Catch up on the first part of our Co-op blogger’s bake-off journey here
The big day has finally arrived. Months of research, trial runs and fretting about old classics or grand designs has all come to this point. Wedding bake off day (or wedding day to the happy couple!). Admittedly, the final product didn’t quite go to plan. Whilst peering through the oven door, it was clear this version wasn’t rising as well as the trial run, but it was too late to start again. Letting it bake for longer helped, but burnt the edges slightly – no matter, they can be cut off. After leaving it to cool, my heart sank along with the middle of the cake, but still, no matter – it can be fixed.
Layers of cream cheese, Oreos, chocolate, more Oreos and a few mini marshmallows and it looked presentable.
It was only whilst cutting the final masterpiece up there was a realisation that it looked slightly undercooked. Disaster! It was almost an #alaskagate but after a quick look online, it appeared putting the brownies in the freezer would help make them more fudgy than dodgy, so in they went. Just to be clear, plenty of taste test samples were had and it tasted lovely. But it’s all about first impressions and appearance in this game. Slightly unhappy with the final entry, and hopes of winning fading after seeing people’s creations start to pop up on social media, it was time to enter the bake off tent – which was also the reception tent, in a beautiful countryside setting.
What was instantly clear was the effort every single one of the 24 entries had had put into it. Walking into the reception area and seeing the beautifully presented bake off table was amazing – and slightly daunting.
And as it was a tent, all it needed was two well-known bake off judges to make it official! But sadly, they weren’t available. So the bride and groom took over. As loyal husbands whispered ‘handmade choux pastry …and spun sugar’ within earshot of the judges, all bakers were called to the front of the tent. The old saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ could well be used in baking – don’t judge a cake by its appearance. Except if there’s a winning cake that looks like a book – a cleverly designed ‘Harry Potter’ inspired magic book chocolate cake from the grooms uncle.
As hard as it is to admit it, the best cakes won. Two winners were crowned star baker as it was too difficult to decide – one, the ‘Harry Potter’ magic book and the other, a handmade choux pastry chocolate tower, sprinkled in dolly mixtures, from the best man’s fiancé. As a thank-you, everyone received a golden spoon for taking part and a huge crowd gathered to tuck into the desserts – so overall, it was a success and the large amount of sugar everyone consumed helped us dance the night away! However, in this competition, as the judges weren’t bakers, chefs or professional cooks in any way, just lovers of a good cake – they judged based on looks to be fair, we had all just had two generous courses of wonderful food, so tasting 24 samples wasn’t appealing to most people.