It’s the TV programme that everyone seems to be hooked on. From 8-9pm on Tuesday nights, millions of women (and men) are glued to their television sets watching the unlikeliest of TV hits, a programme that seems to be set in the sort of England that is usually confined to Midsummer Murders, and where every kitchen has that mouth-watering scent of Baked Bread. I’m talking, of course, about that great Twitter favourite, ‘The Great British Bake Off’.
The latest series again shows just how much the baking and cupcake craze is taking off. Paul Hollywood makes women’s hearts flutter with his piercing blue eyes, whilst Mary Berry has become an unlikely style icon, especially since rocking a brightly coloured Zara jacket at the age of 76. And Mel and Sue are just the perfect presenters, a blend of humour, interest and sympathy, especially when those souffles fail to rise. But it is the contestants that really raise the bar of this series, showing that baking is no longer a hobby confined to grandma’s making fairy cakes for school fetes. Young, trendy bakers are helping to elevate the pastime to new levels of interest, with baking courses suddenly taking place all around the country.
There are courses that help you to create the perfect cupcake, lessons in the art of cake decorating for business and pleasure, whilst that most aristocratic of treats, the macaroon is also a delicacy you can now learn to make in your own kitchen. And of course, in order to make all these fabulous items, you need the kitchen appliances, the cupcake kits, the beautiful cake stands to display your delicious delicacies on. All this means that the art of ‘baking a cake’ has turned into seriously big business, and shows once again the power of television to enchant and enthrall the masses.