The Decent British Baking Program

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The following was performed and recorded live at Hopleaf by Cassandra, a comedy collective that seamlessly weaves outrageous characters, storytelling, live lit, and music into one hilarious live show.

SUE:
Welcome back to the Decent British Baking Program! I’m your host Sue Parsons and I’m here with Judge Paul Houndstooth Crumpetsnatch, tell us what you’ll be looking for in today’s bake, Paul?

PAUL:
Right, so I’ll be examining the rolls here for shape, color, and moisture. And for the custard muffins, you want a proper round shape, and a nice wet bottom that fits in your hand.

SUE:
And a good bit of cream filling right?

PAUL:
A nice viscous, creamy filling ought to be oozing out of the bottom but not make a mess.

SUE:
Right! Let’s start with Thomas! Thomas, what have you got?

THOMAS:
I have a nice rhubarb pudding pie, with a thick warm sauce inside.

PAUL:
Let’s have a nibble of your pie then!

SUE:
I must say Thomas, this is quite a massive pie.Not quite sure where to start!

THOMAS:
I like to lay it out sideways, myself, and kind of spread the crust with my fingers and then just dig in there with me hand.

PAUL:
Bit of a mess, this.. Thomas, I’m afraid you’ve got quite a lot of soft, loose dough hanging in the way, here. It’s quite wet and warm, but I can’t find my way to the insides of your pie!

THOMAS:
Sorry…just part it with your fingers, there.

PAUL:
Okay, we’ve got a beautiful crimson inside. There’s some thick red jam seeping through the soggy, thick crust of Thomas’ pie. Hm. (tastes). Hm, there are these massive, kind of chewy chunks of red goo swimming in your pie juice.

SUE:
It’s a bit musky, innit?

PAUL:
I do taste a bit of…earthiness.

SUE:
It’s a bit like a kidney pie where the kidney’s gone all…fetid and slipped out in a bunch of clotted chunks.

PAUL:
The chunks of red are a little…skunky.

SUE:
Not a decent bake.

THOMAS:
I’m so sorry. I would’ve never my pie in your mouths if I knew it wasn’t fresh.

SUE:
Quite alright Thomas, we all have those days. Let’s go see what Richard’s puffing up for us! Richard, what have you got?

RICHARD:
Yes, well I have a footlong pink Swiss roll splattered with cream.

SUE:
How delightful! Richard, I want to trap my chops right around those cakes and gob on em till teatime! What do you think, Paul?

PAUL:
I think you’ve used to much yeast, Richard! Those mounds are huge!

RICHARD:
Oh, right, well I’ve gotta let it sit on the counter and beat it down a bit before it’ll fit in the oven.

PAUL:
No, I mean look at the quality of the cream here on the edges. See how it’s dribbling out?

RICHARD:
Yeah

PAUL:
Look at that consistency there, why it’s almost curdled…

SUE:
Oh, I see now, bit of a cottage cheesy quality to the stuff that’s coming out of yer Swiss roll, Richard!

PAUL:
Now, let’s have a smell here. (snifs) Yup, it’s got a bit of that sour, bready odor to it.

SUE:
(snifs) Oh, my! Quite a sickly stench up in yer roll! I would not want to put my tongue in the middle of that spiral.

PAUL:
You’ve used far too much yeast in this roll, Richard! It’s leaking gloppy yeast discharge everywhere!

RICHARD:
Oh dear!

PAUL:
Oh, it’s probably all the way up in there, too, just legions of yeast reproducing all the way up into your Swiss roll, making the cream all congealed and clumpy inside and then spilling on out. There’s all this terrible, crumbly white residue lining the edges of the roll right where you hold it in your hand.

SUE:
I’m so sorry Richard.

RICHARD:
Oh, I knackered it! Oh, I’ve gone all arse over tit with my bake! My pink swiss rolls got a yeast infection! I’m a bloody awful baker!

SUE:
Now, now, Richard. Let’s not be unsightly in our grief, now. This is the Decent British Baking program.

RICHARD:
…Right, I’ll be off to bugger myself then in silence with a nip of brandy on me bedside table.

SUE:
There you go. Now, let’s see how Mary’s cookies are holding up. Mary, hello!

MARY:
Hello love! I’ve made a lovely tray of Lady’s Fingers with buttercream filling and a nip of lavender.

PAUL:
Let’s see her…fingers are about three inches long, very consistent. Nice and firm. Beautiful pale french-vanilla color, which is what we like to see here on the British baking program, of course.

MARY:
Of course. And here I’ve made a lovely swiss roll, rolled up all tight and laid out on a long porcelain platter; it’s lemon rind, with a rosewater ganache.

SUE:
Such a lovely flushed pink color. And the edges, so delicate, like a soft carnation flower…

PAUL:
Oh, how on earth did you roll it so tight Mary?

MARY:
I like to get on top of it on the floor and use my body weight to work it over. Get myself a right bit sweaty!

PAUL:
Oh, that is brilliant! Let’s have a taste of the ganache here….this is delicious. Juicy, rich flavor, just melts on the tongue and slides down the throat.

SUE:
Your cake is nice and wet, just incredibly moist, it’s so easy to work my mouth around it and that little nubbin of lemon rind at the top fits right in between my teeth….scrumptious.

MARY:
(bashful) Why thank you.

SUE:
(mouth full) Mary…this is positively keen. Your roll is so tight I can’t even fit my tongue in its center. Oh, the way the juices from the cake keep gushing in my mouth! My eyes are watering, I love it!

PAUL:
Quite right, Mary’s rosewater is positively oozing down my throat. Tell you what…I’m going to take one of your Lady Finger’s and jam it right there into the center of your Swiss Roll.

MARY:
Oh my!

SUE:
It won’t fit! That roll is too tight!

PAUL:
No, I’m going to make it fit. I’ll just take your finger here and rub it around in some of that warm juice that’s coming out, and then I’m just gonna slide it on in there–

MARY:
Oh my! It’s so…full now!

PAUL:
Right into the middle…of your nice warm creamy Swiss roll and just hold it right there. Like that.

MARY:
My God!

SUE:
Right, let me help you Paul. Let me just see if I can slide another lady finger there right next to yours to sop up some of that sweet fluid she’s got squeezing out–

MARY:
Oh my goodness! It’s not gonna fit, it’s not gonna fit oh–

PAUL:
There. Now isn’t that nice?

MARY:
YES!

PAUL:
Pretty good, innit Sue?

SUE:
(lip smacking) Oh my…Paul, that was truly…decent.

MARY:
(breathing heavy) …I’m…hungry…

SUE:
Here now Mary, I’m going to pull one of your fingers out of your roll so you can taste the insides of it.

MARY:
Oh…my that is good…

(beat)

PAUL:
Ladies?

SUE:
right…Thanks…for enjoying the Decent British Baking Program, I’m Sue Parsons, and next week we’ll be snacking on Paul’s signature hot tuna nut balls and opening up a can of Spotted Dick.

END

Originally published at erikadprice.tumblr.com.

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