The 2015 Great British Bake Off final is just a few days away and it marks a year since I started this blog. What an incredible year it’s been and this week’s been no exception.
I’ve spent today at the Cake & Bake Show in London, one of the highlights of any keen home baker’s year. I was making the Swedish Wreaths (pictured above) from my book, B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself. These are adapted from a similar recipe I did in ‘advanced dough week’ in my year of the Bake Off and are a perfect autumn / winter bake. The combination of apple and cinnamon makes your kitchen smell amazing. If you’ve got a copy of my book (which is down to under £8 on Amazon this week), don’t be intimidated – the pictures walk you through step-by-step and it’s so worth it.
A year ago, I went along to the Cake & Bake Show like a bit of a rabbit in headlights. I think it was the week before my own final and I was a bit daunted as to what might happen next. Rosemary Shrager invited me up to join her during her demo and the idea of presenting on my own in front of hundreds of people, like I did today with Andrew Dickens (above), was so alien to me. My first blog post was all about not knowing what might happen after the Bake Off final and I could have never imagined how much has changed for me in 12 months. Writing my book has been a thrill and this afternoon, the Great British Bake Off Class of 2014 programme was on BBC1, providing a real trip down memory lane not just for me but for my 11 baking friends.
I’ve enjoyed all of this year’s Bake Off series, but as I said in my Radio Times review this week, I think this week’s semi-final was the best episode yet. I was on the edge of my seat, particularly in the chocolate soufflé technical challenge. Nadiya is still my pick to win this year – I think she’s been my favourite from the start. But Ian and Tamal are both such great contenders and really nice blokes too. I don’t think the final challenges have been revealed yet so I’m not sure what I’m going to make to watch it with yet! I’m also not sure how I’m going to fill the Wednesday night void after this week?! Actually, I’m probably going to fill it by going back to my Pilates classes, as I’ve had 10 weeks off while it clashed with Bake Off and boy am I feeling it now!
Last night, I had the honour of popping down to the Queen’s Theatre in the West End to judge the cast of Les Miserables‘ “Great British Barricake Off“. The theme was 30 years of Les Mis, as it celebrates its anniversary this Thursday. My wife Sarah is a massive Les Mis fan and I think she’s seen it eight times at the theatre, including another cracking performance from the cast last night. It’s Sarah’s birthday this weekend so we had a perfect night – tasting delicious cakes (below) on the theatre stage, awesome meal at the newly-opened Viet Food in Chinatown, and then watching the show.
After the past four weekends at different food demos I’m looking forward to a weekend off next week and I’m starting to play with a few new recipes this week too. I haven’t posted a new recipe on the blog for some time so I’ll let you know what I come up with. Enjoy the final and I’ll see you next week!