Forget the Jubilee, forget the Olympics, soon to hit our screens is the other, other event of the Summer- the new series of The Great British Bake Off. Already articles are springing up, suggesting we stock up on pastel-coloured utensils and matching cup cake cases in preparation. With all things floury and yeasty on the mind, I have found myself unashamedly pursuing my love of baking over the past weeks.
A couple of months ago at the Soho Food Festival our Talisker stall was rather well placed next to Gail’s Bakery– and so a friendship sprung up over a mutual relationship of shared broken biscuits and warm whisky. Again, I found myself sipping wines with cheese and wonderfully fresh Gail’s bread last night in their new bakery on Fulham Road. It was such a treat to talk recipes with the head chef Roy and soon the conversation turned to pastries, sweets and the baker’s favourite, the cinnamon bun. It was while we were drooling over the buns proofing in the fridge for tomorrow’s breakfast, that I recounted my recent foray into the world of baking.
A couple of weeks ago, in lieu of a busy few months, Story PR ventured to North London for a Scandilicious baking session with Sig Johansen. If anyone follows Sig on twitter or reads her blog, they will know that her cardamom buns are thing of legend, so when asked what we would like to make there was only one thing on our minds. Sig’s cardamom buns follow a typically Norwegian recipe, using a yeasty dough rather than the Danish flaky dough, favoured by Gail’s. Taking a twist on her grandmother’s age-old recipe, Sig has swapped cinnamon for cardamom, creating a sophisticated, yet utterly satisfying sweet. The recipe can be found in her gorgeous new book Scandilicious Baking. Following the cardamom buns, we ate chocolate cake and decided, that yes, we definitely did have enough space for some butter biscuits. Hours later and after copious cups of tea we emerged from the flat happily swinging our doggy bags full of goodies all the way home.
So, with the new series of the GBBO threatening to take over our evening viewing, I’m excited to see whether the baking hysteria, which followed the last series will resurface again. I know I’ll be there with notebook in one hand, pastel spatula in the other. But in the meantime, keep your eye out for Edd Kimber’s (GBBO S1 winner) new book, due out next month.