In the long and relentless history of the truth of the human race as we know it, there are some things that are certain: we are all dead, there is no escape from the taxman, and at some point in the season of The Great British Baking, A contestant hurriedly hoisted a baking pan over the cake to make it cool faster. No matter the season, no matter the skill level of the baker, no matter the style of the cake, there will inevitably be a hallucinatory struggle to cool a cake with the speed of a baking pan and the immense power of elbow fat.

At home, away from the stress of Noel Fielding’s funny time calls and Matt Lucas’ disgusting time calls, it’s rarely necessary to lower the cake’s temperature in less than 20 minutes. But further Bake-Off, Where time is as precious as a Handshake of a haterThe bakers will want you to believe that swinging a cookie sheet over dessert is a powerful and enigmatic form of magic. The trick of waving baking paper has become a major component of Bake-Off Knowing that in the first episode of season 10 (objectively one of the best of all seasons), when Michael Chuckworthy sees Dan Chambers waving a sheet over his fruitcake, he responds reverently, “He does the thing! He does the thing! Is that it?” Employee?”

“No,” Chambers says, sounding hopeless. Still, he is persistent.

Like any person who surrenders to him irreparably Bake-Off– Some things in the program are bothering me – Why the hell do they not let them change clothes between the first day and the second day? When does Matt Lucas go out to pasture? Why is Paul such a Paul? When will the rule of the Black Forest Ghetto end? – But at one point, I could not let go of the fact that the waving of the sheets was everywhere. Everyone does it so you’ll have to assume it works – but did everyone do it because they’ve seen everyone do it in previous seasons?

The only way to find out was through a very unscientific experiment.

First, control. This will not be an episode of Bake-Off No genuine sponge and Italian meringue buttercream, so for my first course I made both as usual. When the sponge was completely baked, I took it out of the oven, let it cool in the mold for six or seven minutes, bounced it from the mold on a cooling rack and plugged a ThermoWorks test thermometer with a temperature alarm directly into the sponge. coordinator. I watched patiently as it cooled, aiming for it to sink somewhere between 70 and 75 degrees within an hour. I kept watching. And kept hoping. And continued to see a little more.

I was amazed to find that without any intervention, it took my genius to soak for almost two whole hours to cool down. Imagine a Bake-Off A contestant waits so long in a hot, steamy tent in the middle of a humid British summer for the cake to cool before stacking it high with various types of buttercream, twill, meringue kisses and tempered chocolate. It was not possible for this to be possible given the time constraints. But will the cookie page trick save me even another 20 minutes, even 10 minutes? I was skeptical.

For the experiment, I baked exactly the same Genoese sponge, at the exact same oven temperature, I even pulled a short stool to my oven window to see its progress, before I overheated and got bored and decided it was one step Bake-Off Contestants are motivated to do out of insane and irrational despair. (Do not insult, guys, but staring at your baking is a waste of precious time anyway.) When the timer went off, I put the hot cake straight on top of a can, took off its springy collar, turned it into a cooling rack, pushed the thermometer test In the center, and immediately began to ventilate it with baking paper like a madman.

And what do you know, something amazing happened. Within seconds, the temperature in the thermometer began to drop rapidly as I angrily waved the baking pan from a meter away. The cake temperature started at 205 degrees, and while I kissed and swelled and waved, it quickly dropped to an amazing 139 degrees thanks to the immense power of my commitment. It’s a 66 degree drop in 10 minutes! Compared to my first cake dropping at 132 degrees for a whopping two long hours, it felt like no less than a miracle.

Sweating and exhausted, I decided that was enough – and much more than that Bake-OffThe contestants’ contestants will have time to do anyway – and move on to another common trick used by the baking program’s competitors. I slid the cake into my freezer, dangling the thermometer test – still sucking in the center – out the door. Thirty minutes later, my cake reached the same temperature just as my control cake. My second genius sponge has cooled in the third time it took for my first cake, and is ready to freeze with what I admit was a pretty crappy Italian buttercream. All of these Bake-Off The contestants who waved baking papers over their cakes were not only hopeful, they were geniuses.

In the preview clip for the last episode of Bake-Off SSeason 12 – With the legendary boy Chiggs, the crystal bubbling in a sticky form and Giuseppe wearing the film – Chiggs is seen using a trick of waving sheets on a cake. I can not guarantee it means he will win this esteemed crystal cake plate at the end, but at least now we know it will definitely give him a leg up.