Category Archives: bake off

Spiced Chocolate and Pear Cupcakes (Or: Bake Off Episode 1)

Pear and Chocolate Cupcakes main

Hey! Hi! Hullo!

It is the last day of school holidays and I am finally typing up a post — the best laid holiday plans of teachers and bakers, my friends — but never fear because Katie and I (individually and collectively) have been busy in the kitchen making all sorts of stuff! Pretzels! Pickled Rhubarb! Quince Jelly! Carrot Cake! Many other types of cake!

The other major thing that has happened is that The Great Australian Bake Off has started airing and my face is on the television, what even?! You can see clips of the show on the website but I’ll link you to the most important part here i.e. the bit with Tiny Baby Arty being adorable.

I watched the show on Tuesday night with a bunch of my peeps and it was so lovely and I’ve only really heard positives so far. Hooray Bake Off! So that I don’t clog the New Fat Ladies twitter with all my #gabo shenanigans, you can find me at @ess_jay_bakes where I pretty much make hearteyes at the tv through the medium of twitter.

So, in the spirit of Hooray Bake Off!, here are the cupcakes that you got to see Dan and Kerry eat and compliment and me make silly faces about.

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A slightly more detailed Bake Off post (Or: HOLY SMOKES BAKE OFF!!!)

Anyone who has ever had to spend time in the same room as me for more than ten minutes ends up getting asked about whether or not they’ve watched The Great British Bake Off. Because I am obsessed. I force people to watch it — more often than not, I force them to watch approx 2 minutes and then they too become obsessed and so on — and then force them to discuss it in ridiculous amounts of detail and have them endure me talking about what I would have baked for that challenge and how I would audition for an Australian version in a heartbeat.

So, when one of my friends emailed me a link to an online application form for an Australian version, I may have made a very unladylike shriek and then began filling in the form.

I have never auditioned (or wanted to audition) for any other cooking show but, come on, it’s BAKE OFF! I JUST LOVE BAKE OFF SO MUCH! I wanted to be that person in the marquee with a cup of tea and ganache all over them! I could do that! I could be a bake off baker!

And then, somewhat surprisingly and two auditions later, I was.

IMG 0759Now, I’m not allowed to give away too much yet but I can answer the following questions which my students at school keep asking so I guess some other people might want them answered too.

  1. Who wins? No, I will not answer that question no matter what.
  2. Do you win? See above.
  3. When does it air? Still no official date! Soon! Just after Easter!
  4. What were the judges like? Honestly, lovely. Absolutely lovely! Dan is sweet and kind and generous and honest and knows many adjectives. Kerry is very generous, funny and very honest. I learnt so much from both of them and I still can’t quite believe that I got to spend time with them.
  5. What were the hosts like? Shane and Anna were absolute aces and very helpful and sweet. They really made us feel comfortable and at home. It would not have been as fun without them
  6. When is it filming? Already done, Year 8 Drama so finish your homework. (We filmed last year.)
  7. What were the other contestants like? Really fun and lovely. We are all still in touch and still share baking advice with each other.
  8. Can you make me a cake? Maybe at the end of term if you behave in class.

It was such an amazing experience and I am so glad that I hit submit on that application. I genuinely loved every second of it, even when it was long and frustrating and things weren’t going to plan!

I’m planning on doing some more Bake Off related blogging when the show gets going and I’ll hopefully be able to share some of the recipes as well. I also now have a personal baking-specific twitter, @ess_jay_bakes. Follow me there and see me flail about Bake Off in real time!

Bake Off. It is the best. Fact.

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