I can now make succulents out of jelly beans

Have you heard of Neff? When I was invited to a gingerbread making event a couple of weeks ago I, like you, were none the wiser about this mysterious Neff creature. The possibilities running through my mind included, but were not limited to:

  • Neff: the High Wizard of the Ever Changing Fandango
  • New Elephant Friends Forever
  • Neff you

Side note: I have tried hurling that last one in the direction of people who stand in the way of the tube doors as you are trying to get off and it totally works.

To assuage my curiosity I headed alongĀ on a cold rainy night take part in the Great Gingerbread Bakeoff. I learned many things on that fateful night, and my dear readers as a gift to you I have imparted my knowledge just below this fetching picture of a gingerbread house.

Important bit of knowledge #1

I still at the ripe old age of 30 find team building exercises a challenge. As part of the Bake Off we were divided into teams of 8 and we had to cook and construct a gingerbread house in three hours. I’m not talking any of that pre-packaged ‘just make it look pretty’ malarkey, this was full on Great British Bake Off styles. No timings, minimal instructions and a fight to the bready death. Well, I wanted to put myself in a role that would most play to my strengths and benefit the team so…I was the Chief Mulled Wine Re-Filler. What can I say, I may not have any baking or artistic skills but I sure do know how to get a group of bloggers drunk in a hurry. Ah, sorry, its Christmas which means we were not drunk, we were just a little merry.

Important bit of knowledge #2

Neff, yes remember them? Turns out they are not a high wizard or a new twee swear, they are actually the geniuses behind that oven with the retracting door. During the presentation portion of the evening it was said one of the reasons for having a disappearing door was to make cleaning much easier… but lets be honest here, millennials will move flats to avoid cleaning an oven (literally the only benefit of not being able to afford a house due to all those avocados). The true benefit of the Neff oven door is so you can make your significant other wear a Paul Hollywood mask while you have a breakdown over your cake not rising. Finally, Neff has given us a legit excuse to cry in the kitchen – now all overly emotional moments can just be blamed on a GBBO recreation.

Important bit of knowledge #3

Ahhhh the succulents, the vaguely weird click-bait title that brought you here today. After I finished getting everyone drunk (i.e. we had finished the mulled wine and there was nothing else for me to do) I found myself at a bit of a loss. I was clearly not to be trusted with the structural integrity of the project, and they threatened to kick me out when I tried to start a rousing team sing-a-long. I sat down and cast my eyes around searching for inspiration. And there, right in front of my eyes I found it. A knife, some jellybeans and a group of bloggers. Put these together and what do you get? JELLY BEAN SUCCULENTS (or a sticky murder…). What more would a gingerbread house made by bloggers need? They are super simple, you take a green jelly bean and cut it length-ways into quarters – don’t cut all the way through leave a little bit as the base. Then you artfully mush them so it looks ‘like totally’ natural, and then use icing to glue it to another sweet that looks vaguely like a plant pot. Bonus points if you add a cut off bit of a red sweet in the middle so it looks like a flowering cactus.

Don’t you feel so much better now that know such magical things? In case I don’t see you before the holidays I hope you have a relaxing time full of food and good cheer – regardless of where you are in the world.

And most of all? Neff you.