Great British Dairy-free Disappointment

Well, here we go again! I don’t know why I bother hoping that TV programmes will do dairy-free cooking properly. This time it’s The Great British Bake Off that’s been a disappointment.

Vegetable cakes.

Of course. How could we ever think of baking anything else? Sponges light as a feather? How could we be so unreasonable?

Well, I’m sorry to disappoint the powers that be, but I DO expect delicious, light cakes and pastries. And what’s more I make them regularly and without angst, agony or the need for a sacrificial goat.

I have no problem with carrot cakes, sweet potato cakes etc etc, but I do object to the implication that you can ONLY expect solid, dense cakes if you’re dairy-free. For goodness’ sake, BBC! Join the 21st century. Those of us who know what we’re doing with this type of cooking, and there are many of us, can vouch for the fact that we can produce everything from sponges to choux pastry without any problems. And that’s not cakes that you choke down out of politeness. I’m talking about glorious, light, fluffy sponges and not filled with wet, slimy icing either (once you’ve made the one-off mistake of trying to use Vitalite or Sainsbury’s spread for icing) which I’m sure I saw oozing its way out of one of the offerings in this week’s show.

On a more philosophical point, I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable with a “Weirdo Food” week in something as influential as GBBO. On the up-side, I suppose I should be grateful that mainstream shows are trying to dip a token toe into so-called “allergy” cooking. However, I think I’d be much happier with items scattered across the shows, rather than the implication that all baking with replacement ingredients is the same and going to produce sub-standard results. Perhaps that’s the thing I object to most of all: the notion that a hair shirt is a necessary part of eating dairy-free; that you just have to accept that compromise is an essential part of dairy-free baking.

Well it isn’t and I don’t. I don’t live off vegetable cakes and I’m quite sure you don’t either.


Oh well, back to the recipes. They’re more fun and not so bad for the blood pressure. Besides, nobody ever listens to me, so I shall just put my energies into creating more delicious things to eat and make myself feel better.

Breathe…and smile!

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