I love watching to see which of the twelve home bakers can survive the intensity of the marquee or if there will be any major meltdowns.
Contestant Tamal sums up the pressure beautifully:
"I feel like we’re a herd of gazelles that’s being picked off one-by-one by lions. Mary and Paul are the lions and they’re hungry for bakers.”
I'm regularly left laughing at Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood and Sue Perkins use of wonderful one liners, innuendos and damn right wonderful put downs.
Sue: "You want something quite rigid, but something that will taste good too"
Paul:"Keep your biscuits erect... you've got four hours to do so!"
Paul: “I think it’s over-baked.”
Mary: “It is over-baked but it isn’t bitter and it isn’t burnt.”
Paul: “It is burnt and it is bitter, thank you very much indeed.”
So at work when someone suggested that we do our very own Bake Off, I had already thrown my spoon in the mixing bowl. Well any excuse to bake and eat!
You all know that if I had a choice to cook it would have to be savoury over sweet, but I thought given that the idea is to challenge yourself I would go for sweet. Probably rather stupidly I also decided to bake two things that I haven't previously made before.
The recipes are both from BBC GoodFood, where you will find loads of recipes and great cooking tips.
Below are my efforts in making the recipes in pictures. I have purposefully not listed the cooking steps below as you will find these on the website.
Custard and White Chocolate Biscuits
140g of butter
175g of caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
85g custard powder (My favourite is Bird's)
85g white chocolate chunks
100ml sunflower oil,
175g of caster sugar
175g of self-raising flour
half tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tbsp of cocoa powder
100g chocolate chunks
175g very ripe bananas
3 medium eggs
50ml of milk
For the topping
100g of milk chocolate
100ml of soured cream
Handful of dried banana chips
The highlight of the two definitely had to be the chocolate and banana cake, which with the sour cream icing made for the perfect sweet and savoury balance.
Do you watch the Bake Off? Who do you want to win? If you had to cook your signature dish what would it be?
*For those of you not based in the UK, The British Bake Off is a TV programme where amateur bakers compete to be crowned best baker.