I’m a huge fan of The Great British Bake Off. However, at time of writing I’ve watched precisely one episode of the series that just ended; but that’s ok, because like the Cylons I have a plan. (I am not a Cylon.)
This year I’ve been finishing off my Open University degree, you see. Arguably I’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years, as I used credit from my first attempt at university as part of this one (don’t ask). So as a reward for taking my last exam on this very long and bloody-minded journey I gave myself a list of things that I can do with the time I get back through (i) not having to revise, (ii) not having to go to tutorials and (iii) not having to actually do work on my notes, assessments, and course materials. This list is longwinded and constantly changing, but one of the things on it is “have a go at the GBBO technical challenges from this series”. (Another is “make a short film for next year’s LIFF” which I might work on a bit more before blogging about.)
Thanks to Wikipedia I have a list of the technical challenges from this series, and although I’ve been spoiled as to who the winner is it has been such a long time since I saw the first episode that I’ve no idea who anybody is anymore. Anyway, the point is that I can find out what the challenge is, do a quick bit of research, and then have a go at it myself. I’ll probably watch the programme to see if there’s anything blindingly obvious that I’d miss (like “what they actually mean when they say teacake, because that could be one of many different things”), and maybe this could be cheating because I’ll find out what pitfalls people make, but, yanno, I’m doing this for fun, not to make myself angry.
The list, then, alongside notes made before watching the relevant programme:
- Rum Babas (the only one I’ve seen so far; interesting idea, might need to improvise some different moulds)
- Eight-strand plaited loaf (I own the Paul Hollywood book this recipe comes from, so that’s ok)
- Treacle Tart (total win! I love treacle tart and havn’t made one in years)
- Crème Caramel (Oooooooh. This could be tricky. I quite like making flan, but it’s problematic)
- Hand raised Pies (am veggie so will use different filling, but should be no problem – I’ve made plenty of hot watercrust over the years)
- Queen of puddings (never made one! looking forwards to this)
- Jam doughnuts (never made these either, but I’ve been wanting to experiment for ages)
- 6 tempered chocolate teacakes (meh, biscuits and marshmallow. Tempered chocolate is pretty straightforwards if you’re patient and don’t overheat the choc)
- Fraisier cakes (I have no clue what these are. None. Imagine they’re something from Seattle with a faux-English accent)
- Fondant fancies (what, really? oh, how dull. technically a serious faff, too – fondant is a real pain in the bum to work with)
So there you have it. I’ll have a go at the challenge and blog about the results when done.