Tag Archives: The Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off

What A Joy It Has Been!!!

What a weekend!!! I am going to finish editing this post before my laptop melts…it is making very odd noises and it is radiating an unusual heat which makes me think the little parts inside are over-baked after the demands placed upon recently. I need to say a huge THANK YOU to Robert and Annette who allowed me to camp at their home this weekend and use their office computer. My laptop just would not have been able to cope with all the pace of the BAKE OFF.

We have lots of THANK YOUs to share in this post. Our bakers of course are the key feature of the BAKE OFF. This year we asked you to think about BUDGET BAKING and SUSTAINABLE BAKING and we were a little nervous about the response to those themes….but wow – you embraced them and exceeded all our expectations! THANK YOU for your amazing baking photographs and also your enthusiasm on those areas we have been shining a light on.

THANK YOU to our Special Guest Poets! We are so grateful that you accepted our invitation to compose a BAKE OFF poem. Your poetry celebrated the JOY OF BAKING and echoed our feelings about rising costs and the desire to take better care of our beautiful earth.

Punam – WHISK AFFAIRS

Christine – MADE WITH LOVE

Kristian – LET THEM BAKE

Gentleman Dave – THE WISHING WELL

Ingrid – LEMON DRIZZLE / VICTORIA SPONGE

THANK YOU to the participants in some of our Special BAKE OFF Features:

Robbie Cheadle – STAR BAKER INTERVIEW

Our Bake Off Judge Jeanne – THE JOY THAT JEANNE HAS BROUGHT US

Annette Lewis – MAKING JOYFUL CHOICES AND CHANGES

All three of you have helped us to think about how we can enjoy our food, especially our baking, but to do so in a way that does not put us under further financial strain and also in a thoughtful way reflecting appreciation that our daily choices have an impact.

We also want to say THANK YOU to everyone who took part in our special BAKE OFF writing prompt. It was wonderful to read your work. There was such a variety that touched on all of the questions we raised in our writing prompt so it was fantastic to see your personality in your writing.

We are also thrilled with all of the WordPress users who took part in the BAKE OFF by advertising and promoting it on your own sites. THANK YOU to all of you who supported our bakers and poets, writers and interviewees by reading their posts, commenting and forging new blogging connections. That has brought us so much joy to see!

On a personal note, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to Gary and Jeanne. It is always such a joy to work along with you both!

There is no denying it – these are anxious times. Many of us, most of us, are effected by the rising costs of necessities. We are deeply concerned about the man-made damage to our natural habitats and to our climates. We want to see this earth treasured and cared for. Keep on thinking about the kind of earth you want to live on, reflect your hopes and dreams in your writing, in your poetry, in your baking!!!

We hope that this weekend has filled you with confidence that there are many people who share your concerns and feeling. Many are thinking about the choices they make – little and large – and making changes that reflect how they about our planet. But this can and should be joyful. Sharing our joy with others can have a profound impact. Hope and joy are intrinsically linked.

There is just one more event that we are now looking forward to….

Our Special BAKE OFF Judge Jeanne has been perusing all of the baking photographs we have shared this weekend. Soon, Jeanne will be sharing with us who she has chosen for the 2002 STAR BAKER accolade!!!!

Photo by Elias Tigiser on Pexels.com

The Joy Keeps Rolling!

After a very joyful weekend THE 2022 JOY OF BAKING GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF is drawing to a conclusion. But I woke up this morning to see a beautiful baking photograph in my inbox. I am back in my own little nest and my laptop is slower than ever. So it has taken almost two hours before it finally agreed to let me produce a post to feature our next bake.

You may remember the gorgeous Pecan Nut Cake near to the start of this weekend’s BAKE OFF. Well, the same baker Tandy, the creator of LAVENDER AND LIME, has shared with is these excellent Seeded Soda Bread Rolls:

SEEDED SODA BREAD ROLLS

Don’t they look scrummy!! I was intrigued that Tandy said these are quick to make, and when I read through her recipe I noticed that you don’t seem to have to wait for hours for the dough to prove – which is great.

Time saving bread rolls mean of course you can keep on rolling!!!

Something Is Missing Jack

What a weekend it has been!!! Truly we have been so impressed and delighted with your bakes!!! You have kept us very busy – and I am sorry I have been quiet and slow to respond to your comments…there were photographs coming in all weekend and we were trying to complete a post for each one and keep the scheduling varied.

I am so glad Jack volunteered to take on the role of “Musical Director” – well, that is what he is calling himself. But said to Jack late last night, “something is missing Jack”. He asked me what I meant, and although I was not sure about it at the time, I woke up not long after midnight knowing what was missing – “ABBA!”

Jack asked why I thought the BAKE OFF needed ABBA. I made a cake the weekend he came back from his tour of South East Asia and the South West Pacific and I had intended to use the photograph in the BAKE OFF. Somehow I had forgotten about it all together!

Well…that just won’t do! Sweden would never forgive me if I omitted a dessert that you can find in nearly every cafe in Sweden. This indulgent sticky chocolate treat is called Kladdkaka:

KLADDKAKA

When I made this treat, I remember pondering which ABBA song would be ideal for my BAKE OFF post. That is how I knew ABBA was missing from the BAKE OFF. Well…we need to put that right!!

The Joy Of Beautiful Baking

I think I speak for many an amateur / novice baker when I say that we are often glad just when our baking production comes out of the tin in one piece and is not burnt! Frosting can cover over a multitude of sins! But there are some bakers who seem to have nailed the art of fine baking!

Sheree, the creator of VIEW FROM THE BACK made this ever so classy Upside Down Chocolate Crumble Cake:

UPSIDE DOWN CHOCOLATE CRUMBLE CAKE

Jack said that this is the sexiest bake we have seen. Thank goodness he is not our BKAE OFF Judge – I am sure Jeanne takes a lot more into account that how sexy a cake looks!!! But it does look exceptional.

Sheree – if we were your dinner guests and you brought this showstopper out for dessert, we would be very very happy!!!

Ghanaian Flavours To Warm Us Through Winter

I cannot believe we are scheduling baking posts to be published throughout the night for a third night in the row! It is incredible to see the response that came in for THE 2022 JOY OF BAKING GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF.

Our next bake is from the marvellous Annette, creator of LADY LEWIS. Annette regularly bakes shortbread – I particularly like her orange zest shortbread, but she told us that she has recently converted to a new recipe which is proving very popular with her guests. This is Annette’s spicy Ghanaian Shortbread, using a recipe from Zoe Adjonyoh.

GHANAIAN SPICED SHORTBREAD

Ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, freshly ground pepper, and allspice all go into the mix to produce the comforting, warming kick of flavoursome melt-in-tour mouth shortbread.

If you can spice up shortbread, there must be so many other things you can spice up 😉

All The Joy Of The Circus

Over the past few years, we have truly loved the inspiring productions that have been shared with us by super talented Robbie Cheadle, creator of Robbie’s Inspiration and Robert Writes and also Robbie Cheadle. This year Robbie has delighted us with another array of superb themed cakes packed with detail.

Many of Robbies’ cakes are very much about sharing THE JOY OF BAKING with her family. Our next cake from Robbie was made for her parents’ 48th Wedding Anniversary and takes us to the Circus:

CIRCUS CAKE

Robbie shares in detail what was involved in the construction of the cake itself in her post. I can only imagine the concentration in shaping the roof to the circus tent, but the effect is excellent.

We also love the detail in a of Robbie’s fondant figurines, including the perfect man (a man made of cake!)

Well Robbie – we are amazed at your technical ability and imagination. You are a bundle of creative energy which you express delightfully. Jack says you are a baking superstar…and he picked this song to dedicate to you!

The Joy Of Sweet Treats

One of the perks of THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF is being able to gain inspiration for new bakes and swap recipes. We are all waiting on Joy to share the recipe for her very posh vegetarian loaf, and I am sure that many of you have been bookmarking recipes that you want to try.

Brian, the creator of BUSHBOYS WORLD produced that perfect loaf of bread we saw yesterday, but we were also pleased to read that he and his daughter get together every now and then to bake (YAY – for family baking!!)

Brian shared that the recipe for these tempting Florentine biscuits came from another blogger “Bizzy Lizzy”:

FLORETINES

I mentioned to Brian that Florentines are my sister Mandy’s favourites. I often by a packet of M&S florentines when I am going to visit her. But I think next time I am going to use the recipe Brian shared to make florentines from scratch – much more impressive!

I don’t know if you are aware of the debate over where Florentine biscuits came from. You would have thought they came from Florence, but those who say they are not adamant they are more likely to be French than Italian. Well, we don’t think it is worth arguing over where these delicious biscuits came from. One thing we are sure is that the following track did come from Florence…And The Machine!!!

The Link Between Joy And Hope

During THE 2022 GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF we have touched on some very concerning issues…and no, I am not talking about Gary’s baking and it’s impact on surrounding towns in Yorkshire…I am talking about issues that have concerned all of us this year – RISING COSTS and CLIMATE CHANGE. We have been thinking about how we can use our loaf and make choices and changes on a daily basis yet maintain great joy!

But there is a very important link between HOPE and JOY. Please know I do tease Gary, the creator of BEREAVED SINGLE DAD, relentlessly and trust that he knows how much we adore him, but his baking exemplifies the power of HOPE!

Look at this slice of apple pie perfection!!!

APPLE PIE

The concerns we face today sometimes seem overwhelming, especially when we start to perceive those “in charge” as complete wallies who are more than a currant short of a fruitcake! Sometimes, we may feel like a little ant – powerless in the face of gigantic challenges. But do not lose hope!

Keep doing what is in your power, think about the daily choices you make – little and large that have an impact, set your sights on the kind of earth you want to live in…and even if you seem to have high apple pie hopes…you will reap JOY!

The Joy Of Seasonal Baking

One of the great things about holding THE 2022 GREAT BLOGGER’ BAKE OFF during the autumn is that we are seeing some fabulous seasonal ingredients that are new to the BAKE OFF. I don’t think we have ever had a recipe with pumpkin before. When I visited the USA, Pumpkin was everywhere – pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin spice lattes. Well our next bake is bringing the joy of pumpkin bakes to WordPress.

Skelly, the creator of FABRIC THAT MADE ME, along with her daughter Grace produced those amazing chocolate brownies we saw on Saturday evening. But they also baked this gorgeous Chocolate Pumpkin Bread:

After a stroll in the crisp autumn air, wading through crispy leaves, to come home and tuck into a slice of Chocolate Pumpkin Bread – pure bliss!

Autumnal Seasonal Baking is perhaps the source of some of the most comforting and yummy bakes out there. And remember seasonal baking is a big part of SUSTAINABLE BAKING! Thank you for Skelly and Grace demonstrating how delicious that can be!

Grateful For The Joy Of Baking

I think it is about time to announce that THE 2022 JOY OF BAKING GRET BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF is most definitely going to be continuing into Monday! The incredible array of baking productions is going to keep our special BAKE OFF Judge Jeanne extremely busy.

Our next blogger I actually started following because she looks identical to one of my cousins Sian – I found it astonishing at first, and I thought perhaps Sian had set up a blog under a different name. May is not Sian, but I am so glad that I found her site. I love her posts, particularly reading about the historic sites she visits and her gratitude journal.

May, the creator of ENDLESS MAY DREAMS, who shares posts on Wellbeing, Culture, Travel and Food, baked this gorgeous Carrot Cake last month:

CARROT CAKE

Jack and I love lots of walnuts on a carrot cake – so May’s photo jumped out at us immediately.

If you are wondering about the musical connection, Jack picked up that May’s post that included her fabulous cake was part of her September Gratitude Journal…so our favourite September song it is!!!