The Great British Blogging Bake Off (& Me)
Written by Jaillan Yehia
I’m typing this post a bit more slowly than usual as I’m juggling an enormous slice of cake while I write; it has a chunk of thatched roof and half a door on it which makes it cumbersome to eat, but it’s still really tasty.
That may sound a bit odd but the cake was decorated to look like a house – and I made it with my own fair hands today which is why I’m so keen to eat it while it’s fresh and tasty.
This was all part of a baking competition for bloggers that I took part in – and probably the closest I’ll ever get to the Great British Bake Off…
The reason behind the cake baking themed competition was that sponsor London and Country Mortgages, are trying to show the Great British Public that mortgages can be a ‘piece of cake’ (they’ve got an ad campaign with some mouth watering cakes at the moment) so they decided to invite myself and a host of other bloggers to make the best house-shaped cake we could within a single morning in a British bloggers bake-off.
As a proper Bake Off fan (I even managed to watch it when I lived in Canada) I couldn’t say no to this, and the fact that there was a competitive element piqued my interest. And there was, you know, free cake.
This ‘Piece of Cake’ blogger competition is actually the second time I’ve been to The Cookery School at Little Portland Street, which is tucked away a stone’s throw from London’s Oxford Circus; I spent another memorable few hours there making German Christkindl cookies one year, so I knew I was in for a real treat.
A couple of things surprised me about the day – firstly that it really is stressful and a LOT harder than it looks on Bake Off to conceive and execute a brand new cake from scratch under pressure.
Just like on Bake Off I found the hardest part being the time factor, as well as stressing about finding ingredients which were scattered around and being used by other teams.
We worked in pairs, and thankfully I was matched up with lovely Jessa from Girls, wait no, it was mummy blogger Jenny from Midwife and Life, and she knew how to work with royal icing so I let her deal with that side of things.
I knew only too well from watching Bake Off (and in any competitive cookery situation for that matter) working with unfamiliar items is what will get you. My fiance can attest to this having been knocked out of Chopped Canada.
So I concentrated on making a realistic outdoor log fire out of Cadbury chocolate fingers because that’s an ingredient I’m very familiar with – and I kept eating the broken ones to maintain the crucial tidy workspace. Living with a chef has taught me some valuable lessons.
This is the final result from our team – it’s meant to be a woodsy thatched log cabin which actually spells out the sponsor’s initials – L and C – if looked at from above. We did that in a shameless bid to win, I have to admit. But it didn’t work!
What did work out was the baking part – the Victoria Sponge we made is actually just right, not too heavy but still quite moist, and I’m really proud of myself, and I’ll be even more proud when I’ve worked the cake off at the gym: shouldn’t take long.
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