The Cambridge Bake Off

I entered The Cambridge Bake Off (organised by Caroline Biggs of “Eat Cambridge”) because I thought it would be something fun to do. I’ve been toying with the idea of setting up a cake business, so I was intrigued when I saw the adverts for the bake off.

And so on the 27th of April, I sent in a blueberry cake I had made the weekend before so I wouldn’t procrastinate looking for the perfect cake to send. I also had to write a couple of lines about why I love baking:

I recently moved to Cambridge a few months ago & rediscovered my love for baking. It has now become an addiction. Nothing soothes me more, after a busy day at work, than measuring up ingredients and the whirring sound of my mixer. I’m still amazed at how what is sometimes a messy venture (especially when children are helping) creates such a lovely treat. The smell of cake wafting through the house is priceless and let’s face it, baking is cheaper than therapy!

I thought it was cheesy 😉 but it got me through to the first round. 🙂

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After weeks of stalking @CamBakeOff on twitter and Facebook, on the 17th of May I received an email and it stated, ‘Congratulations! Your application to take part in the Cambridge Bake Off has been successful – which means you’re through to the first round’. Yippee!

The first round challenge was to bake a two-layer chocolate with filling, icing and decoration of my choice. It was to be delivered to The Cambridge Cookery School on Saturday, May 25th where Tine Roche, MD and Head Chef of the Cookery School, and her team would judge the cakes.

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Photo by Groover Photography

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was clueless as to whether it was going to be an x-factoresque like affair, with long spiralling queues. I thought it best to arrive early and I was number 10. Fortunately it was quite calm.

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I looked around at some of the cakes that were there, before me. My thoughts were I stood a chance, on looks at least. Tasting would be up to the judges.

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Unfortunately I didn’t get through to the next round but I enjoyed every moment of it. I guess this is another example of ‘Putting Myself Out There‘.

I am really proud of my entry and so glad that the official photographer for the Bake Off, Groover Photography, selected my cake for their first round photos.

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Photo by Groover Photography

I donated my lovely cake to one of the Cookery School’s chosen charities, Jimmy’s Night Shelter and The Papworth Trust. I hope they enjoyed it.

You can follow the progress of the Cambridge Bake Off on twitter @CamBakeOff or Facebook

A Mouse Took A Walk Through The Big Dark Wood

After the successful run of Gruffalo (which I saw in London) the Tall Stories Theatre Company returns, bringing Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s award-winning sequel to life in this magical, musical adaptation.

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I went to see Gruffalo’s Child with my children and some friends today at the Cambridge Arts Theatre. Tickets in hand and bus ride to the bus station, Cambridge Arts Theatre was just a short 8 minute walk, with two children in tow.

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We arrived pretty early for a 2pm show but that gave us time to get a booster seat. Note that the theatre does not have that many booster seats so if you have a little one(s), it’s best to get there as early as possible. In our case, 20 minutes before. That also gave us time to take pictures as I knew we wouldn’t be allowed to once the show started.

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A really nice touch was when the mouse (played by actress ) came out 10 minutes before the show started asking if we had a cheese sandwich for her. Camembert anyone? She was hilarious and kids loved chatting to her.

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Gruffalo’s Child, like The Gruffalo was a 3 man or two women and a man show. Filled with hilarious dialogue, which had my children and the little people in the audience squealing with laughter. It was much more entertaining that it’s prequel in my opinion. And the actress who played Gruffalo’s child was absolutely amazing.

However, like The Gruffalo play, I felt the journey through the wood and the portrayal of each predator a little bit over the top. The Spanish snake; flying instructor owl and a Delboyesque fox; were all a bit too quirky for me. Notwithstanding, a really funny show that I would recommend to anyone.

A note of caution,if you have children that are afraid of the dark, it might not be appropriate for them, as a few parents discovered when the lights went out :).

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Putting yourself out there

I remember being dateless on my prom night (that’s a story that I may go into one day). All my best friends had dates and soon enough I was the only one left on the side watching them dance on the floor.

Being a precocious 15year old, I looked around to see if there was any guy on his own as I really wanted to dance. I walked up to this handsome boy and asked him to dance. He said no. That didn’t deter me, I recall cracking a joke and asking him a second time; this time I got a maybe later. Obviously he was fobbing me off but at least he didn’t say get lost.

Although the rebuff added to the humiliation of being dateless, I gained an enormous amount of confidence from that one instance. I felt proud that I tried, even if he did shut me down in front of the whole school (maybe I do need therapy after all), the fact is the ground didn’t open up and swallow me.

And so my life has been several instances of putting myself out there. This is one of them. I hope you enjoy following my journey through life, as I unleash my inner Wonder Woman.