Bring on the soggy Bake Off bottoms

The Great British Bake Off returns
The Great British Bake Off returns
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Blogger Trish Burgess writes for the Free Press

It’s back! The Great British Bake Off returned to our screens last week and I, like many others, took up the role of armchair critic, regardless of the fact that my baking is pretty nonexistent.

Don’t get me wrong, I do cook. But I’m a ‘main course cooking’ kind of girl. Homemade cakes don’t go down particularly well in our house so although my mum did show me how to make pies and sponges, the incentive isn’t there. I can do brownies and a muffin if I’m feeling inspired but otherwise my cakes are lifeless and end up languishing in a Quality Street tin until Christmas when someone discovers the thing rattling in there isn’t a batch of forgotten toffee pennies.

I therefore shouldn’t be shouting at the screen, “What are you thinking?!” when Iain, the big bearded chap from Belfast, starts scoring his sponge before rolling it up. I’ve never even attempted a Swiss roll, though have peeled the wrapper off a fair few Cadbury mini ones. But that doesn’t stop me shaking my head in disbelief at the contestants: “Chop your cherries up or they’ll all sink to the bottom!” “Your icing’s too thin!”

“Get it out of the oven!”

Have you got a favourite yet? I rather like Chetna and am very impressed with young Martha who, at 17, puts me to shame and makes me wonder why I haven’t taught my son to get handy with a whisk. Husband, naturally, has a soft spot for Norman ­ “What did ye think of the jam?” ­ from Buckie, Scotland.

I’m interested to see how Richard, the builder with a pencil behind his ear, gets on with plastering (sorry, icing).

I had a feeling Claire was going to be going home as soon as I saw her mini chocolate cakes doing an impression of Krakatoa in the oven. A few hundreds and thousands weren’t going to save her, unfortunately.

But I’ve decided I’d like Nancy, last week’s star baker, to win the show. She lives in Lincolnshire and is married to a GP so I have an affinity with her. But that’s where the similarities end.

I’ve read she has a house in France and has received tips from a local French chef. I take my tips from Monsieur Kipling.

Maybe I should make more of an effort with baking even though I always think, when they announce “You have three hours to create your signature dish” that there are a myriad of things I could do with all those minutes. It’s probably in the genes and although my mum is a good baker, some other members of the family are less Mary Berry and more Chuck. Take my cousin who, when being taught at school how to decorate a pie with cut­out pastry leaves, was obviously not paying attention.

Told to ‘always use an odd number’ she cut two strips of pastry and placed a large number 7 on the pie.

That’s a showstopper and a half.

l You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at