July 27, 2015

The Rise of the Bake Off

We’ve all heard of the Great British Bake off and every year, millions of us crowd around the TV to see this weeks show stopper. The craze has slowly started to weave itself into our working lives and now in offices and workplaces around the UK, bake-offs are being held. Whether to raise money for charity or to introduce competitiveness into the workplace, bake-offs are always a crowd pleaser.

If you only participate in the eating, the hardest part is choosing which slice to eat first. Those entering as bakers understand the real stress of creating something worthy of your colleague’s taste buds.

Yet now, the bake-off trend is expanding to a social event where you are judged by friends, family and sometimes complete strangers – a Wedding Bake-off!

The idea became a huge trend in 2014 and was a way for couples to invite their guests to really be part of their big day. And one of us Co-op bloggers is about to take part in one.

Choosing a Winner…

Since getting the save the date and following invite, it’s always been clear that a strategic plan is required to take part in this bake-off. The couple are friends from university and with no rules set, the creative juices should be flowing. Yet panic set in after hearing the brides father has been researching for months and after mild interrogation at the hen do, the bridesmaids and fellow guests clearly aren’t shying away from the competition either.

In the weeks before the wedding, the British summer has really kicked in, adding new elements to think of when researching recipes – with it likely to be a warm day, cream and other melt-able items need serious consideration. Transporting the creation to the church and reception added more requirements, as well as remembering the bride doesn’t like fruit in or on a cake.

After hours of researching online, pinning recipes on Pinterest and a failed trial run at mini sponge wedding cakes, a recipe that seemed almost perfect appeared on screen – when in doubt, go with chocolate!

Blue Velvet Oreo Chocolate Brownie Bars

This beauty was ticking a lot of boxes – chocolate, more chocolate and a surprise new trend that’s trying to make its mark – Blue Velvet. Already, we are growing tired of red velvet it would appear – blue would be eye catching and with most of the bridal party being Manchester City fans, red wasn’t an option.

Ready, Steady, Bake Off…

After the disaster of the first trial run, which was far too elaborate when your baking skills are mainly cupcake and cake pop based, confidence needed a boost and another trial run was needed – with colleagues in the office being guinea pigs if it made it out of the kitchen.

Admittedly, this trial run didn’t end up looking like the recipe picture, in fact it wasn’t even blue. Anna does highlight how to keep the colour bright but even after following her advice, it was slightly inedible green but was rescued by adding red into the mix and creating a yummy brown chocolate cake.

It also wasn’t the perfect layered cake but it looked lovingly home made and worthy of a cake stall (at a village fayre of some sort). It was also devoured by the workmates which sealed the idea as a potential winner.

After weeks of research, the wedding is now upon us and the competitive streak has dampened down after remembering that at the heart of all this is a loving couple getting married – plus all we have to impress are the bride and groom (and not poison any of the guests).

To find out what happens next in the wedding bake off, read the follow up…

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