Late one night drinking red wine spritzers in front of my computer trying to find something interesting to watch on Netflix I glanced for the umpteenth time at the logo for the Great British Baking Show . British people baking? They made that into a tv series? Well for what ever reason this particular night I clicked on the link and thought: I’ll just check this out I can always turn it off. I was up until 3 am that night unable to stop watching.
Now I can’t wait to see the entire series!
I’ve always hated and been perplexed by the reality TV thing. Why couldn’t we just be happy to watch people who knew how to cook – cook? Why does it always have to be put in the context of a competition? With this show I finally get it, our elated to some of the contestants your root for them, hope what ever it is they are making turns out…cringe and yell at your screen when they are choose best or given words of praise. It’s all so very manipulative! At least this show is more gentle than mean. It features a grandmotherly woman (Mary Berry) and baking: how mean could it be?
It has a mildly bitchy side in the form of Mr Hollywood, who went he gets super critical might tell you that your cake is dry or looks a mess.
Someone does gets “eliminated” every episode, but at least done it’s done with a generous spirit, maybe I’m just making excuses because I love it so much?
What really has me so engaged in watching the show are the actual challenges. It’s hard for someone who cooks like I do, to not think: what would I have made? Or how would I have done? Some of the things they’re asked to do are kind of insane, like the free-standing sculptured piece made from “biscuits” (or cookies as we would call them on this side of the pond). Or all the individual stuff that needs to be perfect. Or the use of piping bags! I have an unnatural fear of those desserts that require excessive Martha Stewart decoration. Creative baked Alaska? You gotta be kidding me. I’d be asked off first thing!
The end result of this obsession is that it has me trying to learn more and up my game. My last post about Brioche is an example of this: the reason I want to try all 4 recipes is because I don’t want to be complacent with the easy one that worked, but rather see what the differences are and indeed if I can make the other, more challenging ones.
Friday I’m once again going to try to make a Lemon Meringue Layer Cake. This time I’m giving myself a full three days to prepare and assemble it. Hopefully it will be more successful than the Italian meringue coconut cake I tried last year made with 4 discs of constantly moving layers lubed up by slippery icing that never set.
Tell me am I the only one with this obsession? Anyone else bing watching the Great British Baking Show?
Heres the cake as it looks in the cookbook, wish me luck!