the food-blogging scene. Something you wouldn't know by looking at her blog. It's neat, sleek and professional. Andrea is a natural.

Behind the scenes:
As I left home for Southampton cruise terminal, where the contest was going to take place, there was no doubt in my mind that Urvashi was going to win.

Though, we were about to compete against each other, the three of us were getting on well from the very first photo-shoot. Before being taken to the galley where the competition was to take place, we were given an VIP tour of the Celebrity Eclipse 

Behind the scenes: I soon realise why going on board a cruise ship was a first for me. I am not sure that my itchy feet and backpack are made to cruise but at least now, I'd love to give it a go.

Too soon, we gathered in a lounge where we were told which signature recipe we were to recreate: 3 Chocolate Brownies. Judging by the large smiles on either side of me, I was the only one who had never baked a brownie.

Behind the scenes: I never had the opportunity to make a batch of brownies but I learnt a valuable lesson on the day: confidence is part of the winning process.  
And, I had a special weapon up my sleeve, my mate Michelle as in Greedy Gourmet. Michelle once described brownies which she makes to perfection in these terms : "moist, soft and squidgy on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside." If the brownie is too dry, it's a cake, if it's too squidgy, it's a mess. Cooking time is essential.

Behind the scenes: There was a funny moment, in my panic, I forgot to integrate the flour and it's only on my way to the oven with the tray that I noticed the consistency. This could not be correct. A quick glance at Chef, a double take to the work-station and yes the flour was still there.

Have you ever wondered how these contests work? Candidates are given a recipe-sheet with the instructions, most of the ingredients are ready to use, weighed and lined up on the work-top. In our case, we were also offered a tray of decorations for the finishing touch.

And then it was time for the judges to decide which was the best. Not before we described why we had chosen to present the brownies in such a way. That took me slightly aback but if I am not the best baker in the world, I surely have ways with words. I only had to look at my effort and "deconstructed" sprung to mind which was as well as the brief was for Deconstructed 3 Chocolate Brownies.

I am very proud to say that I won the contest. It only sank in on the train back home. I am "Cook Like Celebrity" 2015 champion and this was my brownie

if you fancy trying the recipe at home, here it is:

Deconstructed 3 Chocolate Brownies 

#‎CookLikeCelebrity was organised in partnership with Great British Chefs and Celebrity Cruises. It took place in the galleys onboard the Celebrity Eclipse

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