Ah, the Great British Bake Off is over for another year (apart from the master class with the legend that is Mary Berry). Congratulations to Jo who is the 2011 GBBO champion. Her final 3 petit fours looked absolutely delicious and have really inspired me to delve into the idea of miniature bakes. I have a particular idea for a cake in my head that I think I am going to have to try out, although I will need a mini muffin tin first *brings up John Lewis website*. I'm not giving away any ideas though-don't want anyone else beating me to it!
The reason for my post is that once the credits had rolled after the GBBO final there was an advert inviting people to apply for the next series. Oh, oh, now that has got me thinking. Could I do something like that? Could I put my hard earned and well loved bakes out there for criticism by the terror that is Mr Paul Hollywood? Seriously, that man frightens me, first off that cannot be his natural skin colour. To me baking is such a personal thing. I for one, put my all in when I bake, or cook. It is a labour of love. Ok so sometimes it might be a bit wonky or they may be slightly different sizes, but if it tastes good does all of that really matter? When the judges were trying to decide who was going to be the winner between Jo and Holly they made a comment about whether it was going to be based on technical perfection or taste and flavour. To me that is obvious. Flavour should win every time. I'm not saying that presentation isn't important, no not at all. If that were the case then I certainly wouldn't have a cupboard full of edible glitters, sprinkles, ribbons and other such finery for decorating with. I just felt that sometimes on the show there was too much focus on how uniform everything should be.
I suppose that every time we make something we are offering it out there for criticism. Especially if we take the plunge to start selling our goods and subjecting them to the general public. I have always had good feedback on my various baked goods from friends, family, friends of friends, colleagues. I think, or at least I hope, that they aren't just being nice. I would like to think that if that were the case that they wouldn't be quite so enthusiastic with their compliments.
I have just finished reading a brilliant book called 'Meet me at the cupcake cafe'. I loved it. It was like reading into a little bit of my own soul. It followed the story of a young woman who is made redundant from her city job and decides to take the plunge and open up a cupcake cafe. Oh, to dream that dream. I've been baking and cooking since I was about 5 and I enjoy the fact that baking is currently so 'en vogue', although a little part of me feels a bit now that because 'everyone is doing it' it's losing its speciality. If I took the plunge and decided to follow it as a career now would it work or would I just be yet another girl selling pretty cakes to the world?
I guess what it all boils down to is confidence. Not in your abilities but in yourself. From being judged live on television to being judged by strangers on the street. Could I cope being told that something I absolutely love doing, just isn't good enough. Or is being told by your loved ones that you have created something delicious good enough. For the moment, yes. I love seeing peoples faces when they try something I have made and they love it. I'll still keep that application form up on the computer though...it doesn't have to be sent in until the end of the year...