Have you ever watched The Great British Bake Off and thought “Yeah, I could do that” The Big London Bake offers the opportunity to put yourself to the test, without humilation on national TV.
Up to ten teams of two compete to make the best bake (which changes monthly). I took my friend Alison, a great baker I still dream about the pumpkin samosas she made for a party 10 years ago.
Me on the other hand
Our Paul Hollywood for the evening was the lovely Chris, supportive, gave a delightful giggle when I told him what this blog was called. This was the man Alison and I needed to impress.
What does impress is this large tent behind the cavernous The Castle Pub on Tooting High Street. It looks the part, they have fancy Kenwood mixers and there are people to clean up after you. The dream baking environment.
Our task was to make summer inspired marshmallow cones. On paper a simple technical challenge with detailed instructions. What could possibly go wrong? The ovens are on, the materials are provided. Let’s do this!
We started with a simple task of mixing the cone batter, adding colour and flavourings (we went for a tropical theme of reds, yellows, oranges and ginger flavouring) before creating a cone to bake using the silicone stencil. This was a new challenge for us both but Alison smashed it. I only burnt 1 cone which is achievement because I don’t understand what happened.
You also have to make your own marshmallow. I didn’t even know you made marshmallows. I thought it grew somewhere, like asbestos. In the big Kenwood Mixer. For 15 minutes
It was a tough task, the silicone spatula melted for at least two groups and after what felt like half an hour we were informed, mid-piping, that we had 1 minute left. OMG!
Then came presentation, only one group (Not us, Thank Mary Berry!) failed to pipe their marshmallow centre and whilst we didn’t we (we were beaten by the attractive looking ones who had more piping time) and I am pleased with our pineapple flavoured marshmallow tropical inspired cones
Of all the experiences in London right now this by far is the most value for money, certainly one of the most interesting. There might be debate about the chosen bake, this is not something I would eat, make or even consider in my repertoire but as the team create recipes there is a real consideration to create something interesting. If you just want to competitively bake a Victoria Sponge or some Shortbread this probably isn’t for you but I am very keen to see what future months bring. The time went quickly, it is just a lovely way to spend an evening. I am not going to be auditioning for Bake Off anytime soon. Not unless Alison can help me but this is definitely a better and more welcoming option anyway.
Thanks to the lovely Joanne Mortlake at Love London Pop Ups https://lovepopupslondon.com/ for arranging my ticket.
Tickets from £35 https://www.thebiglondonbake.com/