For each and every episode of this year’s Great British Bake Off competition, I attempted to bake my own version of something seen in the show – either a direct recipe from the show, or a recipe that was inspired by what I’d just watched. My previous baking experience includes a loaf of bread here and there, the occasional Victoria sponge, mince pies and simple bits, plus one iced cake extravaganza.
This personal Bake Off challenge presented me with a much wider variety of things to try, and really opened my eyes to what is possible with just a few flours, sugars and butters. I’d never have believed I could make some of the things I did, and even though they didn’t all work out well, it was very encouraging.
Here’s a rundown of the things I baked over the past few weeks:
- Pineapple upside down cake
- Stilton and grape flatbreads
- Mary Berry’s treacle tart
- Chocolate & ginger torte
- Chiffon pie
- Queen of puddings
- Chelsea buns
- Chocolate marshmallow teacakes
- Chocolate eclairs
- Mary Berry’s fondant fancies
There were three bakes I was particularly proud of: treacle tart, chelsea buns and fondant fancies.
Three out of ten isn’t really a good strike rate, but the inspiration that has come with it has made the process worthwhile. I’m glad that the pressure of keeping up a weekly baking schedule has gone, but as I tweeted this past weekend – I’ve found a new shop with loads of cooking equipment and baking stuff, so I’m definitely going there again. I’ll probably go back to being a little bit less ambitious – I’m desperate to just make some chocolate chip cookies or something. More baking to come, though, there is no doubt about that.