Everyone believes they’d be a good Bake Off contestant, given the opportunity. Or, at least, they’d hope they would. Speaking for myself, I’d likely be booted off in the first episode after setting fire to the tent while attempting an Earl Grey raspberry cake.
But a master baker isn’t made through skill alone. Sure, it helps, but the contestants all have access to the highest food-based tech going. If I had a baking laboratory in my spare room, I’m pretty sure I could whip up a showstopper too. Sadly, I don’t, so I can’t. But this Christmas, I wanted to impress, and use the two-ish weeks of spare time to learn a new potential hobby. Lockdown hobbies are back, for one day only!
I did that in a few ways, from playing Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 to setting up an internet router. But I also picked up the Swan Retro food mixer, and set myself the task of making a basic (but delicious) array of baked treats.
The mixer features an 800W output for powerful pulsing. With eight variable speeds and pulse function, I was able to whisk eggs and mix batter with ease and, more importantly, with minimal mess. As an absolute novice baker at best, I was relieved to discover I could switch between beating, whipping, folding, and mixing at the flick of a switch. Not that I truly understand the difference between beating, whipping, folding, and mixing, but still.
It came in handy when I decided to make Eton Mess, a tasty yet, crucially, incredibly simple pudding to make. My meringue came out of the whisk with the texture of wallpaper paste. That’s a good thing, so the recipe I followed told me. Making bread was less successful, but that’s mostly down to me confusing fahrenheit with celcius in the recipe. Before it was burned to a crisp, the dough looked perfect.
Is baking for me? In the long term, probably not. It’s just not for me, I don’t think. But was I able to impress on Christmas Day and earn brownie points for life? You bet.