The Great British Bake Off Bake Along – by an actual amateur baker

I have decided to do something completely mad.

I’m going to bake along with the Great British Bake Off.

That might not seem completely mad for most normal people – in fact, one quick glance at twitter tells me lots of people are already doing it, and quite successfully too (looking for too long made me want to weep – show offs). Even a friend is doing it, which is where I got the idea (she made beautiful, elegant, black forest gateaux cupcakes – I don’t want to talk about it). But here’s the problem:

I can’t bake. I don’t think I’ve ever made a whole, round cake in my life. I’ve burnt some cupcakes from a ready-made packet, and once I served up slices of something which may or may not have still contained raw egg, but that’s about as far as my baking prowess goes. And as for biscuits and bread – do people really make these, when you can just buy them from the supermarket so easily?! Don’t even get me started on pie week – I’m filled with terror at the very thought.

As I haven’t completely lost my mind, I’m going to be quite loose with this. If they make 12 artisan loaves, I’m going to start by making one simple loaf of bread. I really don’t think anyone’s going to want 12 of anything I make at this stage, and I just don’t have the money to invest in bizarre one-off ingredients I’ll never use again – I’m already struggling to think what I’m going to do with the rest of the flour and the sugar when it’s all over. I’m not sticking to any one category of bake, and if I need to simplify it, I will – especially as the competition has got tougher and tougher over the years, so making the original, basic version of a cake doesn’t seem to cut it anymore (sorry, Norman. We loved you). I’m also aiming to bake each weekend after the show, rather than baking along live as I’ve seen others suggested, because I don’t hate myself (it’s prerecorded! How are you people even doing this?!).

So join me this week for attempt number one: Madeira cake! If you ask me, cake with any kind of fruit flavouring in it belongs in your five a day, not your pudding, so we’ll see how this goes.

Full disclaimer: Unlike the rest of the female population, I do not believe the sun shines out of Paul Hollywood’s arse, so I may spend large parts of these blog posts insulting his facial hair. Sorry, world.

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