Mary Berry’s Baking Bible
In my break between spring and summer semester from college, I binge watched the three available seasons of The Great British Baking Show on Netflix and boy, howdy was I hooked! My cousin recently mentioned this baking program and at first I was doubtful. Visions of the jarring and stressful American cooking shows left me pretty unwilling to even give it a shot, but when I finally finished my semester, a break was in order. For three consecutive weekends, I parked myself on the sofa and found myself dreaming of study abroad programs in the English countryside, stalking around the manor wearing my Harris tweed.
Mary, Paul, Sue, and Mel entranced me, and I began googling caster sugar, Victorian Sandwich cakes, sponge, pudding, treacle, and a host of other baffling words. By Season 2, I was pretty well done with Paul but still enjoyed the show enough to order a kitchen scale and Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. Visions of Cherry Cake, Swiss Rolls, and other treats consumed my thoughts, and I sallied forth to the market to find some self-rising flour and the elusive caster sugar (it’s just superfine sugar, but not many stores seem to carry it).
In the last two days, I made one Swiss Roll with strawberry filling and a Victorian Sandwich cake with strawberry jelly and fresh whipped cream and both were good first attempts! The sponge for my Swiss Roll was overcooked, and I could almost hear Mary Berry tsk-ing as it cracked during the rolling process. Tonight’s Sandwich cake was a triumph, though I smothered it with whipped cream to hide the dip in the center. There’s no telling what the weekend will bring, but I will certainly take some better photographs and keep you all posted.