A BOUNCER turned baker has triumphed in one of the world’s top cake shows.

Ten years ago Charmaine Northcote was working the doors of the best known nightclubs in the country, putting in shifts at London’s Ministry of Sound, Oceana in Bristol and the Brunel Rooms in Swindon.

But the talented baker swapped her bouncer’s coat for a chef’s apron. It proved a wise decision. This month, her five-tier wedding cake wowed judges at the Cake International show.

The 41-year-old Park South mum came away from the Birmingham NEC event with a bronze medal.

“I almost started crying, because I’d convinced myself I wasn’t going to get anything,” she said. “I never think I’m quite good enough. Just managing to get onto the judging black cloth is an achievement in itself.

“The thing I’m proudest of is getting over the anxiety and getting my cake there. There were a few times when I thought: ‘I can’t do this.'”

At one point, Charmaine thought she might not be able to make the three-day competition. A week before the event, four-year-old daughter Willow took a tumble and had to be rushed to hospital. Charmaine spent a nervous day at GWH: “The competition went out of my head. Willow was all that mattered.”

The cake took weeks of work to perfect: “I was up until three o’clock in the morning the night before the exhibition just trying to get some little bits done.”

Charmaine said the intricate ruffles on the bottom tier of her cake alone took three days alone to decorate. Lace had to be ordered from the United States and beautiful flower paste decorations took hours of delicate work.

The finished product was created from Styrofoam, flower paste and lace. A real cake would have melted under the hot exhibition lights.

Anyone wanting a tasty version for their own wedding day could expect to pay hundreds of pounds. And Charmaine is hardly short of customers. She already has cake orders for 2020.

It’s an impressive feat for the former bouncer, who began baking at school and now makes her cakes in a garden studio.

She baked her own wedding cake and found herself with cake requests from friends and family: “It got to the point where I was doing security and trying to do the cake business. I was coming home from a 12 hour shift, starting on the cakes, getting a couple of hours sleep and then doing it all again.”

Charmaine’s cake business is Bake Me Elegant. For more, visit: www.bakemeelegant.com.