The Handbook
The Handbook

Fans of Noel and Sandys’ quippy one-liners, Prue’s ability to let the cat out the bag every time and Hollywood’s twinkling eyes are going to love this. The new series of The Great British Bake Off is in danger of being postponed (they’re set to start filming in April so it’s very likely), but there’s still a chance to get creative in the kitchen, master a good snap and avoid any soggy bottoms with a virtual bake off coming direct to UK homes.

Usually housed in big white marquees at sites around the country, The Big Bakes is the UK’s first and only live baking competition that brings together wannabe bakers to go head to head in Bake Off style challenges. Obviously due to the current circumstances and self-isolation enforcement, the events have had to be put aside to proof, but don’t worry they are back in a virtual form as The Big Bakes goes digital.

The team are putting on remote video masterclasses three times a week with bake-at-home sessions that use only ingredients and equipment you’re likely to find in your cupboard – don’t worry they’re not expecting anyone to consider sugar roses or marshmallow fondant an essential item.

Each two to three-minute session will show people how to create an array of decadent desserts and sweet treats, from three-ingredient brownies to foolproof biscuits – there’s even a video for homemade lemonade. All of the videos have been shot in their famous marquees, giving viewers even more of a Bake Off vibe.

Now here comes the fun bit, it wouldn’t be a proper bake off without a bit of healthy competition. Once viewers have taken part in the class, they can share a photo of it with @Thebig_bakes, and each week, the team will choose their star amateur baker. At a time like this, a healthy dose of smugness and self-gratitude would do for getting your dozen scones or profiteroles as near-identical as possible, but the winner will also receive vouchers to attend a live session later in the year.

If this sounds like a way you want to be passing the time, head to @Thebig_bakes on Facebook or Instagram where you will find a list of the necessary ingredients needed for their upcoming class.

We’ve got this self-isolation thing nailed, if only the same could be said of our soggy bottoms.

For more information on The Big Bakes visit

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