THE BIG BIRMINGHAM BAKE.

16.3.20 Birmingham, UK

*COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS IN RETURN FOR REVIEW*

Over the years I've found myself hooked on The Great British Bake-off and eventually got J involved in the weekly viewings when it's on channel 4 in the summer, we've even started watching re-runs via Netflix and then on a very surreal February afternoon, we found ourselves in the tent itself. 

Whilst weren't in the *real* GBBO tent, it was almost instantly we both knew we wouldn't last five minutes in the real thing and guys, although there was no Paul Hollywood to ridicule us, the pressure was very much on and I was panicked. 

The Birmingham big bake review - See The stars
The Birmingham big bake review - See The stars

Once we were settled at our station and introduced to the big bakes team and the head baker, Emma; the 90 minutes begin pretty quickly, honestly there's no messing around here! With J and I having zero baking experience I was really worried how this was about to go down, and let's be honest we were possibly the worst bakers in this tent but luckily for us, the oven was already on pre-heat,  ingredients are all set up ready and the instructions were *fairly* simple to read. 

So not all was lost, how badly could it really go...? 

The Birmingham big bake review - See The stars
The Birmingham big bake review - See The stars

For our big bake challenge we were making doughnuts; six ring and six dome doughnuts, sounds banging' right? And I'll be honest, the first 20 minutes went so smoothly, we got the doughnut mixed ready, we picked flavours (we opted for almond and vanilla) and before I knew it they were in the oven...and then it just kind went downhill from there. 

Our doughnuts just wouldn't bake through, they were kept in the oven for twice the allotted time and even then were still undercooked at the end and I don't even think I can explain the stress of making the creme patisserie filling! Me and J had entered the tent with such a lighthearted spirit, we were totally heading in for the fun of the bake off vibes and 30 seconds in, I felt my competitive side making it's presence known and omg, I hated it. I was able to keep it under control for the first half of the competition, but once it got to making our decorative icing and the filling for our dome doughnuts; we were having a nightmare. 

The Birmingham big bake review - See The stars
The Birmingham big bake review - See The stars

Thankfully we were able to rectify any of our issues and had barely seconds until time was called and everyone in the tent took their creations down to the front...ready for judgement. 

Our head baker, Emma, was an absolute delight throughout our entire experience including the taste test and judging; we could clearly see on her face that we'd done a terrible job but she continued with such high spirits and some really kind words - and everyone seemed to be filled with happiness and joy as our bakes were individually tasted and reviewed! You could really sense how everyone had come along for the fun of the experience rather than the competition and share their weekend fun with friends and family, which was so lovely to see. 

We obviously didn't place very highly but we left the tent with some amazing memories and if you're looking at booking too; we highly recommend it! Obviously just like us, you can attend with as little or as much experience and thankfully they have bakers on hand if you need any help! The tent is along Floodgate street and opens weds-sun with tickets priced at £42.50; a great idea for first dates, couples and big groups.  You can book your tickets, here.  

The Birmingham big bake review - See The stars
The Birmingham big bake review - See The stars

J kept eating our decoration choices, we were bickering throughout but this was an experience neither  of us knew we needed, it was such a different and fun date day and with the bakes changing monthly; we'll keep our eyes peeled for our next challenge. 

How well do you reckon you'd do in the middle of the bake off tent


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