Ad – This was a gifted experience by The Big Birmingham Bake. I was not asked to write this post. All opinions my own.
Last weekend, Adam and I made our way down to the Custard Factory in Digbeth to spend our Saturday afternoon in a fierce bake-off style cooking competition at The Big Birmingham Bake.
Hosted in a tent (yes, just like on TV!) The Big Birmingham Bake pits bakers against each other to be crowned Birmingham’s Star Baker and win the coveted Birmingham Bake apron!
The big difference to Bake off, is that you get to work in teams. Each station, of which there are 12, has two people at it and even if you want to work alone, you must pay for the two person workstation.
There’s usually a theme to the bake-off – currently, in Birmingham it is doughnuts but I’ve seen on their Instagram page that this varies by month and location (London did Kuala Bear cakes on the same day).
The Big Birmingham Bake
We were given a list of instructions and all the ingredients we needed were measured out already (limits the opportunity for mistakes) and our workstation had shiny cooking applianced for us to use including an induction hob, cooker and a mixer.
As soon as our head baker, Emma shouted ‘BAKE’ we were off and there was a flurry of movement around the room as the teams set about creating their doughnuts. Adam and I worked well together splitting the tasks based on our strengths. Adam was good at the whisking and also enjoyed looking after the electric mixer while I did some of the more delicate tasks such as piping the doughnut mix into the trays.
The best bit about the doughnuts was that they were fully customisable. We could choose the flavouring for the dough, the creme patisserie inside and the icing. There was a whole range of flavours at our disposal from ‘Creative Corner’.Adam and I opted for banana doughnuts with a chocolate patisserie and rum flavoured icing. My one criticism of the whole thing was that the assistants were a little too keen to clean up around you and ended up taking things like tablespoons and scissors that we needed later on so we’d have to find somebody to ask for them back – not ideal when you’re on the clock! However, the assistants were lovely and if I could have them come to my house and tidy up after me when I’m cooking at home, they’re very welcome to come!
You’ll notice there aren’t any photos of us decorating our doughnuts. That’s because in true bake-off style, we were really pressed for time towards the end and it was all hands on deck to get those doughnuts ready in the timeframe.
After 90 minutes, your time is up and it’s time for the judges to taste your bakes in front of the whole room, Paul and Pru style! Emma and her assistant said we’d cooked our doughnuts perfectly and our flavouring was nice. I was worried when Adam wanted to go with banana as it can be quite overpowering but I think we got them just right.
Although we didn’t win – I told you the competition was tough – we had a brilliant afternoon. I immediately text my bake-off loving friends to tell them about it and we’re keen to try it again later in the year when there is a different theme. There’s also a London version so I’m going to put it on my manager’s radar for the next time we do team building (my other suggestion was axe throwing haha!)
The Big Birmingham Bake is perfect for hen parties, corporate events or just a couple who want to make and eat tasty treats. You can book tickets, which start at £39.50 per person, to The Big Birmingham Bake over at DesignMyNight or follow them on Instagram here.