Almost a full week has passed since I decided to take the plunge and start blogging. In the last week, I have spent more time thinking about cookies, the non-baking kind, than ever before! The blogging world has changed a lot since I was last here. There is so much more to do behind the scenes. Long gone are the days when you could set up a simple Blogger account, take a few (unedited) photos on your phone, and upload your favourite recipes.
I am Ryan, by the way. I was born and raised in Stoke-on-Trent; however, in 2016, I decided to venture out into the big, wide world. I moved to Manchester. I have now been here for almost two years and have enjoyed every minute. The restaurants, the cafes, the artisan bakeries. In fact, the first apartment I moved into here was above a small, artisan bread shop and the smells that filled the hallways on Saturday mornings were almost celestial! I have since become obsessed with sourdough and starters because of that smell. By coincidence, our current apartment is also above a bakery; I cannot escape baking even if I wanted to!
I started baking as a young child with my Nanna. I’ll admit it, we mainly baked rock cakes (sorry, Nanna!) but that was how I got hooked. That, and eating lots of homemade pie and jam tarts! Years later, as a student, I spent a lot of time watching cookery programmes on TV, picking up lots of useful skills and tricks along the way. I eventually felt brave enough to challenge myself. I applied to be on the BBC’s Great British Bake Off!
Great British Bake Off
I should admit now that I only have vague recollections of the first season of the show so I cannot guarantee that I watched it when it was first aired. I certainly remember season two, however. It wasn’t until the end of season five though that I finally plucked up the courage to fill out the application forms.
Now, I’m not sure exactly how much I’m allowed to talk about the whole interview process but I will tell you about my most memorable bake, which I created for one of the auditions: the sweetshop wedding cake.
Sounded simple enough. Two tiers, royal icing for that sweet-like crunch; and, fresh roses to top. The fillings were chocolate lime, and turkish delight (pistachio and rose water). The cakes came out wonderfully but the icing. Oh, the icing! Two days I spent trying to get that blasted cake smooth. There was icing everywhere. On the plus side, the production company seemed to like it and I had a good day all round.
I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I didn’t make it onto the show but some of the people from my audition did. I was so close and yet I fell at the final hurdle. Who knows, maybe I’ll try again some day.
What’s to come…
One of the things I enjoy the most about baking is coming up with new and wonderful creations. Recipe development takes time but sometimes you find something you just know you’ll be baking time and time again. I cannot wait to share those recipes with you.
As well as sharing recipes, I hope to also bring you reviews of new products as they appear on the shelves. As I’ve mentioned on the About page, I like to eat good food. In Manchester, that’s not hard to do. Occasionally then, I may also post reviews of restaurants and trendy cafés I encounter in and around the City.
Anyway, I think I’ve talked about myself for long enough today. Be sure to subscribe to the mailing list to stay posted on new content. You can also follow the blog on Instagram (thedoughhookblog) and on twitter (@doughhookblog) where I’ll be posting behind the scenes photos and regular updates.