Last Tuesday marked the end of this years’ series of the Great British Bake Off which means, in short, that I am going to have to find a new cookery programme to soothe me on stressful days.
There is nothing like the world of baking, in which “disaster” constitutes a ganache without its glossy finish, or a choux pastry which just hasn’t risen to its full potential, to make you forget your woes. And yes, we will all miss Paul Hollywood and the lovely Mary Berry, along with their signature catchphrases, ‘good crumb’, ‘lovely flavour’ and my personal favourite- ‘it’s a good even bake’. It’s a world of bunting, fresh air and good sportsmanship: wholesome television that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to watch with your mum, which is more than I can say for the new BBC series Nigellissima.
Shamelessly exploiting her reputation for sexing up food, Nigella Lawson opened the latest episode by inviting us into a darkened room with a little jazz music and explaining that, ‘what gives some people pain can give the rest of exquisite pleasure. And I have everything I need to feed my late night need…in-this-black- box’.
‘What could possibly be in that box?’ I hear you ask. The answer, dear reader, is less saucy than she leads you to believe. It is liquorice, that sweet aniseed based substance is what apparently wakes this sultry food lover up at all hours of the night. Still, you can’t argue that she is a genuine 52 (yes, 52!) year-old domestic goddess and very watchable, the glint in her eye a constant reminder that her act is definitely tongue-in-cheek.
If you are, like me then, suffering from Bake Off withdrawal symptoms and can’t wait for the next series of Masterchef, then this is well worth a watch.