Talented Jake Gourlay proved he had the right recipe for success when he scooped top prize in his school’s annual Bake Off competition.

Jake, 13, demonstrated his master chef skills to win Beaconhurst School’s Cook Club Contest with a delicious meal of home-made pasta and bruschetta.

He was named `Beaconhurst Chef of the Year 2016’ with his nine-year-old sister Zoe taking the runner-up spot and Charlotte Stirling, 11, in third place.

Jake and Zoe, who live in Dunblane, are keen cooks and spent several busy weekends perfecting their recipes at home before the contest.

Jake said: "We took turns in the kitchen to practice our dishes and we gave each other pointers afterwards.

“There was a bit of friendly rivalry but we were really helping and encouraging each other and I was so proud of Zoe when she came second especially as this was her first year in Cook Club.

“I was hoping to beat her though so this was the best possible result.”

Last year, Jake was runner-up in the competition which is organised by Beaconhurst’s catering manager Marie Brunton and open to members of the weekly after-school Cook Club she runs.

He has also reached the final on previous occasions and this was his last chance to win as he is now too old to be a member of Cook Club.

He said: "“I felt really happy to win because this was the last time I could ever do it so I was proud of myself and I’ve really enjoyed the classes.

“I’m going to keep on cooking as I find it great fun and I’ve learned a lot.”

The Bake Off competition put pupils’ cooking skills to the test as they were observed over a two-week period before six youngsters were chosen for the semi-final and asked to bake and decorate a Banoffi pie or a lemon tart.

The top three bakers – Jake, Zoe and Charlotte – were chosen to go through to the final where they were challenged to cook a two-course meal of their choice in two hours.

Jake made a bruschetta with home-made red pesto followed by Gnocchi, which he made himself using ricotta instead of potato, along with a four-cheese sauce.

Zoe cooked chicken nuggets, potato wedges and salad with a tasty dressing and a strawberry and marshmallow mousse.

Meanwhile, Charlotte, of Bridge of Allan, made a pea and mint soup followed by home-made linguini with meatballs.

The competition was judged by Beaconhurst’s head chef Andy McDougall who studied the technique, cleanliness and presentation of competitors before tasting the finished products.

He said: “All three finalists did a fantastic job and I’m very proud of them.

“Jake just had the edge with his home-made Gnocchi and sauce which tasted amazing and his delicious Bruschetta.

“I was also impressed with his whole approach to organising and making the meal and how well he tidied everything up afterwards.”

Jake and Zoe’s parents Helen and Gez Gourlay, who run the Toy Hub in Dunblane, are very proud of their children who’ve been rewarded with pet hamsters named Cookie and Crunchie for their efforts.

Helen said: “This was Jake’s final year in the Club so it was fantastic that he won and we were so chuffed for him.

“He’s really enjoyed the whole experience and learning to cook properly is a fantastic life skill.

“He practised a lot at home before the final and experimented for quite a while with different sauces before he perfected the cheese one which was lovely.

“Zoe also worked hard and has been enjoying Cook Club where they’ve been doing a good mix of savoury and sweet dishes and have learned a lot of different skills.

“It’s great that they get involved in cooking at home and make some lovely dishes for us. We’re extremely proud of both of them.”