It’s very early stages in The Great British Bake Off but at least for now we want Val (the retired headteacher and self confessed Ed Sheeran fan who likes to combine baking with doing keep fit) to win, or at least stay for the duration. She was a pure joy to watch and by far the person you most wanted to hug, especially when she nearly used cornflour instead of sugar. She's like a lovely lady next door who would bring you round a cup of sugar, just on the off chance that you were low on sugar. I doubt there were many who struggled to raise a smile to various parts of the show last night so here are our Val related best bits:
Caster Sugar Butter Cream
We've all been there, in the heat of the moment you chuck salt in instead of sugar or mix up some other ingredients but Val impressively made buttercream with caster sugar instead of icing sugar, something which texture wise you might think would get spotted, but not our Val, she served it up to Mary and Paul. He pretty much really definitely maybe enjoyed it.
Getting the Lid Off
Near the start of the show she was really struggling to get the lid off some baking powder (or a similar ingredient), this unfortunately coincided with Mary and Paul heading over her way, but she isn't the type to just give up. She kept on going and just as the judges reached her she popped off the lid, got herself in the face and said "It's alright, Paul. I've got it, Paul.", we particularly liked this as Paul never once seemed to be offering help in the first place.
"Move a little, lose a lot"
At one point cheerful Val was stood stirring away at a mixture not a care in the world, at the same time she was doing some 'aerobic exercise' which pretty much consisted of doing what I can only describe as side step shuffles with flair. Not only was she stirring and performing this exercise in such a joyful way but she was repeating to herself "Move a little, lose a lot, move a little, lose a lot".
3 Second Rule
Val was working tirelessly, she had made some lovely edible flowers and put effort in to getting them just right, she had them carefully balanced on a large inanimate object until, in a gripping moment, they got knocked and spread all over the floor. Not one to panic Val just grabbed what she could saying "Oh well, we'll use them anyway".
And of course, best of all...she can tell if her bakes are cooked by......listening to them as they sing!
Yes, like all experienced pro's Val has a trick or two up her sleeve and in my eyes this was the best. None of the gormless staring through over doors or poking a cake with a skewer to check if it's cooked, such amateur tactics were completely outdone when our Val simply grabbed her cakes from the oven, put them to her ear and said "They sing, and these say NOT READY!" so shoved them straight back in.
Other highlights of the show included a genoise being used as a frisbee by Candice, some questionable swallows, more than one person not knowing what way up a jaffa cake should be and Mary Berry telling a contestant that their cake tasted of grass. In our eyes Val (the female Frank Spencer but even more lovely), stole the show and for now at least, Val to win! We can't wait until next week!