Brains in Fashion
Review: The Big London Bake
30th January 2019
One of the best things about the end of the summer is that The Great British Bake Off is back to bless our Tuesday evenings with delicious cakes and pastries, hilarious accidentally on-purpose innuendos and of course, the infamous tent and its envious pastel colour scheme. We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve longed for the opportunity to bake in the GBBO tent (despite how stressed the contestants look 99% of the time). After years of wanting/needing to step foot in the Bake Off tent, in came The Big London Bake, to make our dreams come true!
The Big London Bake is a baking competition that takes place under a marquee in the garden of ‘The Castle’ in Tooting. Bakers compete in pairs against 9 other couples, baking their socks off for 90 minutes until 1 couple is crowned winner! Everyone is given the same basic recipe to follow, but your flavouring, decoration and baking skills are what could give you the winning edge.
Walking into the marquee to see the workbenches, blue fridges and mixers provided a lot of excitement in itself. It’s a very surreal feeling as it feels as though you’re about to film a series of GBBO and somehow, has the ability to make you instantly forget everything you know about baking… what’s a whisk again?
Following a short introduction, we were ready to get our bake on. We visited during Battenberg Month (January and February 2019), so were given a basic Battenberg recipe to follow. Of course, you could make a traditional Battenberg… but if you are as competitive as we are, playing around with the flavours seemed like the way forward (besides, who can resist a whole shelf full of different flavourings?!).
After deciding on a cherry and almond Battenberg, a.k.a Cherry Bakewell, we made our cake (with no soggy bottoms in sight), butter icing, jam and rolled out the marzipan ready to receive our ‘not-cool-enough’ cake. With 10 minutes left to assemble and decorate, we had more important things to do than wait for the cake to cool! It was at this point that we realised we’d not thought about how we wanted to decorate, so in true Bake Off style were leaving everything to the last minute. A line of flaked almonds, a drizzle of leftover jam and some marzipan balls and twists later, we had somehow managed to put together a presentable cake!
We took our bake to the front (without slo-mo tripping) and put it amongst everyone else’s. This was the first time we’d come out of our baking bubble for long enough to assess the competition and boy, were there some good-looking Battenberg’s! Our head baker went through each cake, one-by-one, and let us know what she thought of the look, flavour and texture. Once she had tried every cake, she announced her Top 3 and we can confirm, it’s just as nerve-wracking as it seems on the GBBO!
‘In first place is… Cherry Bakewell’… oh wait, that’s us! *Happy dancing*
We’d had such a fun 90 minutes, but being crowned the winner really was the icing on the cake, or even the marzipan on the Battenberg! Somehow our warm cake, runny jam and last-minute decoration wasn’t in-fact a recipe for disaster, but more a recipe for success. Walking away with our ‘WINNER’ spoons and chocolate sauces, with our undertones of self-doubt and shock at our victory had us feeling just like Rahul!
We couldn’t recommend this experience enough, whether you’re a big Great British Bake Off fan or just have a bit of a sweet-tooth. It’s such a good laugh and even if you don’t win, you come away with a delicious bake and some fantastic one-of-a-kind memories! If you are interested in going to a Big London Bake, then today is your lucky day. We are very excited to be giving away 2 weeknight tickets to one lucky reader! Simply head to our Twitter , Facebook or Instagram to find out how you can enter.