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The Great British Baking Bluffers - how guesswork ruins our cakes

  • Increasing guesswork in the kitchen is causing “Baking Bluffs”, a nationwide survey shows
  • Almost a third of people admit they’re regularly disappointed by their bakes
  • British Gas unveils its “Smart Bakes” shortlist: scones, shortbread and eclairs are the most energy efficient bakes, according to data from smart meters 
 
It’s official. Research from British Gas reveals that Great Britain is now a nation of “Baking Bluffers” with more than half of us guessing ingredients or approximating cooking times, while almost a third admit to ignoring recipes. 

Baking has firmly established itself as one of Britain’s favourite pastimes with almost half of people (47 per cent) seeing it as hobby. Many admit to being inspired by The Great British Bake Off, and more than a fifth (23 per cent) of the UK say the show has given them improved confidence in their baking abilities. Unfortunately, the majority (58 per cent) admit to burning their creations, and almost a third (31 per cent) are regularly disappointed by the results of their efforts.

The Cost of Overbaking
While half of those surveyed consider themselves to be good bakers, 94% guessed the wrong cooking time for the ten most popular bakes. Oven times for family favourites such as Victoria Sponge, shortbread and scones were all significantly over-estimated, being left baking for an extra 10 minutes, 11 minutes and 14 minutes respectively. And when it came to cream horns, the research showed these were typically overbaked by as much as 16 minutes. 

 



Bake





Time to cook

(from recipe)





Time to cook

(according to public)





Time Difference1





Energy cost if cooked with recipe2





Energy cost if cooked without recipe





Cost Difference


 

 

 

Cream Horns

 

 

 

 

10-12

 

 

 

 

27.8

 

 

 

 

+15.8 mins

 

 

 

 

4p

 

 

 

 

11p

 

 

 

 

+7p

 

 

 

 

Scones

 

 

 

 

12-15

 

 

 

 

28.9

 

 

 

 

+13.9 mins

 

 

 

 

5p

 

 

 

 

11p

 

 

 

 

+6p

 

 

 

 

Shortbread

 

 

 

 

15-20

 

 

 

 

31.5

 

 

 

 

+11.5 mins

 

 

 

 

5p

 

 

 

 

8p

 

 

 

 

+3p

 

 

 

 

Victoria Sponge Cake

 

 

 

 

25

 

 

 

 

35.4

 

 

 

 

+10.4 mins

 

 

 

 

5p

 

 

 

 

7p

 

 

 

 

+2p

 

 

 

 

Black Forest Gateau

 

 

 

 

25-30

 

 

 

 

40.6

 

 

 

 

+10.6 mins

 

 

 

 

5p

 

 

 

 

8p

 

 

 

 

+3p

 

 

 

 

Croissants

 

 

 

 

20-25

 

 

 

 

26.3

 

 

 

 

+1.3 mins

 

 

 

 

6p

 

 

 

 

7p

 

 

 

 

+1p

 

 

 

 

Madeira Cake

 

 

 

 

30-40

 

 

 

 

40.8

 

 

 

 

+0.8 mins

 

 

 

 

7p

 

 

 

 

8p

 

 

 

 

+1p

 

 

 

 

Eclairs

 

 

 

 

25-30

 

 

 

 

30.4

 

 

 

 

+0.4 mins

 

 

 

 

11p

 

 

 

 

12p

 

 

 

 

+1p

 

 

 

 

Brownies

 

 

 

 

30-40

 

 

 

 

30.2

 

 

 

 

0.0 mins

 

 

 

 

9p

 

 

 

 

9p

 

 

 

 

0p

 

 

 

 

Crème Brûlée

 

 

 

 

40-45

 

 

 

 

30.1

 

 

 

 

-9.9 mins

 

 

 

 

1p

 

 

 

 

1p

 

 

 

 

0p

 

 

 

 
Table 1: The Top Ten “Baking Bluffs” by the public and associated costs 


British Gas Smart Bakes
In response to these findings, British Gas has released its “Smart Bakes” shortlist, which ranks the nation’s top 15 bakes in terms of their energy efficiency and the cost of the ingredients. By following a recipe faithfully, there’s no need for guesswork on how a bake will turn out. Bakers with smart meters installed at home are able to see in real time exactly how much energy they’re using to make their cakes, and the cost in pounds and pence. 

 

Position

Bake3

Overall Cost to Bake (Energy & Ingredients)4

1

Scones

£0.46

2

Shortbread

£0.77

3

Éclairs

£1.15

4

Florentines

£1.64

5

Madeira Cake

£1.83

6

Cream Horns

£1.97

7

Brownies

£2.07

8

Chocolate Tart

£2.25

9

Croissants

£2.32

10

Crème Brûlée

£2.71

11

Victoria Sponge Cake

£2.75

12

Chocolate Chip Cookies

£3.97

13

Swiss Roll

£6.75

14

Mini Pork Pies

£7.73

15

Black Forest Gâteau

£11.49

 

 Table 2: The “Smart Bakes” – the nation’s top 15 bakes ranked by cost of energy and ingredients

 
 
Sarah Scrivener, Smart Energy Expert at British Gas, commented: “Busking it and introducing some ad hoc baking flair may impress friends, family and even potential love interests, but unfortunately it’s often a recipe for a baking disaster. Most of us don’t realise these unplanned moments of cooking creativity will also impact our energy bills through the cost of unnecessary overbaking. Having a smart meter and display monitor in the home helps budding bakers be more savvy with energy usage in the kitchen, and focus on what really matters – the cakes!" 

To find out more about energy efficiency in the kitchen, take a look at British Gas’ tips here. To find out more about British Gas smart meters visit here

 

ENDS

Notes to editors

1 Calculated from the maximum/minimum recommended bake time according to recipe

2 Costs calculated using sust-it Energy Cost Calculator  

3 Recipe sources listed below:

4 According to recipes adjusted for 12 servings

 

About Smart Meters

Smart meters replace existing standard gas and electricity meters and will be introduced in homes and businesses as standard by 2020. They come with a smart energy monitor that displays how much gas and electricity is being used, and its cost in pounds and pence, in near-real time. That information is shared with energy suppliers automatically, putting an end to estimated bills and meter readings for customers with credit meters, who pay by Direct Debit or quarterly by cash, cheque or card. British Gas is currently trialling Smart Pay As You Go with customers using prepayment meters. That will mean customers will be able to see their current balance and how much credit is remaining on the smart energy monitor. They will also be able to top up online, by smartphone app, over the phone or by visiting a local shop. British Gas is also trialling apps that enable smart meter customers to get information about their energy use on their smartphone. The information from smart meters gives customers a greater understanding of how they’re using their energy.

For more information contact:

Harriet Bevis
PR Manager
British Gas
01784 84 3000
Harriet.Bevis@britishgas.co.uk

Jennifer Plews
Senior PR manager
British Gas
01784 84 3000
jennifer.plews@britishgas.co.uk

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.


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