Working in this industry, I’m often embarrassed to admit I’m neither a keen cook nor a baker (as my talents lie more in the realm of eating out). That being said, I certainly wasn’t going to miss out on a fun-filled afternoon with ex-Great British Bake Off contestant, Jane Beedle, and jumped at the chance when invited with a gaggle of girls.
Jane was hosting a fundraiser for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Demelza – the two charities she is also supporting when donning her trainers at the London Marathon this year – and trialling a group workshop to create a great British afternoon tea. She often hosts these workshops with Bake With A Legend, which provides fun and unique baking experiences with some of the nation’s favourite bakers.
I joined a group of 10 amateurs – with differing levels of experience and skill – and listened intently as Jane took us through the steps to create our first bake, bread rolls. Then it was off in our pairs to put what we had learned into practice with our handy cheat sheet in front of us! Buns safely in the oven (so to speak) we moved on to the sweet scones, strawberry & rose cupcakes, and creamy éclairs that would make up the rest of our afternoon tea.
Throughout the afternoon, Jane gave us her top tips, ideas to try at home and words of encouragement, along with funny anecdotes and behind the scenes tales from her time on Great British Bake Off – especially once our bakes were out of the oven and we could sit down for a gossip while eating them!
So have I gone from a reluctant chef to baker extraordinaire? That might be pushing it, but I was proud that with Jane’s help, I created a whole host of delicious treats I felt confident enough to share!