Tag Archives: baking

The Great British Bake Off – Series 2

Sorry for not posting much recently but I’ve been very busy, actually I’ll hopefully have some big news to share soon.  The Great British Bake Off was the best thing I have ever done, it lead to some amazing experiences and I had a wonderful time filming the show, which brings me to the point of this post.  The show is getting a second series and the BBC is looking for 10 more amateur bakers who love home baking and want to put there skills to the test, and steal my title! If you are interested and want to find out more email baking@loveproductions.co.uk or call 020 7067 4876

If you fancy it but are not sure, I’m happy to answer any questions about the process you might have. Just leave a comment and I’ll answer.

To apply you must be over 16 on 1 April 2011. As an ‘amateur baker’ your main source of income cannot come from commercial baking in a professional environment and you cannot have ever worked full-time as a baker or chef. You cannot have acquired any catering NVQ or other professional catering qualifications in the past 10 years.

Further Info

– There have been a couple of requests for more info about the application and audition process so here is how it worked for me. This does not mean it will be the same this year but it might help.

The first stage was a paper application, which is quite long but nothing scary or out of the ordinary. This was followed by a phone call to get a feel for you and to flesh out what I wrote in the application. The first major part was the first audition, where you took some baked goods to a kind of mock judging with the judges, this was immediately followed by a screen test. After all this there was a bit of a gap but once everyone else had been seen you then heard if you got through to the final audition, a mini bakeoff to see how you coped with cameras and time limits. This was when you wait to find out the verdict. I cant remember the exact time line but I do know I applied in February and found out I was on the show in May. Filming took place over 7-8 weeks mainly on the weekends. Whilst that may seem not too intense, bear in mind you have normal life, recipe writing, and practice in between filming too. Yes it is intense but it is also a lot of fun and obviously, it can lead to exciting things so its well worth a go.

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Gevulde Speculaas – Dutch Spice Cake

So I seem to be on a bit of a continental kick at the moment. My last post used speculoos spread from Belgium, bought back from France and todays post is a recipe for Dutch spiced caked stuffed with almond paste, called Gevulde Speculaas. Yes Speculoos and Speculaas are basically the same thing but from different regions. Speculaas are from Holland and are spiced cookies, traditionally served on Nicholas’ Eve, but are now available year round. Speculoos are the belgian version and the difference just seems to be less spicing. Gevulde Speculaas translates as filled biscuit and that pretty much sums it up, the biscuit component is more cake like and has a wonderful mix of spices, this is then filled with a soft coarse almond paste. It is supposed to be the height of summer but currently it is pouring down with rain and is sweater worthy cold, so this recipe seemed perfect. Continue reading

Big News

If you follow me on twitter (@TheBoyWhoBakes) then you have already heard the big news but if not then here goes, I am one of the ten contestants on a new BBC2 baking show (like masterchef meets hairy bikers) called The Great British Bake Off!! The show is presented by the wonderful Sue and Mel and jusdged by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. It starts next tuesday, the 17th and I am so excited to see it, I really hope you enjoy it. Obviously I cant talk about it anymore than this so you will just have to watch it to see how I did.

If you havent been glued to BBC2 waiting to catch a glimpse of the advert (just me?) then you can catch it here until it airs next week, you can see me at the end.

The Great British Bake Off BBC2 8pm starting 17th August