Hello everyone! Well, here I am back with a Monday Munchies post (albeit late – work was a ‘mare!) and as I said yesterday, I’ve decided to attempt the challenges set this year in the Great British Bake Off. Why? It’s the closest I can get to being in the tent…
If you’re not familiar with the show that is (now) a British institution (even if that other institution, the BBC, has now lost the rights to it), 10-12 amateur bakers are put through their paces each week, with three challenges set around a theme. Under the watchful eyes of professionals Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, contestants show off their baking prowess, whist trying to get to the final to win…erm… a golden whisk? (I actually don’t know what they win!)
Paul is hard to please (I can’t decide if he’s quite dishy…nice eyes, beard a little too perfect for my liking), but once you’ve impressed him, he seems to stay on your side. Mary…well, just infuse your creations with any alcohol and you’re in with a chance!
Oh and don’t forget the minefield of innuendos, thrown about by the presenters, Mel and Sue. I’m sure, back when it first aired, the mention of ‘soggy bottoms’ and ‘teasing it until it stiffens’ were quite innocent remarks but it seems this is now part of the game and if you’ve not uttered at least one during the hour, you should hang your apron up in shame.
Baking is one of my more frequented fads, especially since I began watching The Great British Bake Off. I watch in awe of their creations, these untrained Muggles, who try to out-bake one another each week with scrummy works of art. Couple it with being filmed in a tent full of vintage bunting and the comedy presenting duo of Sue and Mel, it’s an enjoyable piece of reality TV, even at the risk of being potentially fattening!
I’ll then don my spotty apron and imagine I’m just as good. I’m not… But I’m okaaay-ish with basic recipes. You see I’m lazy and again don’t have the patience to perfect things. So I like quick bakes that take little effort for tasty results. I learned the basics from my Nana as a child, so I’m not completely stabbing in the dark, but still, I’ll not be winning any prizes!
Today’s attempt was a Ginger Sponge Traybake with Dates and Choc Chips. The basic recipe came from BBC Food but I always like to adapt things, so I chucked in the dates, choc chips and some cherries. I didn’t measure them but just looked to see if it was well spaced in the mixture! Celebrity chef / judge on Bake Off, Paul Hollywood, apparently said you should measure everything in baking, nothing in cooking. I should probably take more notice of his advice!!
Anywho, the result wasn’t as bad as it could have been but not as fabulous as I wanted either. The middle didn’t cook through (I think my oven temp is out), but the edges were salvageable, so I simply cut them off! And what to do with a slightly soggier centre? Serve it warm with cream and tell the world you intended to make a pudding in the first place 🙂
Should anyone with a higher level of expertise wish to recreate it, follow this BBC link and add approx. 50g each of chopped dates, cherries and choc chips. Enjoy!