Spectator cookery

Now, I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been particularly bored, but I’ve been watching a lot of cooking shows this week.

“The Great British Bake Off” on BBC2 has been a particular pleasure. I’d say it was a bit like Masterchef but that’s a very lazy comparison, with only really the competition element intact. None of the dramatic music like the chefs are rushing to defuse a bomb, no hard-hitting judgements. Actually I guess they are in there, but they are just at natural levels, not amped-up like most reality TV shows. It’s just a quite good-natured baking contest.

Now I’m not a great cook. Not to the degree where I proudly tell everyone I’ve never boiled an egg (which people are either lying about, or pricks for being proud of it). I’m stuck firmly in a post-university rut, producing easy, unadventurous all-in-a-pan dishes in barely more than 10 minutes. I mean they are fine, but there are only so many variations of stir-fry, korma or bolognese you can make.

My baking skills are even worse. In my previous flat (I miss it) the electric oven had no instructions, and indecipherable symbols on the dials. As a result, my brief fad of baking was continually hitting a wall when I was trying to grill everything (usually sponge cake). I swear it was an easy mistake to make, I’m not mentally handicapped.

But I have so little faith in my kitchen skills that I just end up watching cooking shows for entertainment rather than personal growth. Is that normal? Even the easy recipes don’t tempt me to try it myself. I guess I have the excuse that I’m cooking for myself 99% of the time, and most recipes are far too involved to bother scaling down. Also I am lazy.

I’m sure I could try the recipe I just saw on Lorraine Pascal’s “Home cooking made easy”, where she basically cut up some shop-bought swiss rolls, lined a bowl with them, and tipped 5(!) tubs of chocolate icecream into the middle and re-froze it.

What the hell would I do with that much ice-cream cake though?!

Update: I always get loads of random traffic for this post, presumably looking for the recipe. Since I might as well give people what they want, I posted the recipe here: LINK!



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