Culinary Arts students to take their healthy cake creation to national competition in Montreal
Two NAIT Culinary Arts students will represent Alberta at the national Mission ImPULSEible food development competition in June.
Mallory Bowes and Elizabeth Dowdell developed a dry cake mix made with garbanzo and fava bean flours, which they call BE Lite (BE stands for Bowes and Elizabeth). The angel food cake mix won first place at the provincial competition, held March 19 at NAIT, earning the pair a place at the national competition being held in Montreal.
“When we won it was a complete shock. We are so grateful for the experience. The competition was fun, and we learned so much,” said Dowdell. “We are very excited about going to the national competition.”
The dry cake mix developed by Bowes and Dowdell is free of gluten, wheat, nuts and dairy. It’s very easy to prepare. The user only has to combine the dry ingredients with water, mix for one minute, pour the batter into a pan and bake.
“We decided angel food cake would be a challenge and we went with it,” said Bowes. “It took us many long nights and 16 cakes before we got it right. Most of the cakes were falling due to lack of structure. But we found the perfect formula in the nick of time.”
The provincial Mission ImPULSEible student food product development competition is offered by Alberta Pulse Growers and Pulse Canada to showcase the versatility of whole pulses and pulse ingredients, including dried peas, chickpeas, beans, fava beans, and lentils. There were eight teams competing at the NAIT event. Ultimately, the ease in preparing the BE Lite cake, as well as its superior taste, won over the judges.
“BE Lite is everything angel food cake should be: fluffy, light, and delicious,” said Leanne Fischbuch, executive director of Alberta Pulse Growers. “That the cake is also easy to prepare and gluten-free because of its pulse ingredients makes BE Lite ideal both for consumers and food service professionals.”
This is the first year in Alberta’s competition history that a team from NAIT took home the first-place prize. In addition to the opportunity to go to the national competition, Bowes and Dowdell won a $1,000 cash prize.
“The level of quality entries at this year’s competition was better than we have ever seen it. The students did a fantastic job in creating innovative and flavorful products,” said Perry Michetti, associate dean at NAIT’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, as well as a judge in the provincial competition. “We are very proud of our BE Lite NAIT team and their accomplishment. They worked very hard in creating a winner. We wish them luck in Montreal.”
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