I’ve been harbouring dreams of going on the Great British Bake Off since that tent found it’s home in Welford Park. I have illusions of grandeur when it comes to my baking skills. I know, in reality, I’m not up to GBBO standards but I can still dream, right?
Well actually, I don’t have to dream anymore. No, I haven’t come to announce that I’m a contestant on the next series of The Great British Bake Off. But I have done the next best thing – The Big London Bake*.
This lush tent is set up behind The Castle pub in Tooting and is ready and waiting for you to get your bake on. In teams of two, you take on the other bakers to make a basic recipe your own. You’re given all the essential, basic ingredients and are encouraged to go wild in create corner to differentiate your bake from the others in the tent.
Each month there is a different seasonal bake to get to grips with. Steve and I went at the end of June and made a custard tart. If you head down there this month you’ll be baking a meringue roulade.
We decided to make a chocolate and coffee tart with a raspberry compote. We were applauded for our bold choice of making chocolate pastry because it’s harder to check if it’s baked or not! Whilst I got my pastry on, Steve got busy rattling the pots and pans. He made a raspberry compote for the bottom of our tart and made a start on our coffee custard.
I’ve never made custard from scratch before and I didn’t realise it needed quite so much attention. It was definitely hard work keeping it moving. Hand whisks are not the one. We baked a big pastry heart to decorate the top and decided to make some chocolate bark with multicoloured sprinkles to decorate the top.
It was pretty nervewracking when it came to presenting our bakes up at the front for judging. I didn’t think I’d be that bothered, but I really really cared. I was very pleased when we came second. (Even if I’m pretty sure we should have come first, ha!)
I also have to mention the excellent playlist that soundtracked our whole baking challenge. I don’t think I stopped singing and dancing the whole time I was baking.
Even if I do say so myself, our tart was delicious and Tom was very pleased that I brought half of it home. I’m actually really keen to get back into the tent and do it all again. So, if you’re reading this and fancy being my baking partner let me know!
*I was invited to take part in The Great London Bake through Love Pop Ups London but as always all thoughts and words are my own.