A Ballymoney lady has create her very own ‘Bake Off’ challenge by recreating the technical bakes each week and posting her delights in a Facebook Blog.
Amy McClelland, a former pupil of Dalriada, started the ‘Great British Bakealong’ to coinside with the hit BBC television series and has since had one of her bakes featured on Paul Hollywood’s Facebook page.
Amy explained: “I’ve always loved the Bake Off but usually just watched it. However I decided to make it more fun by starting a ‘Great British Bakealong’, testing my skills by taking on the technical bake each week - a little bit daunting! A highlight was Paul Hollywood posting a photo of my ciabatta on his Facebook page, but it has all been good fun!”
Not only writing her experiences in a Blog, Amy also gives her creations away as a ‘random act of kindness’.
She continued: “I didn’t want it to be just another baking blog so that’s where ‘Bake Share Care’ came into it. I always give my baking away, so I thought I would push the challenge a bit further by sharing my bakes with different people every week. Sort of a ‘random acts of kindness’ challenge with a baking theme. Proms in the Park with the Swedish Princess Cake has probably been the most exciting one. The poached pears wrapped in pastry were probably the worst; so time consuming and not, in my opinion, worth it for the taste achieved. I could do a much better pear crumble in a fraction of the time!”
A weekend visitor to Ballymoney to see her family, Amy added: “I started baking about seven years ago after going on the Sex and City tour in New York and sampling the famous Magnolia Bakery cupcakes, which I then decided I needed to replicate! It’s always good when you have a limitless supply of teenage taste testers as I’m an English and Drama teacher in Ballyclare. I probably realised I was a bit of a baking geek when I declined the fancy jewellery people normally ask for on a ‘big’ birthday, and got a Kenwood Chef instead.
“My baking has taken off since with family afternoon teas, Christmas bake fests, cupcakes for chivalrous neighbours, and a fundraising breakfast in June for Stand by Me - a charity that I was going to Ethiopia with. Your baking doesn’t always have to be perfect; people just appreciate that you’ve made an effort for them, and a disastrous sponge can always become a triumphant trifle! The Bake Off challenge is really simple; bake something, anything, and share it with someone else. You can post it on Facebook, Tweet, or blog. I would love people to write about on my blog and let me know how they’re getting on.
“Who am I tipping to win Bake Off? Well, Richard seems to be streets ahead but I’m going to be controversial and go for Nancy - she has common sense and keeps her cool. Will you see me in the tent next year? Oh no, those piercing blue eyes are much too intimidating!”