Stoneybatter student Kirsten Meehan is enjoying the ‘sweet’ taste of success having been chosen a top winner in the recent nationwide search by banana importer Fyffes to find a new mouth-watering dessert that has a banana as its key ingredient.
Responding to the invitation fronted by celebrity cook, Donal Skehan, Kirsten was amongst a large group of what the popular television presenter called ‘creative and inventive meal-makers’ who accepted his challenge to design a desert that could become a meal-topping choice on tables around Ireland and abroad.
Originally from Canada, Kirsten admits to having a sweet tooth and a passion for food and cooking from a young age, when she used to bake with her father Bruce back home in Toronto. Along with her husband, Andrew, a medicine student at UCD, Kirsten has been living in Dublin for two years and will soon be starting her Masters Degree in Digital Marketing at UCD.
In creating her prize-winning ‘vegan banana cake’, which won the ‘Best Vegan’ category, Kirsten combined a delicious fusion of banana, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon, all finished off with a topping of homemade caramel drizzle and roasted banana chips.
Devised by Fyffes to mark the annual National Banana Day held recently, the invitation to ‘design a dessert’ was in-line with a similar event which took place last year when the challenge was to capture the national lockdown-relieving popularity of home cooking by asking Ireland’s bake-at-home families to come forward with new and innovative recipes for banana bread.
Complementing what he called ‘the exceptional level of skill’ revealed by all who took part in the Competition, Donal Skehan said: “the success that Kirsten has achieved reflects the dedication and devotion she puts into her baking and the obvious enjoyment she gets from it “.
Responding to the widespread level of interest that the event has generated amongst the public, Fyffes marketing manager, Emma Hunt-Duffy said: “what’s really exciting to see is the increasing number of young people now taking part in the competition; it’s fantastic that our baking challenge appeals to the next generation of cook-at-home enthusiasts”.
Other category winners in the competition are: 11 year-old Clíodhna Mulkearns from Letterkenny (Best Junior Baker under 12 years); 15 year-old Claire Griffin from Skibbereen, West Cork (Best Junior Baker aged 13 – 17); Roisin Gallagher from Drumcondra, Dublin (Best Ingredients); Alline Isense Dalpiaz from Killorglin, Co. Kerry (Best Styling) and Brianna Turner from Ennistymon, Co. Clare (Best Gluten-Free).
“Also noticeable is the extent to which entrants are willing to experiment in finding new ingredients and taste combinations, especially when formulating recipes to suit those with particular taste preferences and those with allergies or other dietary needs,” Ms. Hunt-Duffy added.
Details of each category winner and their winning recipes can be viewed on http://www.facebook.com/FyffesIreland/
CAPTION: Kirsten Meehan and her winning creation the vegan banana cake
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