Everyone who watches The Great British Bake Off wishes they could recreate all the contestants' gorgeous, prize-winning pastries, but artist Lynn Allingham actually does. Hers are identical to the original masterworks in every way — except that hers are made of polymer clay and they're small enough to balance on the head of a pin.
Allingham is a jewelry maker and master miniaturist. She makes dollhouse food so realistic that you could take a close-up photo for Instagram, and nobody would ever guess it wasn't edible. And for the past few years she's been stretching her skills by making exact duplicates of the winning showstoppers from The Great British Bake Off.
Allingham's pastries might not taste as good as the originals, because they're made of polymer and really shouldn't be eaten at all, but otherwise they're identical. Her work is so intricate and painstaking that it astounded even the original bakers. 2015 GBBO finalist Tamal Ray looked gobsmacked as he peered at precious, pixie-sized duplicates of the spiced blackberry, raspberry, and cardamom Charlotte russe with which he won episode 7, and the towering, three-tiered sticky toffee fruitcake he entered in the finals.
"Lynn Allingham is an insanely talented artist who made these miniatures of some of my bakes for GBBO," he wrote. "She's now released a book (which you should all go and buy) so you can squeal with delight at all the pretty tiny food! "
Allingham was already a huge Bake Off fan when she decided to start what she calls her Great British Miniature Make Off in 2015. Allingham is a self-taught miniaturist, and the project keeps her skills razor sharp. Every week there's a different victor, and she has to think on her feet to figure out how to mimic whatever culinary feat managed to impress the judges that episode.
In one case she had to reproduce an entire gingerbread pub, complete with a tiny Coke bottle that was only three millimeters tall. Another time, she had to make a real, functioning Ferris wheel with miniature mousse cakes dangling from it.
Between watching Bake Off and making tiny food, it's amazing Allingham had any time left at all. But she did, and she used it to write a book about her tiny masterpieces. Making Tiny Food is available for pre-order now, and it promises to teach you how to recreate her tiny food masterpieces. If making a 1/16th scale version of a GBBO pastry seems even more out of reach than being able to reproduce one in the kitchen, Allingham sells her tiny miniatures as ornaments, jewelry, and dollhouse food on her Etsy store, Tuckshop.