LA CROSSE, Wis. - Jennifer Barney, of Meringue Bakery in Stoddard, Wisconsin won, the coveted title of Food Network's Holiday Baking Champion Monday night.
Barney is a classically trained baker and pastry chef who graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. She started her career 10 years ago and opened Meringue Bakery in 2014.
More than 12,000 people applied to compete in the Food Network's Holiday Baking Championship, but ultimately eight people were chosen. According to a release, Barney was contacted directly by the Food Network and didn't have to apply. though, she said the casting process itself was very rigorous.
During the last challenge, winning her the title, she created her all-time favorite cake recipe, a gingerbread cake with eggnog buttercream decorated to represent "six geese a laying" from the popular Christmas tune.
“Even though I had spent most of the competition under the radar, I felt confident going into the finale — not because I considered myself the best but because I was pretty sure the final challenge would be to create a showpiece cake, and that’s what I do for brides all year long,” Barney said.
As the winner of the show, Barney won the $50,000 prize and recognition as one of the best pastry chefs in the United States.
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