THE BIG BIRMINGHAM BAKE

FAKE IT TILL YOU BLOODY BAKE IT BAB!

I tell you I’m like a walking-talking Expedia when it comes to Digbeth, dare I say it but I have another exciting attraction for you all to try out in Digbeth however with this one, you’re going to have to get your hands dirty Bab. Introducing The Big Birmingham Bake in Digbeth which is a competitive cooking experience where you have 90 minutes to create the winning bake and be in with a chance of taking home the Best Baker price. Very similar to the channel 4 GBBO but you don’t have to be an experienced baker and you don’t have to do it alone, you can work in teams of two. So I was pretty much over the moon when The Big Birmingham Bake invited me and Heather down to try out this brand new experience!

Upon arrival, you see the tent where the baking takes place. Opposite the tent is a couple of old bike containers offering a quirky sitting area where you can grab a coffee before the fun begins. When your time arrives you are then gathered together by the head baker to show/scan your ticket, then you head-on into the tent and choose your work station. A recipe card that you follow with all instructions is laid out for you as well with all ingredients (these are already weighed) ovens are already preheated and your baking tools are all there. The one thing we said on the way to the bake-off was “I hope we are not making doughnuts” not because I don’t like them, but because they are funny buggers to make, but guess what, it was Doughnut month, so of course, We are baking doughnuts kids!

Before we start we are given a short introduction by the head baker who went over the rules and safety procedures we must follow. The most important rule is “just have fun” and just like that my game face came on. I was eyeing up my competitors and I was choosing my enemies. It was like mean girls meets Bake-off, but of course it was healthy competitiveness. I had no plans to sabotage other bakers creations….or did I? Before my evil genius plans were coming together they were suddenly melted away by…

3..2..1 BAKE!

Everyone starts running around like headless chickens scrambling over the recipe cards and ingredients. The recipe is pretty straight forward it’s like GCSE Food Technology and you also have baker assistants there to help you if you get a bit beaten up with the baking. At the front, you have the shelves stacked with decorations, flavourings, and food colours. We were making two types of doughnuts. The ring doughnuts that were to be judged on presentation and the filled doughnuts that were to be judged on taste.

We decided to make toffee apple and cinnamon doughnuts. The ingredients were all over our work station as the pressure of the bake-off was mounting especially when they announce how much time you have left every 30 minutes and where you should be at. A little tip for you guys, you only live once…lick the bowl 😛 . It was great to get in touch with your creative side when it comes to decorating the doughnuts, for the ring doughnuts we went for a marble blue cinnamon icing covered in galaxy stars and eyes and for the filled doughnuts we rolled them in sugar and pink wafers using the same filling as the ring doughnuts. Like two kids in a free frawl candy shop, me and Heather got very creative with our doughnuts.

Surprisingly we didn’t find ourselves having any hiccups along the way but I noticed that there was always help whenever you needed it from the staff who are all lovely, so if you did manage to balls something up it can be fixed so donut worry about it! The time flies by your so busy with checking the times on your creations and making sure you are following the ingredients properly that you do easily lose sight of the time as well as just enjoying being part of the competition.

3..2..1 TIMES UP

We finished just in time and so did everyone else. We all brought our doughnuts to the front and you could just see a buffet of doughnuts with a range of colours and decoration, what a pretty picture. We all went around the group and explained what we made and the head baker got stuck into tasting them all which was absolutely hilarious to watch as the head baker is pretty honest, so if something doesn’t taste right they will say but of course, in a light-hearted way.

After a quick deliberation it was time to announce the results…

And we got beaten by an 8-year-old kid! but I think it was only because he said it was his birthday and well come on, we’ve all used that chestnut before, haven’t we?! Every time I go to Harry Potter world I say it’s my birthday so I get to open the doors to the great hall even when it’s obviously not my birthday resulting in the kids giving me death stares…suckers. However all the doughnuts were pretty incredible, I was with a right creative bunch and even though we didn’t win, I was proud that we actually created doughnuts and didn’t bugger it up! I took my doughnuts home and offered them to my Mom in which she responded: “ Did 5 years old make those?”…oh donut even go there sugar plum! because 6 doughnuts became 2 the very next day and I caught the culprit that was my Mother tucking into them whilst watching Judge Rinder.

The Big Birmingham Bake is truly a fantastic experience that I would recommend within a heartbeat to anyone, it’s fun, it’s exciting and competitive! A great quirky take on the Chanel 4 great British bake-off, so if you love the show, you will love this. A truly wonderful and exhilarating experience racing against the clock covered in buttercream and sprinkles, I took home two deserts: my doughnuts and myself, a sure winner in Birmingham!

Week day tickets are priced at £39.50 and weekend tickets are price at £42.50. Grab you tickets here

AMY ELIZA

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