Tales from the undergrowth - part 13

Tales from the undergrowth... Is everybody excited for tonight's GBBO Final?!

I’m sure not many people knew that we recently had a Bake off here at Stancliffe Hall featuring our one and only gardener and her daughter in the final – all covered in Tales from the Undergrowth, Part 13 below…

Tales from the Undergrowth part 13 - Practice makes perfect... Or not!

Thursday 12th September and the Love Marketing Bake Off final was upon us. Eek. We had been practicing like mad with a varied amount of success but there was nothing else we could do but give it our all. And boy oh boy did we. I’d dropped all our stuff off at Coghlans kitchen in the morning as whilst the other teams would be turning up and loading the fridge, I had to be at school (thankfully they kindly gave permission for a half day off) picking up a nervous looking 9 year old and get her to eat some lunch. There was only thing to do. Head to the nearest fast food joint for nuggets, chips and fizzy pop. We don’t go often, but needs must.

At 1.30pm Dawn uttered those dreaded words. ‘Bakers you have 4 hours. On your marks, Get set, Bake.’ And we did. Everything had to be made from stratch so we knew we were up against it time wise, but you only get one chance at something like this so you might as well go for it. We all had to celebrate something good about Derbyshire so we championed Stancliffe and seasonal local produce, picked from the Hall and various gardens of my customers. We made a glass of fizz (as you get offered one at Wedding Fayres and Open Days) in the form of a Plum Mockhito, then nibbles of crostini with tomato jam, mozzarella and basil. Then we moved on to Hartington Stilton biscuits. Next came a leek and goats cheese tart, followed by apple scone with blackberries and clotted cream and finally the chocolate cake that got us into this pickle in the first place. All of this was presented on a board made with my own fair hands to represent the veggie plots at the Hall. Thanks to John who showed me what to do and cut the wood on his saw thing.

Before we knew it, it was time for judging and the winner was announced in front of our family and friends who had been invited to a tea party in the Whitworth room. Huge congratulations to the winners who produced a lovely afternoon tea that saw them lift the cake stand prizes. As for us; we made a couple of schoolboy errors which cost us but apparently we made it into the top 3. Not bad me thinks as a few weeks ago I didn’t even own a mixing bowl.

It was a brilliant experience and everyone who took part did so with a smile on their face and even though we were up against each other, if someone ran out of butter there was someone else to give them some. Nice doesn’t cover it.

As for us. I fully expect many a chocolate cake to be baked by a soon to be 10 year old, and we’ll definitely continue baking bread on a Sunday for tea which finds its way into a lunch box on Monday morning for school pack up. But I think other than that I will be hanging up my palette knife. Maybe next year will be the Love Marketing Build A Presentation Board competition and we’ll enter that. Time to buy a new saw.