The beginners’ guide to the bake off – Brownies!

By Kelly Spencer

Despite a self-confessed inability to cook anything that doesn’t involve the toaster or the microwave, I decided that, in aid of a wonderful cause, I would pull on my pinny (which I admit I had borrow from my culinary whizz of a boyfriend) and enter the kitchen for the MK PR Helen’s Trust Bake Off.

Don’t worry, for my first foray into relatively complex cookery (and by relatively complex, I mean anything requiring more skill that student specialty beans on toast) I ensured there was adult supervision from a specialist baker – my nan!

With an expert overseeing proceedings and a little help from my ‘Cooking for Kids’ recipe book – which I received as a Christmas present at the tender age of 26 – I think I’ve done ok!

So I flicked through the ‘Something Sweet’ section of the book, and being a lover of all things chocolate, decided to go for double chocolate chip brownies, mainly because I thought cornflake buns won’t cut it having tasted previous treats made by my team mates.

As ever, being someone who over-prepares, I read the recipe over a dozen times, wrote a list and headed to the supermarket for ingredients and apparatus.

A painstaking trip for my partner as only the exact item would do – dark chocolate could not be replaced by extra dark chocolate could it, who knows what would happen? And the 20cm baking tin was measured down to the last millimetre before making it into the trolley.

Once home, and under my nan’s watchful eye, I carefully measured out the ingredients one by one with precision and followed the recipe (thankfully on child-friendly, wipe-clean pages) down to the letter – then I realised I was actually quite enjoying it – shhh don’t tell anyone!

So after more measuring, melting and mixing, I poured the gluey mixture into my cake tin, and popped in the oven for 20 minutes, for which I sat in front of the oven in anticipations that I may, for the first time ever, have created something tasters may even call edible.

After what felt like a lifetime of cooking and cooling, it was time to package them up, take them to work and test them out. Surprisingly the scores came in and I was over the moon, because as well as raising funds for the wonderful Helen’s Trust the verdict was good also…

Appearance – 46
Taste – 47
Texture – 48

Next up is Chrissie, over to you…