12 Days of Christmas Episodes – Day Nine: The Great British Bake Off (again!)

12 Days of Christmas Episodes – Day Nine: The Great British Bake Off (again!)

I don’t like Christmas.  But in an attempt to be less of a Scrooge, I have decided to spend the 12 days leading up to Jesus’ birthday doing one of the few Christmas-related activities that doesn’t make me want to run away and hide: watching Christmas episodes of television shows.  And I’m going to write about it, because that’s just what I do.  Will this activity instil the spirit of Christmas within my cold, uncaring heart, or will I grow even more bitter toward the festive season?  Only time will tell…

Full disclosure:  I didn’t watch an entire Christmas episode on Sunday.  I know, I’ve let you all down, and I’m sorry.  But I did catch the second half of last year’s Great British Bake-Off Christmas Special – surely half an episode is better than nothing?

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The Great British Bake Off
2013 Christmas Special

Sometimes gingerbread houses aren’t what they seem.  The other week on A Beautiful Mess, Laura posted what looked like an amazingly inventive gingerbread house with a graham cracker roof and chocolates in the shape of cacti.  It was clever and stylish and looked as if it were entirely edible.  But it wasn’t.  During the “instructions” for this creation, Laura admitted that she’d crafted the gingerbread house with a foam core, and had made use of hot glue where royal icing did not suffice.  It may have looked like a pretty spectacular gingerbread house, but it didn’t actually contain any gingerbread.

abm gingerbread house
It’s things like this that make you feel cheated.  You lose trust in things.  How can a house not made of gingerbread still qualify as a gingerbread house?  Everything I thought I knew was wrong?!  I just don’t know what to believe any more.  My whole life is a lie.

In last year’s Christmas episode of The Great British Bake Off, Mary Berry constructs a proper gingerbread house.  She bakes all of the pieces, and glues them together with a strong batch of royal icing.  The entire thing is edible, save for a few toothpicks that she places in the rooftop so that it doesn’t slide off while the icing sets.  I’m willing to forgive her this one slight mishap, provided those toothpicks are removed before the house is served.

Watching this proper gingerbread house being built in (almost) real time on the television in front of me began to quell my disbelief.  Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood have restored my faith in edible buildings and the confection construction industry, and for that I will forever be grateful.



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