I was given two tickets free of cost in exchange for reviewing the experience. The gifted tickets do not influence my review at all.
In the back of a gorgeous beer garden of a large pub in Tooting, a huge tent stretches across the property length. Filled with ten cooking stations, fully outfitted with everything you’ll need for your baking endeavours, a cleaning/washing/storage area at one end, storage fridges along the side, and a beautiful ingredient display at the other end. A gorgeous, huge kitchen area with plenty of space for all contestants, perfectly prepared with everything we’ll need this evening. There’s even ample bag and coat storage in each cooking station, so everything is out of the way and easily accessed.
After a short welcome and explanation, we immediately went to task! This month’s challenge is an adaptation of the classic Battenberg cake. We were given a two-sided recipe card with all the instructions on it, and each station was set up with already weighed out and prepared ingedients, the oven was also warmed up to the correct heat setting. All we had to do was throw the correct ingredients together, choose our colours and flavours, and get baking! The whole team of host and kitchen helpers were all super engaged, helpful, and very friendly, going around to everyone to make sure we all knew what we needed to do.
I thought the 90 minutes are quite generous if you follow the recipe’s suggestions of what to do when. We got our cakes into the oven very quickly and had enough time to cool them to room temperature before assembly.
Our flavour selection was strawberry and chocolate, with a bright red for the strawberry cake, and a dark green for the marzipan cover, with a few chocolate and strawberry decorations on top.
We had so much fun baking, cooking jam, dying and preparing the marzipan, and flavouring the buttercream that I completely forgot to take photos of the process, so unfortunately there’s only a shot of the finished cake. Just goes to show how entertaining and busy the London Bake event is!
In the end there were nine beautiful, varied, completely unique Battenbergs on display by all attendants. I’m honestly so glad I didn’t have to do any of the judging as I’d have no idea where to even start, and from our host’s comments about each of the cakes she sampled, they were all so different and flavourful inside, it’s a huge task to choose the top three out of this large array of tasty goodness.
It did seem like everyone had a huge amount of fun and all teams looked very proud of their results, deservedly so. In the end, we were given joint second place with another contestant team, and the first prize went to a whimsy tropical island cake, with hugely enthusiastic amateur bakers being very surprised and happy with their win!
The almost two hours we spent at the Big London Bake went by in a flash. Everything was so well organised and prepared, with three kitchen helpers running around cleaning up our messes around us and bringing us anything we needed for our baking venture. (I really wish I had someone like that in MY kitchen at home, immediately cleaning up any mess I make)
The host was also always there to answer all our questions, give us tips and tricks to help out, and of course have a little chat once in a while. Overall a super pleasant experience with a fun baking element, and you get to take your creation home at the end of the night! The Big London Bake would be perfect for a date, small groups of friends, couples night out, and any group of two people wanting to have a fun night out with baking!
With such great organisation, delicious bakery, and an unusual creative outlet, I can’t recommend this event enough, it doesn’t get much better than this, whether you’re competitive or just in it for fun. I’ll definitely be back again, as they do different cake themes every few months.
Five and a half out of six rainbow sloths from me! I’m only taking half a sloth away because the floor got suuuuuper slippery as we were rushing about and that’s more than just a little bit dangerous, so hopefully they’ll fix that at some point. Other than that, it’s just simply amazing!