I’ve been a bit slow to catch on to this wonderful programme. The Great British Bake off challenges ten amateur bakers to bake cakes, biscuits, bread etc each week and two are voted off each time. I love cookery programmes and find baking particularly relaxing to watch.

What I never expected was to become emotionally wrapped up in how the contestants were doing. Last night I was nearly in tears when the ‘bus driver’s’ marmalade loaf sunk in the middle and he cried after a bad critique of it. I had everything crossed that he wouldn’t be one of the first two voted out but he was and my heart was in my mouth. Making food is a very personal offering and someone said that the failure of a receipe or someone refusing their food was liked being personally refused. Which is why I find it hard to see people critised because there is so much of themselves in their cooking, they take it so badly.

In between all the activity are two very witty presenters looking into the history of baking; why shortbread is Scottish, why do we feel guilty eating cakes. In interviewing a contestant, one presenter remarked on the contemplative nature of baking, how it offers opportunity for creative output, nurture and quiet solitude.

And so I went to sleep last night with a belly hungry for cake. This morning I made Dutch Apple Cake from Rachel Allen’s Bake book. Quietly unwinding whilst whisking, and folding. I used two apples (the only two!) picked from a tree in our garden and fed two friends, two plumbers and my family.

All was right with the world for a moment. Just because of cake.

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