Raspberry & Lime Charlotte Russe: GBBO Week #7

Raspberry & Lime Charlotte Russe: GBBO Week #7
My week 7 review and bake is a bit late as I’ve been in Hong Kong for the past 2 weeks (more on my trip coming soon!) This week The Great British Bake Off changed up the theme again with a Victorian episode. They do love their history so I think this was a nice choice. The first challenge for the contestants was to make a raised game pie using hot water crust pastry. In the Victorian era, game pies were status symbols for the middle class. Mary expected to see an ornate pie with intricate decorations, and Paul wanted thin pastry all around.

Mat had a traditional pie tin from his friend’s mum which dated back to 1850, his pie was filled with venison and pigeon. The judges loved the look of the pie and thought the meat was tender. Baker Paul used wild boar in his pie, but the judges thought it wasn’t decorated well. To be honest I thought they were overly harsh on Baker Paul about the decoration element. Tamal did a middle eastern spice mix with rabbit, lamb and venison. The judges absolutely loved it and he even got a handshake from Paul! Nadiya went for an untraditional Chinese 5 spice mix with pheasant and duck. Paul loved the decoration on top, but both he and Mary thought the spices over powered the game.

Flora really emphasised her middle class background as she told us how she made a pheasant pie in school and won a competition with it. She went for lucky pheasant again along with pigeon and rabbit, but she had problems cooking the pie as she over filled it. Although it had caught a little, the judges liked both the pastry and filling. Ian revealed his roadkill eating passion, and his pie was filled with venison, partridge and guinea fowl. He also made a meat jelly to accompany it. Mary did not think his pie was decorated enough on the outside, but she loved the appearance of the layers of meat inside. He did well for flavours too.

This week’s technical challenge was a Tennis Cake. This is a rich fruit cake decorated with a royal icing tennis court. Mary noted that it was very important that the cake was baked as soon as possible to it had time to cool down. Paul noted that there were a lot of elements of the decoration that could easily go wrong!

They had to make all of the different types of icing – marzipan, royal icing and sugarpaste from scratch. Mat struggled with his sugarpaste and ended up with radioactive looking goop, he also baked his tennis court and net so they turned brown. Meanwhile, Nadiya couldn’t remember what a tennis court looked like, but she was the only one to have an upright tennis net! Nadiya won the challenge with Paul 2nd, Tamal 3rd, Flora 4th and Ian 5th. Mat came last.

This week’s showstopper challenge was a Charlotte Russe, which is a mousse called bavarois and a jelly layer surrounded by ladyfingers. A structural nightmare to say the least! Mary said the most difficult element was getting the bavarois and jelly to set in time. I do mention this a lot, but I really think they should give them extra time for things to set as it really isn’t under anyone’s full control. Everyone was making the ladyfingers from scratch of course, and everyone except Tamal were using the ladyfinger sponge mix for the base of the dessert. Tamal used jelly as his base which really impressed the judges. He also decorated the ladyfingers with a chocolate swirl pattern.

Ian and Paul certainly had the most elaborate and impressive decorations. Ian made a 3D crown which was just fantastic! Mary thought it looked spectacular and Paul said it was purely magical. And Paul carved fruit into swans, but unfortunately his jelly was not set. Nadiya mixed italian meringue into her bavarois which was a recipe she learnt in school. The judges absolutely loved it as it was so light and creamy.

Mat made a simply flavoured strawberry Charlotte Russe, but he had problems with the ladyfingers breaking and the jelly wasn’t set. Flora flavoured her Russe with pomegranate, champagne, raspberry and white chocolate. Paul really didn’t like the addition of pomegranate at all, but they liked the other flavours and the defined layers of the Russe.

Mat left us this week after coming last in the technical and delivering a disappointing Charlotte Russe. I was so sad to see him go! He’s really funny and a brilliant baker of course. I think we’ll definitely see more of him in the future. Tamal won star baker, and I was really pleased for him as I think he’s deserved it in the past and I was glad he finally got it! Next week it’s all about patisserie.

I decided to make the Charlotte Russe this week as the tennis cake looked incredibly fiddly and as we are a half-vegetarian household a game pie was not suitable. The Charlotte Russe is very similar to the Charlotte Royale which featured on the Bake Off in 2013. So I was a bit disappointed not be using any new techniques, but on the other hand I was really excited to make bavarois again as it’s so delicious!

I prepared the tin by using a long piece of baking paper and folding it in half, then using it as a collar inside the cake tin. I secured it with a paper clip.

Lining the tin was the most fiddly part. I used shop bought lady fingers as they would be more sturdy. I started by covering the bottom and slowly building the side as I filled the bottom. This made sure the ladyfingers along the side were wedged in as I went – otherwise they just fell over. I dipped each ladyfinger for a couple of second in a mixture of 100ml sugar syrup (I used Fruiss Pure Cane Sugar Syrup) and 100ml Chambord – which is a black raspberry liquor. I really wedged it all in and filled in all of the gaps with cut up bits of ladyfingers, I was determined not to have any leakages!

To make the lime bavarois I put 750ml whole milk, 250g granulated sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, the seeds from 1 vanilla pod and the zest of 2 limes into a pan. I heated it up to a simmer and until all of the sugar dissolved.

In a separate bowl I mixed up the yolks of 10 eggs. I poured the milk into the egg yolks slowly, stirring constantly. I poured the mixture back into the pan and heated it for about 5 minutes until it thickened up. I poured it through a sieve to remove the zest, then added 8 pre-soaked leaves of gelatin and the juice of 2 and a half limes. I stirred it until all the gelatin was dissolved, then popped it in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool.

Once the custard was cool I whipped up 460ml double cream with my Kenwood kMix Hand Mixer and mixed it into the custard.

I poured it into the ladyfinger case and put it in the fridge to set. I left it in there overnight, but it set within about 2 hours.

The next day I made some jelly using half a pack of Hartleys raspberry jelly. I added 2 tsp of Chambord to the mixture. I poured it on top, but I did have some problems with leakage. I decided not to fill it too much as it was leaking.

For the decoration I whipped up some cream, I didn’t measure it but it was about 300ml. And I piped it using a star nozzle around the inside edge of the Russe, and around the outside at the bottom (this handily hid the leakage evidence!)

I added raspberries and lime zest on top and it was done! I was really pleased with the final apperance and look of it. I thought it looked really pretty! I haven’t cut into it yet, but I tasted some of the bavarois while I was making it and it was so creamy and delicious. I can’t wait to have a slice!

I took it into work and entered it into the ‘other bakes’ category of our Bake Off in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and came first in the category! I was so pleased and I got some great compliments.

What did you think of this episode of The Great British Bake Off? Will you make any of the bakes? Let me know in the comments!

I’m entering this into the Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

Recipe adapted from Chowhound.

Print

Raspberry & Lime Charlotte Russe

Ingredients

  • 2 packs of Ladyfingers
  • 100 ml Sugar syrup
  • 100 ml + 2 tsp Chambord
  • 750 ml Whole milk
  • 250 g Granulated sugar
  • 3 Limes
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • 10 Egg yolks
  • 8 Gelatine leaves pre-soaked
  • 760 ml Double cream
  • Half a pack of Raspberry jelly
  • 8-10 Fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Prepare the tin by folding a long piece of baking paper in half, then placing it inside the cake tin as a collar. Secure it with a paper clip
  2. Line the tin with the lady fingers. As you do so, dip one side of each ladyfinger for a couple of seconds in the sugar syrup and Chambord mixed together. Start by covering the bottom of the tin, then slowly build the sides. Fill in any gaps with cut up bits of ladyfingers
  3. Make the lime bavarois by putting the whole milk, granulated sugar, salt, the seeds from the vanilla pod and the lime zest into a pan. Heat it up to a simmer and until all of the sugar dissolves
  4. In a bowl mix up the egg yolks. Pour the milk mixture into the egg yolks slowly, stirring constantly. Then pour the mixture back into the pan and heat it for about 5 minutes until it thickens up. Pour through a sieve to remove the zest, then add the gelatine and the lime juice. Stir it until all the gelatine is dissolved, then pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool
  5. Once the custard is cool, whip up 460ml of the double cream and mix it into the custard
  6. Pour it into the ladyfinger case and put it in the fridge to set. It should set in approximately 2 hours
  7. Make the jelly following the packet instructions, and add the 2 tsp of Chambord to the mixture. Pour it on top of the set custard
  8. For the decoration whip up 300ml of the double cream. Pipe it using a star nozzle around the inside edge of the Russe, and around the outside at the bottom
  9. Add raspberries and lime zest to decorate
Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on YummlyEmail this to someonePrint this pageShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditShare on Tumblr

Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles

Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles
I recently posted a recipe for a Golden Oreo Cheesecake that I’d made with one of the new oreo flavours that have recently been released in the UK. The other new oreo flavour is peanut butter and I promised you I’d also post a recipe with them, well here it is! These decadent no bake Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles are super easy to make and are a peanut butter and oreo lovers dream.

Both Peanut Butter Oreos and Golden Oreos are now widely available in all major UK supermarkets.

I whizzed up 280g of peanut butter oreos in a food processor until they became fine crumbs. I saved three of the oreo for my photos and also to taste them!

I mixed 140g full fat cream cheese into the oreo crumbs until fully combined.

I took bits of the mixture and rolled them into balls between my palms. The mixture was a little sticky but easy enough to work with. I put the balls onto a lined baking tray and put them in the freezer for an hour.

To cover the truffles I used 200g peanut butter flavour candy melts. I’d never used candy melt before and when they melt they are quite a lot thicker than chocolate. To thin them down I used about 1 tsp of a vegetarian shortening called Crisp n Dry. This gives it the same consistency as chocolate so much easier to dip.

For decoration I melted 6 blocks of dark chocolate and drizzled it over the truffles.

Once the chocolate is set, dig in! I told you these were a super easy treat to make. The peanut butter flavour of both the candy melts and oreos is sooo good! Try not to eat them all at once!

I am entering these into myself and Cakeyboi’s challenge, Treat Petite. This month’s theme is anything goes!

NB. I was sent the oreos for free to bake with, all opinions are my own.

Print

Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles

Ingredients

  • 280 g Peanut butter Oreos
  • 140 g Full fat cream cheese
  • 200 g Peanut butter Candy Melts
  • 1 tsp Shortening or vegetable oil
  • 6 squares of Dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Whizz up the peanut butter oreos in a food processor until they become fine crumbs
  2. Mix in the cream cheese until fully combined
  3. Take bits of the mixture and roll them into balls between your palms. Put the balls onto a lined baking tray and put them in the freezer for an hour
  4. Melt the peanut butter candy melts with the shortening. Dip each truffle and coat it completely. Put onto some baking paper to set
  5. Melt the dark chocolate and drizzle it over the truffles, once set they are ready to eat
Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on YummlyEmail this to someonePrint this pageShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditShare on Tumblr

Honey & Orange Cupcakes

Honey & Orange Cupcakes
I’ve mentioned before that I attend my local Women’s Institute (WI) on a monthly basis. Well last month’s meeting was a bit different in that we had an outing to visit some nearby bees. I had no idea that there are beehives on the roofs of many of the city’s buildings. After a talk from a local beekeeper we headed up to the roof of The Printworks where they have chickens, a vegetable garden and two beehives. It was dark when we visited, but I found the below photo online which gives a much clearer view!

The bees are looked after by someone from the Hard Rock Cafe, vegetables from the garden are used to make soup for the homeless, and the wild flower section of the garden was dontaed by Bez from the Happy Mondays. Who knew all this was going on right above our heads! Bees are such fascinating creatures and so essential to our environment. Friends of the Earth are currently campaigning against the governments decision to use bee harming pesticides in the UK, you can read more about it by clicking here.

So in honour of our bee themed meeting I decided to make some honey flavoured cupcakes with cute little bees on top! To make the bees I started by rolling chunks of golden marzipan to make the bees bodies. I laid them onto baking paper.

I melted a few blocks of dark chocolate in the microwave and painted the bees stripes and eyes onto the marzipan bodies using a brand new paint brush. You could probably also do this with a cocktail stick.

I pushed flaked almonds into the bees to make the wings.

Soon I had a swarm of marzipan bees! I made 30+ cupcakes for my WI meeting, but I’ll give you the recipe for 12 cupcakes, then you can double and triple it as you need.

To make the cupcakes I started by creaming 150g butter, 50g honey and 100g caster sugar.

I added 2 eggs, the zest of one orange, 3 tbsp orange juice and 1 tsp orange extract.

Finally I mixed in 150g self raising flour.

I baked the cupcakes on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes until golden brown. I got a new oven recently and it bakes things super fast so you may need to leave them in for 20 minutes depending on your oven.

I made some buttercream by mixing 150g butter, 50g honey, 400g icing sugar and 1 tsp orange extract. I piped it onto the cupcakes when they were fully cool.

Finally I added the super cute marzipan bees! I loved the final effect, the little ‘bees’ looked so adorable. I got some really lovely comments when I presented them at the meeting and was pleased to see them all fly off the table!

 

I’m entering these into Belleau Kitchen’s challenge Simply Eggcellent, this month the theme is cake.

 

It’s also National Cupcake Week at the moment, which is great timing to share this recipe!

Sponge recipe adapted from Rowse Honey.

Print

Honey & Orange Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 120 g Golden marzipan
  • 6 blocks of Dark chocolate
  • 50 g Flaked almonds
  • 300 g Butter
  • 100 g Honey
  • 100 g Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Orange
  • 2 tsp Orange extract
  • 150 g Self raising flour
  • 400 g Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. To make the bees, roll chunks of golden marzipan into an oval shape. Lay them onto baking paper

  2. Melt the dark chocolate and paint the bees stripes and eyes onto the marzipan bodies using a small paint brush or a cocktail stick
  3. Push the flaked almonds into the bees bodies to make the wings
  4. To make the cupcakes, cream 150g of the butter, 50g of the honey and the caster sugar together
  5. Add the eggs, the zest of the orange, 3 tbsp of the orange's juice and 1 tsp of the orange extract. Mix well
  6. Fold in the self raising flour
  7. Bake the cupcakes on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool completely
  8. Make the buttercream by mixing 150g of the butter, 50g of the honey, the icing sugar and 1 tsp of the orange extract together until smooth. Pipe it onto the cupcakes
  9. Finally add the marzipan bees

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on YummlyEmail this to someonePrint this pageShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditShare on Tumblr

Plum & Limoncello Tart: GBBO Week #6

Plum & Limoncello Tart: GBBO Week #6
Before I start with my review of this week’s episode of The Great British Bake Off, you may recognise this tart if you follow my blog as I already posted it back in May. I am having to cheat a bit with my GBBO challenge this week because… I’m going to Hong Kong today!! So I obviously don’t have time to bake anything, and this tart was the closest thing to what the bakers made this week. Hopefully I can still catch up on GBBO when I’m away on iPlayer, and I’ll post reviews on the next couple of episodes when I’m back. Anyway, on to the review…

It was pastry week on the Bake Off and the signature challenge for the bakers was to make a frangipane tart, which involved making shortcrust pastry. The tarts had to be open topped, which meant lots of pretty patterns with fruit on top. Paul warned the bakers not to overwork the pastry, and Mary warned against getting a soggy bottom!

Both Paul and Tamal went for Christmas flavoured tarts. Paul’s had pears poached in orange and cinnamon, and Tamal’s had pears poached in mulled wine. They both got great feedback from the judges! Ian used his guinea fowl eggs to make a pear and raspberry frangipane, however the judges thought it needed glazing and the pastry was not crispy enough. Alvin had a big disaster due to timing issues and his tart was not cooked when the judges tried it.

Mat made a pina colada tart, which I thought sounded so fun! And I loved how he made the pinapple look like the sun on top of the tart. The judges thought it looked good, but they couldn’t taste the rum! Not everyone blind baked their tarts, which I thought was dangerous behaviour. I always blind bake for big tarts like this. It seemed to me like some of the bakers weren’t actually that experienced with pastry as some of them seemed confused about blind baking, and when to trim the pastry.

The technical this week was pretty bizarre! They were asked to make flaounas, which are a Cypriot pastry with a cheese and sultana filling. They have two very weird ingredients in them: mastic, which is hardened reisin from a tree and is used to flavour various foods in Greece and Cyprus. And mahlepi, which is a spice made from ground up cherry stones. The Greeks add it to breads. Strange stuff! Of course Paul did not give the bakers much help at all and even Mary, who hadn’t heard of flaounas either, said he was being totally unfair (but she still grinned evilly with him).

The pastry had yeast in it, so the bakers all got confused and didn’t know whether to knead it or not. The next confusing step was how they should look and they all folded them differently. Everyone was looking around in desperation to see what everyone else was doing, but none of them had a clue! Paul laughed as soon as he approached the gingham altar, most of them were well made, but they just didn’t look like they were meant too. Tamal was 7th, Alvin 6th, Paul 5th, Nadiya 4th, Ian 3rd, Flora 2nd and Mat won!

The showstopper this week was the 80s classic dinner party canape – vol-au-vents! The bakers had to make their own puff pastry from scratch, make two different types of vol-au-vents, and make 24 of each kind. Paul was looking for a good rise, for them to be nice and straight and be equally golden. Mary wanted to see beautiful layers in the pastry and for them to be well filled. Thinking about making any pastry (apart from shortcrust) from scratch makes me feel tired as it’s so time consuming, I really feel for the bakers during challenges like this! Tamal made a pulled pork vol-au-vent that was inspired by a sandwich he’d had that he said was one of the top two sandwiches of his life, his other flavour was spicy chicken and coriander. They were a bit pale and topsy turvy according to Mary, but both of the judges adored his fillings.

 

Ian went a bit fishy with some squid ink, bacon and scallop vol au vents. His wife didn’t like the filling and neither did Paul and Mary. His pastry had risen well and they did really like his mushroom ones. Flora made chocolate puff pastry vol-au-vents filled with ganache, as well as savoury asparagus and parma ham. The judges loved both the appearance and flavours. She is certainly good at presentation and making all of her bakes look very atractive.

 

Mat was definitely the vol-au-vent star with his full english breakfast and smoked trout filled delights. Paul said the lamination, shape and bake were all perfect, the flavours were gorgeous and well thought out. Mary loved the runny egg in the english breakfast vol-au-vent. Paul wasn’t so lucky as the judges said his garlic and chilli prawn with risotto vol-au-vents were underbaked and his sweet vol-au-vents with creme pat, raspberry coulis and cream looked ‘hideous’. I thought they looked really pretty!

Nadiya made bengali korma and cod and clementine vol-au-vents. She had problems with her first batch of pastry so she made another batch, which put her behind on time. She ended up presenting them ‘deconstructed’ to the judges. They absolutely loved her fillings though! Alvin made chicken ala king and smoked salmon encroute. Unfortunately his pastry was raw, but they liked his fillings. He was so sweet apologising to the judges for his mistake.

It makes me very sad to say that Alvin left this week. I absolutely love him, he is such a sweetheart and seems like the most lovely man. As much as I love him, I do think it was the right decision as he did not have a great week. Mat won star baker which was really nice and he definitely deserved it for those vol-au-vents! Next week looks like another change from the normal theme with old fashioned techniques, recipes from the past and Victorian bakes.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I have no time to bake anything from this week’s episode as I’m going on holiday! So I’m re-posting this tart from back in May, but it’s pretty yummy so I hope you don’t mind. I love baking with plums as it makes them extra juicy and delicious. I guarantee this tart will really delight your friends and family if it’s presented at the end of a meal.

I started by making some pastry. I have a recipe for shortcrust pastry that I stick to religiously as it always works. I started with 350g plain flour and 170g butter. I rubbed the butter into the flour, I then added in two eggs and mixed until a dough formed. I wrapped it in cling film and chilled it in the fridge for 1 hour.

After the pastry had been chilled I rolled it out onto some cling film, this makes it so much easier to lift and line the tin with.

I lined a 28cm diameter loose bottomed tart tin with the pastry and peeled off the cling film.

I lined the pastry with baking paper, then filled it with baking beans and baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 mins.

I removed the baking beans and baking paper and put the pastry back in the oven for another 10 minutes until the pastry was fully cooked on the bottom.

I cut up 8 plums into thin wedges (you will need 6 – 8 plums depending on size) and arranged them in the pastry base. They do shift during baking and when the custard is poured in, but I liked the effect of having
them arranged.

I made the custard while the pastry was baking. I whisked together the zest and juice of 2 lemons, 4 tbsp double cream, 100g ground almonds, 100g melted butter, 5 eggs and 200g golden caster sugar. I whisked it
well, then gently stirred in 8 tbsp limoncello.

I placed the pastry with the plums in onto the oven shelf, then poured the custard in. I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes until the custard was set, but still had a slight wobble.

Once it was cooled fully, I dusted it with icing sugar. I was really pleased with how it turned out, and I love the effect of the plums on top and their vibrant colour.

The juicy plums were a perfect accompaniment to the nutty sweet custard. This went down a storm when I took it into work, it was a rather large tart and disappeared very quickly! It would be a perfect tart on a sunny
day, or you could warm it up with some custard.

I’m entering this into The Pastry Challenge, hosted by Jen’s Food and United Cakedom. This month’s theme is anything goes.

I’m entering this into the Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

Recipe from BBC Good Food.

Print

Plum & Limoncello Tart

Ingredients

  • 350 g Plain flour
  • 170 g Butter
  • 7 Eggs
  • 6-8 Plums
  • 2 Lemons
  • 4 tbsp Double cream
  • 100 g Ground almonds
  • 100 g Butter melted
  • 100 g Golden caster sugar
  • 8 tbsp Limoncello
  • Icing sugar to dust

Instructions

  1. To make the pastry, rub the butter into the plain flour. Add 2 of the eggs and mix until a dough forms. Wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour
  2. Roll the pastry out onto some cling film, then line a 28cm diameter loose bottomed tart tin with it
  3. Line the pastry with baking paper, then add baking beans and bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 mins
  4. Remove the baking beans and baking paper, put the pastry back in the oven for another 10 minutes until fully cooked on the bottom
  5. Cut the plums into thin wedges and arrange them in the pastry base
  6. Make the custard by whisking together the zest and juice of the lemons, the double cream, the ground almonds, the melted butter, 5 of the eggs and the golden caster sugar. Whisk it well, then gently stir in the limoncello
  7. Place the pastry with the arranged plums in onto the oven shelf, then pour the custard in. Bake it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 25 minutes until the custard is set, but still has a slight wobble
  8. Once it is cooled fully, dust it with icing sugar
Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on YummlyEmail this to someonePrint this pageShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditShare on Tumblr

Sweet Potato Brownies with Honey Cream Cheese: GBBO Week #5

Sweet Potato Brownies with Honey Cream Cheese: GBBO Week #5
The Great British Bake Off has followed the same format of episode themes for a few years now, so it was great to see it move with the latest food trends and have a ‘free from’ themed episode this week. The bakers started with a sugar free cake, however it was more accurately a refined sugar free cake as the bakers could still use honey, agave nectar, maple syrup etc. All of the bakers were still reeling from Ian’s repeated star baker victories, and it’s clear to see that they have all decided to change their tactics in order to knock him off the top spot!

A lot of the bakers used fruit to sweeten their cakes. It was nice to see Ian make a more ‘normal’ flavoured cake, he used pear, ginger and honey for his cake. Although the judges didn’t think it was sweet enough and Paul thought the pears were the wrong choice. Mat made a carrot cake using honey and dates for sweetness and also flavouring it with spices. Paul also went for carrot cake but instead used agave nectar and sultanas for sweetness and added pecans. The judges liked both carrot cakes.

Honey and grapefruit polenta cake was Tamal’s effort and he got his syringes out again to inject grapefruit syrup into it. The judges were big fans. Alvin went for a classic pineapple upside down cake using agave nectar for his sweetness. He was very worried when he finished his bake about 45 minutes before everyone else, but the judges loved it. Paul called it superb and Mary said it was the perfect balance. Ugne gave herself a big challenge by making her cake gluten free as well and giving it a checkboard pattern. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for her as her cake broke and her icing melted.

Flora made an extremely pretty pistachio, apple and cardamom cake, which she decorated with madelines. The judges thought it looked really good, but that the cake was over moist and stodgy. Nadiya was the only one to use mulberry molasses for her sweetness, and she also made a blueberry sugar free jam using basil seeds. She used a genoise sponge which the judges said was too dry, however they were impressed with her flavours.

Gluten free was the technical challenge and the bakers were asked to make 12 identical gluten free pittas. And they only had 2 hours! They were all given some psyllium powder which is gluten free but creates a gelatinous brown mixture to replace the lack of gluten. The bakers all said it didn’t smell very nice!

Alvin wasn’t sure what shape a pitta should be and had a triangle in mind for a while, thankfully he realised it should be oval shaped! None of them knew how long to work the dough for or how long to prove it for. There wasn’t much confidence in the tent at all and they all seemed nervous and confused. Alvin came last, Tamal 7th, Ugne 6th, Ian 5th, Mat 4th, Flora 3rd, Paul 2nd and Nadiya 1st.

The final ‘free from’ challenge was the showstopper and the judges requested a diary free ice cream roll containing silky smooth ice cream covered in jam, then wrapped in sponge. Mary wanted to see outstanding results from the bakers. Paul wasn’t planning on holding back with his opinion at all! I have to say I was incredibly relieved to see they all had ice cream makers, plus extra freezers at the end of each bench. The BBC were clearly planning on not having another ice cream fiasco!

Everyone used coconut milk for their ice cream which inspired a lot of tropical flavours. Alvin used buko pandan, a traditional Phillipino flavour, alongside mango and passion fruit. Paul went for mango, lime and coconut ice cream with a pineapple jam. He also made a fondant bikini clad girl which created some hilarious moment with Mel and Sue as they advised he give her bikini bottoms a gusset, so funny! Tamal made passionfruit ice cream and also pineapple jam. Ian made a mango and stem ginger ice cream, and decorated his roll with a very clever caramel palm tree embedded in marzipan.

Mat made a faux pas by deciding to roll his ice cream like a swiss roll, instead of rolling the sponge around a log of ice cream. This meant he didn’t have much ice cream when he presented it to the judges. Flora also went off piste and made a buche using a very thin chocolate sponge, pear jam and vanilla sponge. Unfortunately the judges weren’t entirely impressed by either of their efforts.

Ugne made peanut butter ice cream, grape jelly and a chocolate roll. The judges weren’t convinced by her flavours, but Paul loved her ice cream. She put her jam inside her ice cream though, which prevented it from freezing properly and she ended up with a melted mess. Nadiya made chocolate ice cream filled with a strawberry and lime mousse. She used a beautiful henna inspired pattern for her sponge. Mary and Paul were very impressed and loved her ice cream and patterned sponge.

Ugne left us this week after suffering two melted bakes. She was very gracious and vowed to continue baking and experimenting with her flavours. Star baker was awarded to Nadiya this week and you could tell how much it meant to her. Next week – pastry and soggy bottoms!

Personally, I don’t really see the point of having a sugar free cake. Don’t get me wrong, I think you should watch the amount of sugar in your diet and eat it in moderation. But cake is a treat, and if you’re going to have it, you may as well have one full of sugar, butter and whatever else you fancy! I’d rather eat less cake, than eat more cake but some of it be sugar free. For the purpose of my GBBO bake along, I decided to make these sweet potato brownies. They are something I’ve wanted to try for a while. I didn’t make them dairy free or gluten free, but there are recipes out there (Deliciously Ella’s one is popular) that are. I didn’t add any form of sugar to the sweet potato brownies as I wanted them to be truely sugar free.

I started by grating 250g sweet potato. I did it by hand, but you could use a food processor too.

In a bowl I measured out 200g self raising flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda and 50g cocoa powder.

I melted 100g butter and mixed in 100ml semi skimmed milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

I added the butter mixture, 3 eggs and 1 mashed banana to the flour. I mixed it really well. Then I added the sweet potato and mixed it in.

I poured it into a lined baking tray and baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes. It was really hard to tell when it was done as it didn’t look like a normal sponge!

Ok, so the sweet potato brownies weren’t bad, but, well, you guessed it… they just weren’t sweet enough!! The banana certainly helped add flavour and very mild sweetness, but for me I just wasn’t feeling it. So I made some icing.

I mixed together 225g cream cheese, 30g butter and 85g honey. I squeezed the moisture out of the cream cheese using a muslin cloth first, I saw Paul doing it for his carrot cake and I have to say it really does make a difference. This icing is optional, if you really like the sweet potato brownies on their own then you don’t have to add it as it does contain honey which ultimately is sugar. The way I like to see it is that I’m eating less sugar than I normally would if I’d made a regular brownie, plus there’s the additional health benefits of the sweet potato and banana.

My boyfriend much preferred the sweet potato brownies with the icing, as did I! It gave them that extra edge they were missing. The sponge was a different texture than I was used to, but I liked it. I think the main hurdle with anything like this is getting over your normal expectations and accepting that a sugar free sweet potato brownie is not going to taste like a normal brownie!

I’m entering these sweet potato brownies into this month’s Credit Crunch Munch, hosted by Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All, as I didn’t have to go out and buy anything to make them. All of the ingredients were already in my fridge and store cupboard.

I am also entering them into Elizabeth Kitchen Diary‘s No Waste Food Challenge, this month hosted by Foodie Quine, for the same reason.

I’m entering this into the Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

Brownie recipe from BBC Good Food

Print

Sweet Potato Brownies with Honey Cream Cheese

Ingredients

  • 250 g Sweet Potato
  • 200 g Self raising flour
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 50 g Cocoa powder
  • 130 g Butter
  • 100 ml Semi skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Banana mashed
  • 225 g Cream cheese
  • 85 g Honey

Instructions

  1. Grate the sweet potato by hand or in a food processor
  2. In a bowl measure out the self raising flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder
  3. Melt 100g of the butter and mix in the milk and vanilla extract
  4. Add the butter mixture, eggs and banana to the flour. Mix it really well. Then add the sweet potato and mix it in
  5. Pour it into a lined baking tray and bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30 minutes
  6. For the icing mix together the cream cheese, 30g of the butter and honey. Spread over the cooled sponge, then slice into squares
Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on YummlyEmail this to someonePrint this pageShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditShare on Tumblr

Rainbow Spanische Windtorte: GBBO Week #4

Rainbow Spanische Windtorte: GBBO Week #4
Dessert week on The Great British Bake Off was probably the most stressful week so far! A lot went wrong for the bakers, especially in the signature challenge. The judges requested 12 creme brulees of any flavour, except they had to be bruleed under the grill as blowtorches were not allowed. Ok, I found this really ridiculous! The kitchen ones cost about a tenner and anyone can easily get hold of one, plus they provide a much more accurate result.

Paul wanted the custard of the creme brulees to be set just right with a ‘delicate wobble’. Mary expected it to have a beautiful smooth texture. Fruit was the most popular flavour used to flavour the brulees. Alvin added blackberries to his, but forget to press the grill setting on his oven. Nadiya put a jam at the bottom of her cinnamon brulees and covered them with the custard, Mary praised the jam but the custard had split. Mat went for coconut in his brulees, but the custard did not set at all. Paul said they were not good enough. Sandy faired the worst by far with Paul labelling her custard ‘soup’.

 

Ugne made marula liquor and coffee liquor creme brulees, which had a fantastic custard according to Paul. Ian of course went for something unusual and flavoured his with pomegranate molasses, personally I can’t stand pomegranate, and the judges weren’t fans either. Tamal made a rhubarb and ginger brulee which sounded delicious and the judges loved them. Flora also made rhubarb and ginger, but went the extra mile with ginger tuille biscuits too, however her custard was not set.

The technical challenge this week was a spanische windtorte. This meringue masterpiece actually hails from Austria, and none of the bakers had ever heard of it before. It combines both swiss and french meringue techniques, as well as some sugarpaste flower making skills. Once constructed it’s filled with strawberries, raspberries and whipped cream. Sort of like an eton mess, but extremely tidy, neat and pretty. Nadiya explained that the instructions they had been given were not very specific and just said ‘make this’ and ‘make that’ without any guidance on how.

The bakers got the most confused when it came to making the violets. No one knew what a violet looked like! And frankly, who would on a baking show?! Sandy decided to crack her meringue lid down the middle to make it look like it was popping open, and we all grimaced knowing it was a bad idea! However, she managed to claim 6th place, with Mat in 7th, Nadiya in 8th and Alvin in 9th and final place. Flora was third, Ugne was second, and a very surprised Paul came first!

The showstopper this week was a stack of three baked cheesecakes, which must be sweet and not savoury. Some of the bakers used pastry bases instead of biscuit, now in my opinion, a pastry base make it a tart, not a cheesecake. Paul didn’t mind on bases as long as it was a good cheesecake. Mary admitted the challenge was quite difficult! Ian was at it again with his weird and wonderful(?) flavours. He made an apple and tarragon cheesecake, salted caramel, pecan and rosemary cheesecake, and a strawberry and peppercorn cheesecake. The judges called it ‘sheer heaven on a plate’, and Mary especially loved the apple and tarragon flavour blend. He’s brave for experimenting, but I would like to see him make something a bit more normal as well.

Alvin’s inspiration for his cheesecakes were his family, he made each of their favourite flavoured cheesecakes. Although he struggled with time and his decoration melted as the cheesecake was still warm. Nadiya made a rather impressive fizzy pop themed cheesecake using cream soda, lemonade and ginger beer. She boiled down the pop for 10-12 hours to create concentrated syrups, seriously impressive effort! She also made an italian meringue to look like a can of pop was pouring down over the cheesecakes. Paul was so impressed she managed to make the cheesecake taste so much like cream soda.

Another stand out effort was Mat’s chocolate bar cheesecakes. He had honeycomb, peanut butter and coconut cheesecakes. They looked brilliant and Mary was a huge fan of the flavours and texture. Tamal also did very well with his mango, hazlenut and rosemary cheesecake. The judges loved his flavours and the texture of his cheesecake as well as his caramel work, calling it ‘absolutely spot on’.

Flora made all her cheesecakes the same flavour and when she realised she was the only one doing the same flavour, she decided to quickly make some macarons. Sandy on the other hand made each of her cheesecakes with different bases and different fillings. Unfortunately she could not get them to stack on top of each other, and both fillings and bases were raw.

Sandy left us this week after disappointing in all of the challenges. I felt Alvin was extremely lucky to stay on and I was relieved for him. Ian won star baker again and got called teacher’s pet quite a few times! In my opinion, Tamal deserved the star. Next episode it’s a welcome change in the normal Bake Off themes, a ‘free from’ episode featuring dairy, sugar and gluten free bakes.

I decided to give the technical challenge a go this week as I’ve not tried one yet. With it being Manchester Pride Festival this past weekend I wanted to give the windtorte a rainbow decoration. Admittedly I rushed my piping and it is rather messy! But overall I thought it was fun and colourful. Here’s how to make it if you dare…

I used Two Chicks egg whites to make the spanische windtorte as it requires 12 egg whites and this just made the whole process a lot easier and saved me having 12 yolks to figure out how to use up.

I followed Mary Berry’s recipe and I started by drawing out five 20cm (8 inch) circles onto baking paper. If you have a larger baking tray you should be able to fit two circles per tray, I could only fit one per tray. Make sure the pencil drawing is on the bottom of the paper. I used the bottom of a cake tin to draw my circles.

I made the french meringue by whisking up 8 egg whites and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar in my stand mixer until stiff peaks formed. I added 475g caster sugar slowly as the mixer was still going. I find it easier to put the sugar into a jug and pour it in slowly.

I used a piping bag fitted with 1.5cm round nozzle to pipe two discs and three rings onto the lined baking trays.

I baked each ring and disc on 120C/100F/Gas Mark 1/2 for 30 minutes. I ended up with the above. I then decided to make an extra ring, so I had four in total, to make sure the windtorte was tall enough.

I blobbed the leftover uncooked meringue onto the base and stacked up the rings, using blobs of meringue between each layer to stick it all together.

I then completely covered the whole thing with the remaining meringue and smoothed the sides and top. I put it back in the oven on the same temperature for 30 minutes.

I made the swiss meringue – my first time making this – by whisking 6 egg whites and 375g caster sugar in a glass bowl over simmering water with my Kenwood kMix Hand Mixer. I used my jam thermometer to check when it reached 70C, although if you have a Sugar Thermometer then it may be easier to use that. I took it off the heat and continued whisking for at least 20 minutes until it cooled down and thickened up.

I dipped the handle of a spoon into some food colouring (I use Sugarflair), then swirled it around the inside of a piping bag, making sure to rub all the food colouring off into the bag. I did the same thing for 6 different piping bags, each with a different colour. I put a couple of spoonfuls of the swiss meringue into each bag, then snipped off the ends and piped blobs of colourful meringue all over the lid, and rainbows around the sides.

I was really rushing at this point as my mum and stepdad were due over for dinner, so my rainbow piping around the sides is an absolute mess! I would’ve much preferred to take more time and had a neater finish, but hey ho. I baked the lid and base again on the same temperature for 30 minutes.

I whipped up 600ml double cream and mixed it with 400g chopped up strawberries and 200g raspberries. I filled the meringue base with the mixture. Mary suggests adding icing sugar and orange blossom water to the mixture, but I didn’t fancy doing this as I’m not a huge fan of orange blossom water and I thought the dessert was sweet enough!

Despite my messy finish, the windtorte was a huge hit and I got some great comments on it both at dinner with my family and the next day from colleagues. I was tough going, but I’m pleased I completed it. If I’m honest I couldn’t see much, if any, of a difference between the two types of meringue. French meringue is still my favourite and definitely what I will stick to making.

It was full to the brim with delicious fruit and cream, and it quickly turned into an eton mess on the plate, delicious!

I’m entering this into the Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.

Print

Rainbow Spanische Windtorte

Ingredients

  • 14 Egg whites
  • 850 g Caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of tartar
  • Food colouring
  • 600 ml Double cream
  • 400 g Fresh strawberries
  • 200 g Fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Start by drawing out five 20cm (8 inch) circles onto baking paper. If you have a large baking tray you should be able to fit two circles per tray. Make sure the pencil drawing is on the underside of the paper
  2. Make the french meringue by whisking up 8 of the egg whites and the cream of tartar in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Add 475g of the caster sugar slowly as the mixer is still going
  3. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm round nozzle with the meringue and pipe two discs and four rings onto the lined baking trays
  4. Bake the rings and discs on 120C/100F/Gas Mark 1/2 for 30 minutes. You may need to do this in batches depending on your oven space
  5. Once they are all fully cool, pipe blobs of the leftover uncooked meringue onto the base disc and stack up the rings, using blobs of meringue between each layer to stick it all together
  6. Then completely cover the outside of the whole thing with the remaining meringue and smooth the sides and top edge. Put it back in the oven on the same temperature for 30 minutes
  7. Make the swiss meringue by whisking 6 of the egg whites and 375g of the caster sugar in a glass bowl over simmering water with an electric hand whisk. Use a candy thermometer to check when it reaches 70C. Then take it off the heat and continue whisking for at least 20 minutes until it cools down and thickens up
  8. To colour the Swiss meringue dip the handle of a spoon into one of the food colouring pots then swirl it around the inside of a piping bag, making sure to rub all the food colouring off into the bag. Do the same thing for 6 different piping bags, each with a different colour. Put a couple of spoonfuls of the swiss meringue into each bag, then snip off the ends and pipe blobs of colourful meringue all over the lid, and rainbows around the sides
  9. Bake the lid and base again on the same temperature for 30 minutes
  10. Whip up the double cream and mix it with the chopped up strawberries and raspberries. Fill the meringue base with the mixture, then add the lid
Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on YummlyEmail this to someonePrint this pageShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditShare on Tumblr