London Earl’s Court- 3rd-5th September
What was there:
- Demonstrations: Sadly no Paul or Mary but a lot of others- all the GBBO winners plus Eric Lanlard, Rosemary Shrager, Racker Khoo and erm… Wendy Peters… We saw Eric Lanlard and the Fabulous Baker Brothers- all really good and lots of good tips. The competition arena had all 4 GBBO winners baking at once. It was chaotic and as it was the last day I think they were all going a bit mad but it was fun. Style over substance may well still be a thing though judging by France’s “Madelines in Chelsea”.
- Stalls: A mixture of bakes and equipment, mostly a bit overpriced but not too horrendous. As long as you don’t mind borderline offensive sales patter.
- Classes: Classes at £8 each didn’t seem worth it- you didn’t get to do anything just watch in a smaller area than the main demonstrations so we opted not to do any. There was a free class where you could make fondant figures but the queue would have been the best part of an hour.
- General baking celebrities: We saw the majority of GBBO class of 2014 wandering around, including Richard looking slightly bemused by all the attention (bearing in mind at this point most people were convinced he was going to win!) and Mr #BinGate himself.
What we learnt:
- Put your chocolate into a piping bag then but it into a jug of hot water to melt it. Much easier than faffing with a bowl over a pan and it’s ready to pipe straight away.
- Put cling film in the fridge to find the end. I’ve done this, it really works!
- Use cling film rather than baking parchment for blind baking. Gets right into the corners.
Was it worth it?
For £7.50, yes, but it would have been nice to see some more interactive things to make it worth going again. Or Mary Berry 🙂
- At £10 each it seems a bit pricey for what you get but if you hang on you can get better deals- we got 2 for £15 on Amazon Local, and Money Saving Expert had free tickets for the Friday a couple of weeks before the show.
- The Sunday has some good deals at closing time but don’t expect ridiculous bargains (and don’t get irate with stalls that aren’t doing discounts like someone we saw!).
- The show guide is pretty essential but at £5 it might be worth just printing off the talk times first. You do get a nice bag and a couple of freebies with it though.
- Making your own butter is great. The Fabulous Baker Brothers showed us how easy it is: just whisk double cream for 5-10 mins until it separates into butter and buttermilk. Wash the butter in cold water to get rid of all the buttermilk (which will go rancid if left). You can use the buttermilk in their soda bread recipe.