While cookshop sales suggest that the UK’s favourite pastime now is baking, new research reveals that all is not quite as it appears in the nation’s kitchens.
A YouGov study of over 2,000 adults for Sainsbury’s uncovers a sorry picture of cheating, lying and good old plain ignorance amongst our home bakers.
The research identified what it calls “a new breed of half-baker”, with 46% of people taking serious shortcuts when it comes to preparing cakes and desserts. The techniques most used by half-bakers include buying pre-made icing and readymade cake mix or mincemeat.
A quarter of these cooks cut corners due to time constraints or a lack of patience. But for many it stems from a crisis of confidence as 15% lack the belief that they can produce a decent cake from scratch.
While this new breed of half-baker is at least giving cake-making a go, the research uncovered a number of full-on-fakers passing pre-made cakes off as their own. More than one in 10 admit to duping guests, serving up store-bought creations as homemade triumphs. Cheesecake, chocolate cake and mince pies were revealed as the most faked desserts on the dinner table.
The research also found that 41% of those surveyed could not name the top five ingredients that go into a Christmas cake. In fact, 32% thought that mincemeat was the key ingredient, when it is only used in mince pies.
Last Sunday was Stir-up Sunday, traditionally the deadline for finishing the festive cake, and Sainsbury’s launched a special one-day Stir-up Sunday hotline with a team of baking experts on hand to give out tips and advice.