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The Great British Family Bake Off

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Frazzled mum cooking 
 
 
I’ve come up with a new theme for the Great British Bake Off – “Cooking for children”. I’ve had a think and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that this will be the contestants’ toughest challenge yet.
 
First up, the signature dish. Cook any meal you like but, and here’s the challenge - every single person in your family has to like every single part of it. 
 
Child A said they loved mushrooms last week but now can’t even look at them? Tough. You lose. 
 
To make it realistic, the meal has to be cooked in 20 minutes after you’ve come back from a tough day at work, out of any ingredients you can find in the bottom of the fridge, while simultaneously helping Child B with homework, doing three loads of laundry and shouting down the phone at the supermarket customer services for not delivering your shopping.
 
Secondly, my personal favourite, the technical challenge. You have been given the ingredients to make a cheese sandwich. However, the judges have left important parts out of the instructions. You must choose – white or brown bread? Butter or not? Grated cheese or sliced? Cold or toasted? Cut in halves or quarters? Squares or triangles? Crusts on or off? With or without cucumber? Arranged in a fun smiley face or a flower? 
 
Get any single one of these elements wrong and you’re out. To ensure the challenge is more realistic, you have three minutes to make the sandwich before a siren (a recording of a child screaming “BUT I’M HUNGRY NOOOOOW!”) will go off. 
 
As soon as you start making the sandwich, two small children will be released into the kitchen. Complete the challenge while preventing the children from hitting each other, playing with the oven, turning on the hob, defrosting the contents of the freezer by leaving the door just slightly ajar, and eating a whole packet of chocolate buttons that they found in the back of a cupboard.
 
Finally, if you’ve survived all that, the showstopper. The judges would like you to bake… (drum roll please – I think you know what’s coming) … a cake for a child’s birthday party. You must prepare and plan meticulously. The cake has to match the party theme precisely and look absolutely perfect. Your My Little Pony cannot in any way look like a deformed hippo. Sounds simple? Of course! 
 
But GBBO wouldn’t be GBBO without a twist. Ten minutes after you’ve put the cake tins into the oven, your carefully written plans will be burnt in front of you as you’re told that the theme has changed and the party brought forward by an hour. Good luck turning a half-baked Rainbow Dash into a Minion.
 
Producers of the GBBO, please feel free to use my brilliant idea. Just make sure you credit me and deliver several bottles of gin in thanks.
 
Alice Kassian Brown
Mum to two fabulous girls, aged 6 and 4, going on 16 and 14. Splits time between family, work and imagining an unlikely baking career.
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Guest Tuesday, 12 December 2017
 
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