Pietermaritzburg baker Cheryl Govender may not have won the Lancewood Cake-Off, but she’s nonetheless proud of her achievement.Govender, who owns the Cake House in Prestbury, had made it to the top three in the competition out of hundreds of bakers who had to submit a photo and recipe of a cake to enter. She and two other contestants had to recreate their entries in unfamiliar kitchens with new utensils — and live on SABC’s Expresso show, broadcast from Cape Town, on Thursday. Contestants were given five hours on Wednesday afternoon to prepare their cakes, and were allowed to apply the finishing touches from 6 am to 9 am on Thursday morning on live TV. Govender, a self-taught baker, prepared a lemon cheesecake with croquembouche. She said she had sustained a cut and had tripped over during the competition — but found the whole experience rewarding. “The cake turned out beautifully. We didn’t win, but I’m very happy; making the top three is a big accomplishment. We showed we’re worthy of producing a product under pressure.”She said the contest also afforded her a valuable opportunity to network. “I made lots of contacts, and the studio manager said she’d like to have me back. Many doors will open from here, and we can use this as a platform to accelerate our business.”And what about being under lights and in front of a camera? “The first interview they had [last week] was nerve racking, but I became comfortable with everything. “I’ve never worn so much make-up in my life. We were constantly having people touch us up,” she quipped.