I’m a pretty good baker, at least that’s what I’m told! I guess you could say with the amount of cake I ply them with though they are pretty biased!!!
This was all good and well but there was always going to be a point when I had to try and prove myself in the real baking world…put myself out there and see if I can actually bake! I thought about the Great British Bake Off but would that be biting off more than I could chew? Then by luck I saw an advertisement online for new contestants for the second series of Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard! He would be judging standalone bake-off competitions for amateur bakers wanting to challenge themselves – sound familiar!?!?
Are you a great cook?
YES I WOULD!!!!!
The process was three fold – first an application form as taxing as any job application I’ve ever completed! The questions seemed designed to see what type of personality you had, based around how you treated baking! I felt my application said a lot about me and it obviously worked as I got the call for a small telephone interview!! If you want to see what it takes to be on the show then see my Baking Mad Application Questions! The abridged version of course!
The second stage was a telephone interview pretty much repeating the questions in your application form! They also delved a little more into how you felt you’d react to the cameras, whether you could bake under time constraints and the imposition of the cameraman ready to capture your every baking disaster!! By the end of the conversation I’d got through to the next stage which was an interview with the researcher and one of the producers! TV stardom beckoned! They wanted me to come along the next day but with work constraints I was given a spot in a fortnight! To book my place I would need to stun them with my personality and also bring along a sample of my baking delights! Now came the difficult part – what to bake???
The only advice the researcher could give me was for the cake to not be too big as after a week or two of auditions they were eating lots of cake! So I deliberated……I needed to show off as much skills as I could whilst not overloading them with cake. So I decided to make cupcakes as this could show creativity of flavour and design and let’s be honest who doesn’t like cupcakes?!? Alongside these I would make some biscuits: firstly a lavender shortbread and secondly biscotti, again to demonstrate a range of skills. Biscuits and cupcakes would be relatively simple to make but would look (I hoped) amazing!
Over the course of two nights I baked like never before not aided by the fact that I felt my head would explode from a headcold! I made half batches of three types of cupcakes – a ginger cupcake with a lime buttercream frosting topped with a mini gingerbreadman; a simple vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting and sprinkles; and a Christmas brandy fruit cupcake with brandy buttercream frosting piped in the shape of a Christmas tree with Heston Blumental’s pine scented icing sugar sprinkled over them to resemble snow! All topped off with a shimmery spray!
Here is the end result – a winning selection!