Young baking star Tamika gives Pendine Park care home residents a slice of the action

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Bake off at Gwern Alyn by Tamika Davies. who gave a cookery demonstration to residents on how to make cheesecake. Pictured is Tamika Davies, seven, with Olivia Thomas and resident Olga Ord.

Kitchen whizzkid Tamika Davies reckons she doesn’t need TV’s queen of puddings Mary Berry to help her create the perfect cheesecake because she’s stirred up the recipe for success thanks to her mum.

And the seven-year-old culinary genius, who thinks nothing of putting together a tasty batch of Welsh cakes or even a smiley faced pizza at the drop of a spatula.

She was invited along to showcase her skills to residents of Gwern Alyn and Hillbury House care homes.

Tamika, a pupil at Gwenfro Community Primary School in Wrexham, is the daughter of one of Gwern Alyn’s care practitioners, Amanda Hopson, who tells everyone about her prowess at the mixing bowl.

Gwern Alyn and Hillbury House are part of the award-winning Pendine Park care organisation which goes out of its way to find interesting new things for residents to do as part of their on-going enrichment programme.

So when the team was looking for someone to do a summer cookery demonstration at Gwern Alyn young Tamika was the perfect choice.

She spent the afternoon whipping up a trayful of individual cheesecakes oozing fresh cream and adorned with fresh strawberries while residents got a slice of the action by helping her to prepare the ingredients.

Tamika said: “I’ve been making cakes and other things since I was about two years old but I don’t watch Bake Off or any of the other cookery programmes on TV. I’ve learned to do it all by just watching my mum.

“I started off by making some Welsh cakes and then did some rainbow cakes with layers of different coloured sponge and jam in between them. I’ve even made pizzas with smiley faces on them.

“But what I like doing most is cheesecake and I’ve made the strawberry one quite a few times now, so I think it comes out alright.

“I like that one best because if you have a few strawberries over when you’ve finished making it you can just eat them as they are or make a milk shake out of them!

“I’ve been to Gwern Alyn with my mum a few times for parties and things like that, so I like coming here and I really enjoyed showing people how to make my cheesecake.”

Proud mum Amanda said: “Tamika’s been baking since she was very small. I’m baking all the times and she just watches how I do it.

“The things she makes are really tasty. She has two older brothers, Tyrone and Keegan, and a sister, Belita, who fight over whatever she bakes. The neighbours also come in to sample things.

“It was great for her to be invited along to the home and do a demonstration for the residents.

“It was something a little different for them and they all enjoyed watching her and helping with the ingredients.”

Lending Tamika a hand with chopping up the strawberries was 84-year-old Olga Ord who said: “I used to like baking at home years ago and watching her make the lovely cheesecake brought back some happy memories for me.

“We each had one of the individual cheesecakes with our tea later and they were very nice.”

Helping to stir up the cream topping for Tamika’s mouth-watering creations was 94-year-old Marian Williams.

She said: “I used to be baking all the time when I was younger, especially scones.

“It was lovely to have the little girl visiting us to make her cheesecakes and I think she’s very clever with what she does.”

Pendine’s enrichment and activities co-ordinator Olivia Thomas who arranged the cake-making session said: “The demonstration was part of the full enrichment programme we have for residents.

“We also have a pop-up pub, ice cream parlour and hair and beauty salon which all make regular appearances at our care homes including Gwern Alyn, Hillbury House, Bodlondeb, Cae Bryn, Highfield, BrynBella and Pen y Bryn in Wrexham and now our latest £7 million dementia care centre of excellence, Bryn Seiont Newydd, over in Caernarfon.

“We established the pop-ups because we realise that lots of residents aren’t able to get out to places like they used to, so to make sure they’re not missing out we bring everything to them where they can enjoy themselves in comfort and safety.

“It also stirs up lots of good memories for them.

“We’ve had cookery demonstrations before but this was the first time we’d invited Tamika along to make her cheesecakes and I think they went down a treat in more ways than one.

“In fact, the residents enjoyed having her here so much that we may well invite her back to do something similar at Christmas, perhaps making something seasonal like chocolate truffles.”

Despite how well received her cake was, Tamika said she wasn’t planning on making baking her career.

“I love animals and looking after puppies for people when they go on holiday, so I want to be a vet when I grow up,” she said.