It’s that time of the year again, end of summer and the beginning of the shorter days and time to snuggle down on a Wednesday evening to watch the new series of the Great British Bake Off, one of my guilty pleasures.
I can’t help but admire the twelve brave souls who have agreed to being filmed in close-up, while under great pressure to produce the perfect bakes. The Great British Bake Off kitchen reminds me of the Home Economics Department of my school, only on a larger scale. The place where I had so may cooking disasters ranging from a steamed pudding that set like concrete in the school’s own dish, unable to be released from the dish once I arrived home to proudly present it to my family. My father had to take a hammer and chisel to get the pudding out of the dish, breaking the dish in the attempt, which meant I had to own up to my total failure as a steamed pudding cook on my return to school - also having to part with my pocket money to buy a replacement dish.
My embarrassment didn’t end there, the pudding had been thrown out into the garden for the birds to eat. The rain came, the snow came and even when that melted, the pudding still remained intact, standing proud in the middle of the lawn for weeks. Jokes were made about the neighbourhood birds all having bent beaks from trying to peck at it!
Thankfully these days I can actually make a decent cake, with my Nigella Lawson Chocolate and Olive Oil Cake a big favourite with friends and family - I do urge you to try this simple recipe - if I can get it right anyone can. My skills are still limited compared to all of the Great British Bake Off contestants and I admire their knowledge and creativity. I also admire and lust after one of those SMEG vintage style fridges with the smaller freezer compartment on the top.
I also lust after a bigger and better kitchen, one designed by Beau-Port’s skillful and creative designers Mark and Jacob, preferably in a different house where I’d have that much longed for open plan kitchen, dining and living space - similar to some of our Beau-Port client’s kitchens, and a wood burning stove in the corner would be nice too. I know that I could just discuss my ideas of my dream Bake Off kitchen with Mark and Jacob and they would come up with the perfect kitchen for me, full of ingenious and imaginative ideas that would include all the best practical solutions.
My perfect kitchen would be a Shaker style bespoke British made kitchen, that would last a lifetime, painted in my favourite Farrow and Ball colours, with beautiful handles and all of the other appliances from Bosch and an AGA range in signature colour ‘Heather’, like the one that we have in our AGA Kitchen display in Beau-Port’s 2000 sq~ft showroom.
Or maybe I’d go all contemporary and get Mark and Jacob to design a fabulous, state of the art cutting edge kitchen using the Rotpunkt range of German made kitchen furniture, using contrasting colours and different textured materials to enhance the clean lines of this high quality range, similar to one that Beau-Port designed and installed in a new eco-house recently.
Then perhaps I would have the perfect kitchen to practice my baking skills and to maybe enter the Great British Bake Off, or perhaps not. Could I cope with Paul Hollywood’s steely piercing blue eyes? Would he end up having to resort to a hammer and chisel to get my cake out of the baking tin? Perhaps Val the Cake Whisperer could give me a few tips!