In 2013, I reviewed every episode of soggy-bottomed national institution The Great British Bake Off for the folks at Mirror Online...
The face of British baking will never be the same. No longer will we be able to just knock up a Vicky sponge cake for tea and expect applause; it’ll need to have a bespoke lighting system, an accompanying short film and a chorus of marzipan critters round the edge.
The technical challenge is a Charlotte Royale. No disrespect to Queen Mary of Berry, but it looks like something one might have taken to a swingers’ party in the ‘70s with a bottle of Blue Nun on the side. You can call it “bavorois” all you like, but we know blancmange when we see it, love.
Is the challenge of a cake that’s actually supposed to be shaped like something else too much for Frances to handle? I’m concerned she might suffer a sort of conceptual meltdown and end up serving a Mr Kipling multipack with a headless Barbie Sellotaped to the box.
Onto round three, and it’s time for the funnest pastry of all – puff! Not ‘rough puff’, mind, which is a joy to say but a slacker’s pastry in comparison to the proper stuff – two solid hours of folding butter into dough, as though one were Mrs Patmore off Downton Abbey, or an idiot who doesn’t know about supermarkets.
Howard is making his loaf out of hemp flour and yoghurt. Mmm, hemp flour and yoghurt. Did he get the recipe from a man in the back of a Brighton pub, one wonders, in exchange for a pair of vegetarian shoes and a trivet woven out of old copies of Folk ’n’ Toke Monthly?
Now, I love Doctor Who as much as the next hip urban woman, but surely the anorak’s biscuit replica of choice wouldn’t be a Dalek; it’d be a model of Matt Smith’s face, carved out of garibaldi, with raisins for eyes.
Hear that everyone? TOO MUCH WET. Next week at Berry’s School of Interchangeable Adjectives: too much squidgy in the crumbly means a bakey goes bye-byes.
They have all technically done it wrong - everyone knows that the correct way to serve trifle is on the sofa with a Quality Street chaser, wearing a paper crown, next to a sleeping Nan.
No sooner are the tins in the oven than the casualties begin. Christine’s cut a finger! Lucy’s cut three! Howard’s nearly lopped both thumbs off! Soon there’s enough gratuitous blood for us to start calling it Game of Scones.