The Great Thatcham Bake Off

Toby baking Great Thatcham Bake Off

It may be the final of Great British Bake Off next week but Toby’s baking adventures are just beginning.

People keep telling me how much Toby looks like me but personality-wise we are also cut from the same cloth. Like me, he’s strongly introverted. Like me, he also gets quite obsessive about his interests. Cars. Skyscrapers. Strictly. If you’ve ever spoken to him about any of the above, you will have seen his eyes light up with enthusiasm as he regales you ad nauseam with the most trivial facts about Aston Martins, the Burj Khalifa and what scores each judge awarded every contestant in Movie Week in the 2015 series. (I’m not joking.)

Like father, like son.

My latest obsession is with my diet. I’m busy counting calories and recording every gram of carbohydrate in a bid to deal with my diabetes better.

Toby’s current obsession is baking. All three of our kids have always enjoyed cooking but he has elevated this to a completely different level. His first question most mornings is, “Can we bake today?” He will happily spend hours carefully following recipes, patiently peering into the oven and tidying up after himself. This from the boy who discards the instructions when building Lego, loses patience with most things after six nanoseconds and leaves clothes and toys on the floor of every room he passes through.

Toby baking pavlova

In the last two weeks alone he has made chocolate cake, cookies, pavlova, shortbread, cupcakes and apple cake. He watches Bake Off with the kind of intense attention that suggests he may one day make a great air traffic controller. He even copies out recipes from Heather’s old food magazines and stores them away in his special baking folder.

For a novice baker, he’s genuinely very good. In true Toby style, he’s already declared he wants to make it on to Junior Bake Off. I can think of worse things to aspire to – even if his new-found love doesn’t really align with my dieting ambitions!


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