As seen on Britain’s Best Bakery 2014
Last June we were lucky enough to be selected as one of the UK’s top 60 bakeries, and top 3 in the North West region, and were then asked to take part in ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery TV show. “We’d love to!” was our reply and a couple of weeks later we started filming at the tearoom.
This was June 2013, before we had opened our Bakery & Baking School in Deeside in August so space was very tight as the camera crew joined us for a day of baking and background story filming. Our lovely front of house and kitchen team got involved too and every aspect of our day was caught by the great crew at Shine TV production company. This is where the ‘Wild card’ challenge was revealed and the trials filmed. Our challenge was to incorporate peanut butter into a traybake and we came up with our now often asked for, peanut butter cheesecake brownie made with our own blend of vanilla chai tea.
After filming at the tearoom we then travelled to a cookery school in the Lake District where the three chosen bakeries from the North West region battled it out in another two rounds of challenges and the final version of our Wild Card was also revealed. Our ‘Speciality Bake’ had been previously chosen on one of our first encounters with the production team and we decided on taking our Red Berry Tea cupcakes up to be judged. We met our judges for the day – Mitch Turner MBE who is well known for her cake decorating skills at the Little Venice Cake Company, and Peter Sidwell who is a restaurateur and baker best known for his love of bread.
We were up against some tough competition and the final round, where we were given a new recipe to follow for a well known local bake- the Eccles cake, showed how each bakery worked in their teams and showed just how flavours and methods can differ between bakeries.
Then came the final decision…who would win and go through to the weeks final heat?? The air filled with tension and Mitch and Peter paused for what seemed like an hour! It was Stockport’s Cowburn’s Bakery and so well deserved. Obviously we were disappointed not to go through, but to be only two years into our baking careers it was wonderful just to be a part of such a great series.
After seven months of editing and organising by the production company, the series aired in January this year and we watched avidly every afternoon to cheer on some of the most gorgeous Bakeries in the UK. Of course we cheered Cowburn’s on all the way for the North West and they ended up making it to the overall semi final- huge well done!
The Britain’s Best Bakery book has now also been released this month and it’s amazing to see Mad Hatters in print! The book includes the history of every bakery that took part in the series and a recipe from each – their Speciality Bake. You can find it in all good bookshops and online, and of course we’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried our recipe or seen the series 🙂
Being involved in the series was such a fantastic experience and we can’t wait to see where the next few years take Mad Hatters Tearoom & Bakery, we have lots of great things in the pipeline.
Ann & Kerri x