There’s been just one episode of the new series of The Great British Bake Off, but in the spirit of GBBO, I’m putting all of my eggs in one basket. I’m on Team Norman.
Norman, or “Norms” as I may take to referring to him, is 66 and entered the competition with the label “fiercely Scottish”. He’s a retired merchant navy radio operator, spends a lot of his time making clocks and pottery in his own kiln (naturally) and has a schnauzer called Lucy.
I’ve got a Bake Off favourite hole to fill. Last year I was very much Team Howard. Howard was the one who cried when people left, had his custard stolen and between his lovely bakes (which at one time included using hemp flour) there was often some fabulous cutaway shots of him running around.
I am holding onto the hope that if the camera just zoomed out that little bit extra, Howard would be huddled in the corner of the tent still stirring his custard. Or maybe he’ll just run past the tent one day.
But back to Norms. He’s my baker this year. Last night he whipped up a lovely Black Forrest Roll. He can’t say it’s a Black Forrest Swiss Roll, “because the Black Forrest isn’t in Switzerland. It’s in Germany. Like where my dog comes from”. It went down a treat with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Especially as he’d made his own little Swiss Roll platform for it to sit on, which looked a little bit like a skateboard.
He bypassed the use of an electric whisk while in the kitchen. Why go to all the effort of plugging it in when you can just whisk it yourself, eh?
Not that Norman is completely averse to newfangled ideas. He had his own push-your-mini-bakes-out-of-the-tray-all-at-once contraption that impressed in the tent.
“Bold, fat and big, Norman,” was one line of encouragement he received for his bakes. He did have a bit of trouble with his technical bake. But it’s one of Mary’s recipes and, well, it’s week one. Plenty of time to bring it back to earn Star Baker.
During the show Norman had a jolly good chat with co-host Mel Giedroyc about rocking some flares in his day. He bypassed the platforms, not quite his style.
Norman’s also sensible about his baking preparation. He was going to have a few pints, he confessed, but decided he best have one less to make sure he’s properly prepared for the next challenge.
The mentality of a champion. Go #TeamNorman.
The Great British Bake Off continues at 8:00pm on Wednesday on BBC1, with an Extra Slice this Friday at 9:00pm, BBC2