Sunday 12 August 2012

The Great British Bake Off is BACK!

The Great British Bake Off
It's back... The series that revived baking in Britain returns to our TV screens on Tuesday 14th August at 8pm for the next 16 weeks. Set your Sky+, V+ or even the bloody video recorder this very instant!

Mary was my childhood inspiration. Ultimate Cakes has been the one constant on my baking bookshelf, so I was thrilled when the first series of the Great British Bake Off was announced. Every year I have seen the following grow along with the Nation's passion for home baked goods. My favourite thing about this show is that the contestants are real people. They bake at home for their friends and family. They have disasters, fits of nerves and hair-brained ideas just like we do. By the end of the series they are seen as baking gods. It just goes to show what is achievable with a bit of confidence in your own ability. This show is not about achieving perfection every time. It's about passion and sharing.

Then of course there are the wonderful books which accompany the series. That beautiful apple scone round from  the Great British Book of Baking... Next came The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake and that amazing Sticky Maple Apple Traybake (a huge hit at work). Then there were the books from those brave folk who entered the contest. Edd Kimber, Ruth Clemens, Jo Wheatley and Miranda Gore Browne have all brought out lovely books which sit on my shelves.
The Great British Book of BakingThe Great British Bake OffBiscuit by Miranda Gore Browne
The Busy Girl's Guide to Cake Decorating by Ruth ClemensA Passion for Baking by Jo WheatleySay it with Cake by Edd Kimber

This year, the BBC have brought out a new book inspired by the show-stopper challenge called 'The Great British Bake Off: How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers'. BBC Books kindly sent me a copy of this book to have a look through before the programme started. Everyone loves to be asked 'did you make that?!' and this book talks you through some simple yet effective tips to achieve the seemingly unachievable. The book has over 100 recipes in all disciplines of baking, including cakes, biscuits, pies, breads, tarts, desserts and puddings. It also includes the technical challenges if you fancy having a bash at home. Don't let the word 'showstopper' put you off either. Every level of baker is catered for here, each with its own variation on the showstopper theme. In each section there are bakes covering beginners, a little more time and a little more skill.
The Great British Bake Off: How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers
The Great British Bake Off: How to Turn Everyday Bakes into ShowstoppersThe Great British Bake Off: How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers
As my friend Michelle puts it, this book is all about the 'titivation'. It teaches you how to make every bake that much prettier, including decorating cupcakes, tricks with layer cakes, icing biscuits and piping meringues. The book guides you through techniques such as marbling and feathering, so that you are able to concoct your own creations using your new found skills. I can't wait to get cracking with this book! I think the Cinnamon Apple Doughnuts might be first on the list...

There is also a Great British Bake Off App being launched this year. It's available from the Apple App Store for just £2.99. The App includes a recipe search, 'touch free' technology which allows you to skip through recipe steps without touching your phone, a shopping list, favourites and even a link to Facebook and Twitter so you can share what you're up to. Click here to download.
The Great British Bake Off App
The first episode sees the bakers attempt Rum Babas, a signature upside down cake and a showstopper with a concealed surprise on the inside. Good luck folks! We're all behind you!

Book Details:
The Great British Bake Off: How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers by Linda Collister with Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.
Publisher: BBC Books, 2012
Paperback, RRP £20

Please leave your comments below! x


  1. Yay I can't wait for next week!! Unfortunately my tv has died so might have to be a day behind everyone else with iplayer unless I can get it fixed.

    1. Oh no! What terrible timing! Give it the evils... see if that helps...

  2. Hooray, now this is something to look forward to. No TV, so like Ros, I get to watch it on Wednesdays, which is fine except everyone keeps talking about it on Twitter!

    I heard Mary Berry on Desert Island Discs the other day and she was lovely. Your book count is a bit higher than mine, I only have two of them - so far!

    1. I am cookbook obsessed! May need a bigger house...

    2. I'll have to avoid all social media, the news and blogs from tuesday evening until wednesday when I can watch it on iplayer! TV still not working :(

  3. I'm so excited about the new series! Sadly I'm working tonight until ten, thank god for SkyPlus! The first thing I'll be doing when I get home is settling down on the sofa to watch :-)

  4. I live week to week for this programme :P <3


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