Saturday, 4 June 2016

Estimation Nation Baking Event with Smart Meters


I was really excited (but a little nervous) when I got the invite to be involved in a bake off challenge event put on by Smart Energy GB. I love baking so the idea of getting to be involved in a challenge was really excited. Not only that but it was hosted by Ian Cummings who was runner up of the Great British Bake off show last year and so as a big bake off fan I looked forward to meeting him and hopefully showing him some of my baking skills.

One thing that was going to be a little tricky in this challenge was that we got all the ingredients given to us, but we had to estimate how much to use in the bake. One of the reasons that Smart Meters wanted us to tackle this challenge was to show how tricky it is to estimate. So why estimate?

So what are smart meters and what have they got to do with estimations?

Absolutely nothing! Smart Meters are new gas and electricity meters that are available to be placed into homes to get rid of silly estimations and give you accurate readings of what gas and electricity you would actually be using. They are able to send exact readings of what you are using to your supplier and so no longer would you be receiving that horrible estimated bill.

They show you the readings on portable hand held devices and this means you are now able to watch how much you are using and what you are using it on. 


The great thing about the Smart Meter is that there are so surprises. You know yourself what your bill is going to be. The smart meters are really easy to use and are able to be read at a glance. It means that you can keep control of how much you are spending and if you wish to, you can make cuts to the things that are going to be costing a lot. 

Here is a diagram of how a smart meter process works. 


Everybody in England, Wales and Scotland will be offered the opportunity to upgrade to a Smart Meter by 2020, fitted by your supplier and at no additional cost to you. You will also be given a hand held device when it is all fitted. 

So now to the baking challenge. How did it all go when it came to estimating? 

We were briefed by Ian and put into teams of two. Our first challenge was to make chocolate and raspberry cupcakes. We were told that we had to estimate the amount of ingredients to use and also the amount of time we would need to bake them at. 



It was great fun trying to guess how much to use but also quite tricky and without the exact ingredients written down, we found we were just guessing and then adding more if we needed to. We had no idea how our cupcakes would turn out.
Half way through our raspberry bake we had a slight disaster where the lid came off the vegetable oil and it nearly all went in. I guess thats one way to estimate...chuck it in and hope for the best. 



We must have estimated quite well as they didn't come out to bad actually. I really enjoyed the taste. They were definetly edible and that was definetly a good result that I was more than happy with. 


Our next challenge was to make cheese scones. This we found a lot tricker than the cupcakes and estimating was a lot harder as we didn't have a clue. We ended up starting completely wrong and didn't have enough flour in our mixture and it was all wet. Estimating was not working with these.
We got them in the oven with time running out and unfortunately they came out a little flat. What went wrong I'm not sure but we definetly had not put the right amount of something in there. 

Luckily they actually tasted okay and I did eat them pretty much all later that night. 


Overall the event gave me a very clear indication that estimating is not always the best way forward. 

After the baking was over we went out of the kitchen and enjoyed some nice canap├ęs (that I can only imagine they didn't estimate with) and discussed how we felt we did while the judges tucked into our bakes and decided a winner. 

Unfortunately we didn't win but we also didn't come last place and so that was definetly something to be pleased with. 

The event was great and I can't wait to try and bake the food again but this time with the amounts of what we need to us. I definetly won't be estimating again. 

You can watch this great video to see us all in action. 



(Me and Ian Cummings)


I was invited by Smart Energy GB to participate in this challenge. All views and opinions are of my own  experience. Some of the photographs was used with permission from O'connor Photography. 

13 comments:

  1. that sounds like great competition. It doesn't matter You didn't win. Its all about taking part, no? R

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  2. Lovely video there. Sounds like a lovely competition. The experience must be worth it.

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  3. What an interesting idea for a competition. Your cupcakes looked great! I think I'd be rubbish at estimating - I can barely bake anything when following a recipe!
    Becky - Veryhungryfaterpillar.wordpress.com

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  4. What an interesting idea for a competition. Your cupcakes looked great! I think I'd be rubbish at estimating - I can barely bake anything when following a recipe!
    Becky - Veryhungryfaterpillar.wordpress.com

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  5. Your cupcakes looked amazing - made me want to make some!

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  6. sounds like a brilliant day! Your cupcakes looks gorgeous!

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  7. I want a smart meter and in terms of estimation, that is ok we all live and learn from our mistakes!

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  8. It was lovely to meet you and I am glad my hair straighteners proved a useful tool for the smart meter demonstration ha x

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  9. That's a great idea to prove that smart meters are worthwhile
    Od love a smart meter -unfortunately at the moment it would lead to too many electric arguments
    I look up the usage of a kettle and how much it costs each day!!

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  10. That's a great idea to prove that smart meters are worthwhile
    Od love a smart meter -unfortunately at the moment it would lead to too many electric arguments
    I look up the usage of a kettle and how much it costs each day!!

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  11. That's a brilliant idea of an event... the event itself seems really well put together too! And those cakes!!!!

    Oliver x

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  12. This looks like such a great event and brilliant experience. I can't bake at all so am in awe of your cakes! Kaz x

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  13. Looks and sounds like you had such a great time! I want to try those cheese scones!! Nom!

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