At this time of year, we would usually be talking about waving goodbye to The Great British Bake Off, but because this is 2016, it now comes with an extra dose of sadness attached. Yes, GBBO may not be over in the truest sense of the word, but apart from two already scheduled Christmas specials, we will no longer be viewing it in its current form from this year onwards.
As all devoted viewers appreciate, it is not ‘just a baking a show’, but a fine example of something that is so much greater than all its parts. However, as hard as it seems, baking can still bring some joy once it’s gone from our screens. As chance would have it, we are now at the beginning of National Baking Week, so to get prepared before the final takes place in just under a fortnight, here are a few ways to fight back the GBBO tears and make good use of your oven…
Start Planning Your Christmas Baking Bonanza
It’s never too early to start thinking about your festivities, and we’ll have no grumbles of ‘it’s not even Halloween yet’ thank you very much. A proper Christmas Pudding and Christmas Cake takes a lot of forward planning – many of those in the know advocate getting started between 12 and 6 weeks before Christmas if you want that sought-after richness, and wouldn’t you know it, that’s right about now! So find your perfect recipe and a perfect spot to let it mature, order those ingredients using Ocado voucher codes, and come December you’ll have a pudding and a cake to rival that of Mary Berry.
Include Small Bakes Into Your Routine
Baking doesn’t always have to be a mammoth activity – you can include small bakes into your weekly routine quite easily, and now that autumn is here, there’s something rather cosy about setting aside a couple of hours over the weekend to spend in a warm kitchen and letting the baking smell waft throughout your house. Using WH Smith promo codes you can buy a reduced price copy of Mary Berry’s Fast Cakes (was £8.99, now £6.29), a book which brings you recipes that can be prepared in under 10 minutes and baked in under an hour if you’re pushed for time and need some inspiration from the Baking Queen herself.
It doesn’t have to be a straight choice between lovingly prepared home-baked wonders and shop bought substitutes. As well as cutting down on that baking time, there are ways of replicating that home baked taste and smell with minimum effort. You’ve all heard of mug cakes, right? Well there’s now a whole genre of cookbooks devoted to them such as Mug Cakes: 40 Speedy Cakes to Make in a Microwave (available with Hive Books discount vouchers for £6.65), and many others with very similar titles. All you need is the very small amount of ingredients required, a microwave and a decent-sized mug. Simple.
Watch The Great British Bake Off on Repeat
Of course if all else fails, the wonders of modern day technology won’t let us down. It’s not quite the same as communal nationwide viewing and live-tweeting, but if you find yourself having serious Bake Off withdrawals then there are countless episodes available online that can help fill the GBBO-shaped hole in your life.
So savour the very last two episodes of ‘proper’ Bake Off we’ve got left, pray that the move to another channel won’t result in a soggy-bottomed mess (once you’re over the initial trauma that is), and get stocked up on enough delicious ingredients to last the season.
By Anna Scott, 17th October 2016