Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake: GBBO The Final!

Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake: GBBO The Final!

The Great British Bake Off series 7 came to an end last week, and it really was the end of an era as it was the last time the show will be aired on the BBC. Of course, none of the bakers or presenters knew that at the time of filming. Our three finalists were Candice, Andrew and Jane. Candice has been well known throughout this series for making elaborate bakes themed around her family, she’s won star baker three times and is this year’s lipstick queen! Jane won star baker on week one, and has had quite a few ups and downs since then. Andrew has been known for his technical approach to baking, and has won star baker twice.

The theme of the final was royal and the signature challenge was to make a three layered filled meringue crown, family sized and decorated. Paul said the bakers have struggled with meringue in the past so he wanted to see how they did again. Jane’s meringue crown was filled with blueberry compote, raspberry and strawberry compote and nectarines. It had quite a simple appearance, and Paul said it had to be perfect because of this. Apart from her blueberry compote being slightly runny, her bake went well. Mary gave it plenty of praise while Paul stayed quiet as he was happily eating it all! He gave her a double Hollywood handshake!

Andrew used muscavado sugar in his meringue, which meant there was a higher risk of his meringue cracking. He made it in the shape of the Queen’s jubilee crown and filled it with pecan praline, layered it with blackberry fool and made cassis jelly ‘jewels’. He struggled with his pecan praline as it stuck to his baking paper, but he had a good bake. The judges felt that his praline was too sweet and overpowered the meringue, and that the fool wasn’t tart enough. They enjoyed his meringue and cassis jelly.

Candice made two different types of meringue, one with caster sugar and one with golden caster sugar. Her crown was filled with prosecco soaked strawberries, mango curd, and glittered fruit and nuts. One top was a tiny tiara style crown. The judges thought it looked impressive and that it had great texture and flavour, she got a Hollywood handshake too!

This week’s technical gave the bakers nowhere to hide. It was to make a Victoria Sponge, but without a recipe. They also had to make the buttercream and jam for the filling, again without a recipe. This is pretty straightforward for people who bake a lot, but the bakers were really feeling the pressure so were bound to make mistakes. I did think it was a little simple, and they could have challenged them more.

Jane made the mistake of weighing her eggs in the shells, so she had far
too much mixture. Both Jane and Candice made their sponge with the all
in one method, while Andrew used the creaming method. Candice made the raspberry jame seedless, which Mary didn’t like. Jane came third due to using too much mixture, Candice was second as her buttercream was grainy, and Andrew won the technical!

The showstopper challenge was to make a picnic fit for a Queen, this had to include: 1 chocolate celebration cake, 12 puff pastry sausage rolls, 12 mini quiches, 12 savoury scones and 12 fruit and custard tarts – 49 items in total! Mary said that even though the bakers had 5 hours to make everything, they still needed good time management. Paul wanted every item to be suitable to serve to the Queen herself.

Candice made a chocolate, orange & cardamom cake, bacon, mushroom & black pudding sausage rolls, manchego & olive scones, salmon & asparagus quiches and rhubarb & custard tarts. The pastry on her tarts did catch, but they still looked good and she avoided a soggy bottom! She also made cute pig faces on her sausage rolls which was a nice touch, and her puff pastry was well cooked. Her quiches were crispy and full of salmon. Her scones didn’t taste of cheese as the olives overtook the flavour. Paul loved her chocolate cake, and Mary thought it was a great cake for a picnic.

Andrew made smoked cheddar & paprika scones, sausage & chorizo rolls, sweet potato, goats cheese & caramelised onion quiches, strawberry & pistachio tarts and a chocolate cake featuring chocolate shards. He had an extremely detailed Excel spreadsheet which had every 5 minutes of the challenge planned to keep him on track. He also used family recipes to ensure success. Andrew added a sugar glaze to his fruit tarts which unfortunately soaked through and made the pastry soggy. His sausage rolls tasted good but he had raw pastry. Mary loved the apperance of his scones, but couldn’t taste any cheese. His quiches were crispy and tasted delicious according to Paul. His chocolate cake looked great and Paul felt the same about the taste of it.

Jane made red fruit and elderflower tarts, butternut squash & parmesan scones, apple & thyme rolls, salmon & prawn quiches and a chocolate cake decorated with a chocolate collar. Jane was flapping quite a lot as she seemed unorganised. Her chocolate collar did not set so she had to cover her cake in buttercream and glitter instead. Her sausage roll had raw pastry, but tasted good. Mary really enjoyed her quiches and fruit tarts. Neither Mary or Paul could taste the butternutsquash in her scones. The judges did enjoy her chocolate cake and said it was light and soft, and loved the cherry and cream surprise in the middle.

And the winner was… Candice! She certainly deserved it as her bakes were the best in this episode. She was who I wanted to win as I felt she deserved it overall from the quality of her bakes throughout the series, even though the judges don’t take that into account on the final day. It was quite emotional as she talked about what winning meant to her. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next!

I started by greasing and lining three 9 inch sandwich tins.

I creamed together 520g caster sugar and 520g butter.

I added 9 eggs, mixing them in two at a time.

I then mixed in 400g self raising flour, 120g cocoa powder and 2 tbsp milk.

I divided the mixture into the tins, I always make a hole in the middle of the batter to try and stop it from doming too much in the middle.

I baked it on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes, then left to cool fully.

I made the nutella buttercream by mixing together 150g butter and 300g icing sugar, then I added 200g Nutella, 3 tbsp double cream and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. I mixed it until it was smooth.

I made the cream filling by whipping up 250ml double cream, then mixing in 250g mascarpone cheese

I started stacking up the cakes. I spread half of the cream mixture onto the first layer.

Then I spread half a jar of cherry jam on top.

I stacked up the next layer of cake, then spread the rest of the cream layer on, followed by the rest of the cherry jam.

I then added the last sponge and spread a layer of the Nutella buttercream over the top using a palette knife.

I put the rest of the Nutella buttercream in a piping bag and piped two rows of rosettes around the edge of the cake. I used a Wilton Number 6B Open Star tip for this effect. I filled the middle with some Dr Oetker chocolate strand sprinkles.

I took 10 cherries out of a jar of kirsch soaked cherries and put them on some kitchen towel to soak away as much moisture from them as I could. I then rolled half of each cherry in edible gold glitter and arrange them around the cake.

The cake was ready for a celebration! I took it along to my friend’s 30th birthday party for the guests to enjoy.

The cake was so yummy and if I do say so myself it’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever made! The sponge was lovely and moist, and the fresh cream and cheese filling was the perfect balance against the sweet chocolate and Nutella buttercream. I adore kirsch soaked cherries so they were a tasty bonus for me.

   

I’m linking up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps, with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular, with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation, with Bake of the Week hosted by Casa Costello, and Cook Blog Share hosted by Sneaky Veg.

Nutella buttercream recipe from What Jess Baked Next

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Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 670 g Butter
  • 520 g Caster sugar
  • 9 Eggs
  • 400 g Self raising flour
  • 120 g Cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 300 g Icing sugar
  • 200 g Nutella
  • 250 ml + 3 tbsp Double cream
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 250 g Mascarpone
  • 1 jar of Cherry Jam
  • 10 Kirsch soaked cherries
  • Gold edible glitter
  • Dr Oetker chocolate strand sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Grease and line three 9 inch sandwich tins

  2. Cream together the caster sugar and 520g of the butter

  3. Add the eggs, mixing them in two at a time

  4. Mix in the self raising flour, cocoa powder and milk

  5. Divide the mixture into the tins and bake it on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes, then leave to cool fully

  6. Make the nutella buttercream by mixing together 150g of the butter and the icing sugar, then add the Nutella, the 3 tbsp double cream and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth

  7. Make the cream filling by whipping up the 250ml of double cream, then mixing in the mascarpone cheese

  8. Start stacking up the cakes. Spread half of the cream filling onto the first layer, followed by half a jar of the cherry jam on top. Do the same with the second layer of cake

  9. Add the last sponge and spread a layer of the Nutella buttercream over the top using a palette knife

  10. Put the rest of the Nutella buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a Wilton Number 6B Open Star Tip and pipe two rows of rosettes around the edge of the cake. Fill the middle with the chocolate strand sprinkles

  11. Take 10 cherries out of a jar of kirsch soaked cherries and put them on some kitchen towel to soak away as much moisture as possible. Then roll half of each cherry in edible gold glitter and arrange them evenly around the cake

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Treat Petite October 2016 – Round Up

Treat Petite October 2016 – Round Up

Welcome to October’s round up of Treat Petite! There are some amazing Autumnal recipes below, please comment on and share your favourites! Thank you to everyone who took part this month, check out Cakeyboi for November’s link up coming soon.

Blueberry Compote Cupcakes by Caroline Makes, and the compote is homemade.

Packed Lunch Pizza Swirls by Feeding Boys, a great alternative to the traditional sandwich.

Dark Chocolate, Stem Ginger & Peanut Butter Tiffin by De Tour Coeur Limousin, who says they are a rich, crunchy and spicy treat.

Homemade Caramel Apple Ice Cream by Farmersgirl Kitchen, which is served in cookie cups.

Triple Chocolate Buns by Tin & Thyme, which she made for National Chocolate Week.

Pumpkin & Apple Muffins by Searching For Spice, she made her own pumpkin puree to add to the muffins.

Maple Pecan Squares made by me, which I made with some maple syrup and maple sugar my dad brought back from Canada.

Mini Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Maple Syrup Drizzle by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary, made without paper cases in a super non stick Jamie Oliver muffin tin.

Chocolate Tahini Maca Bliss Balls by Green Gourmet Giraffe, a healthy Halloween treat!

Pistachio, Orange & Raspberry Fondant Fancies (Gluten Free) by The Gluten Free Alchemist, baking along to The Great British Bake Off.

Peanut Butter Ghosts by Foodie Quine, which are no bake and perfect for Halloween!

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Apple Pie Fondant Fancies: GBBO Week #9

Apple Pie Fondant Fancies: GBBO Week #9

I didn’t post a bake along last week as I’ve been on holiday, I feel like I lucked out as Tudor Week looked tough! I’m still not over Benjamina’s shock exit either… This week was patisserie week and also the semi finals! As usual Bake Off is coming to an end far too fast. All of the bakers were very nervous this week, even Selasi!

The signature challenge was to make two styles of 24 savoury palmiers, using only puff pastry (no rough puff allowed!) Paul and Mary were looking for layers in the pastry, and a small amount of filling but with a lot of flavour. There were some debate amongst the bakers over whether they were using strong bread flour or plain flour for the puff pastry dough, with most of them using a mixture of the two. Andrew was the only one who used only plain flour and he had to re-start his puff pastry as it was too crumbly.

There were lots of different palmier shapes from the bakers. Jane made flowers, Andrew did musical notes, Selasi made butterflies and Candice made hearts. The judges thought Jane’s pesto and sundried tomato palmiers were not fully baked, they loved the flavour of her tapanade palmiers but again they were not quite baked. Candice’s pastry was well baked and the judges enjoyed the flavours, however they felt the palmiers were too big and thick. Selasi’s palmiers were also underbaked. Despite Andrew having to redo his pastry, his palmiers were crispy and Paul loved them.

This week’s technical challenge was to make a Savarin, this is basically a large rum baba. It’s a yeasted cake which is soaked in an orange liquor syrup and decorated with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Paul warned the bakers may not prove the cake correctly, and he also wanted to see the cake evenly soaked with the liquor. Jane knew what it was, but the others were unsure.

Jane struggled with the caramel shards, I lost count of how many times she attempted to make them! All of the bakers had very neat piping skills when they made the chocolate label for the cake. It was a hot day in the tent so they all struggled with getting the cake to cool so they could add the whipped cream decoration. Paul actually gave the bakers some grace for this! Selasi came last as his savarin was over baked and his orange segments still had membrane on, Candice’s was also over baked and under proved which meant she got third place. Andrew’s was also slightly over baked so he came second, and Jane won despite not being successful with the caramel decoration.

The showstopper was to make 36 fondant fancies, two different types, all made with genoise sponge, and all made from scratch. They had 4 and a half hours to complete the challenge, Mary admitted that you’d make the sponge the day before usually which would make it more difficult for the bakers, but of course she still wanted them to be perfect. Paul wanted to see shop standard fancies with flat sides.

I liked Jane’s tip to use a potato masher to dip the fancies into the fondant. Mary made a comment about Selasi not sifting his flour, so he immediately re-made his sponge again! All of the fancies had to be covered in buttercream to ensure smooth sides, but Jane was the only baker who decided against doing this as it is a time consuming element to the bake. It was a very tense time in the tent as they all struggled to complete the challenge on time.

Mary and Paul both loved Candice’s praline fancies and cherry bakewell fancies, they thought the overall apperance was a bit messy but the flavours and fillings were what won them over. As Jane did not use buttercream to cover her fancies, the side were very messy and the judges noticed this immediately. Andrew’s fancies looked fantastic, I loved the way he presented them, it was such a clever idea.The judges agreed and called the presentation ‘stunning’.

Selasi left this week, he came last in the technical and the judges thought his white chocolate fancies were overly sweet. It was very close between him and Jane I thought, and I was surprised they chose him. Next week is the final and we get to find out who the winner is!

This week I decided to make the fondant fancies. I find making puff pastry from scratch quite boring (too much turning and folding) and I don’t have the right tin to make a Savarin in. Making these gave me so much sympathy towards the GBBO bakers! They are very time consuming due to all the different stages, but ultimately worth giving a go at least once as they taste so good and look really impressive!

I started with the cake. I made a genoise sponge and whisked up 5 eggs with 150g golden caster sugar for about 7 minutes until it was thick.

I then sieved in a mixture of 150g plain flour and 2 tsp cinnamon in three stages, and gently folded them in each time. I then added 75g melted butter which I poured around the edge of the bowl and folded in. I poured it into a lined baking tin.

I baked it on 180C/160C fan/Gas 4 for 25 minutes. I let it cool then wrapped it up and put it in the freezer for an hour.

While the cake was baking I made the apple filling. I heated up 1 chopped cooking apple, 1 tsp cinnamon and 25g light brown sugar on a low heat for 15 minutes until the apples were soft. I let the mixture cool, then whizzed it up using a hand blender.

 

I took the cake out of the freezer and brushed a thin layer of apricot jam over the top.

I then rolled out a 250g pack of orange fondant and covered the cake with it.

I trimmed the edges of the cake then using a ruler I cut it into 1.5″ squares.

Then I cut each square into half.

I spread the apple filling onto the bottom half and sandwiched them all back together.

I made a caramel butter cream by mixing 150g butter, 300g golden icing sugar and 1 tsp caramel extract.

I used a palette knife to coat the sides of each cake. This was quite fiddly to get 100% neat. I put them in the fridge for an hour for the buttercream to set.

I made a pourable fondant by mixing up 1kg ready to roll fondant with 115ml water and some orange food colouring. I set up a cooling rack with a baking tray underneath and using it to place the cakes on before the pouring the fondant over the top.

I melted 100g white chocolate, put it into a piping bag and piped a zig zag pattern on top. I then added some bronze sprinkles.

I didn’t expect the fancies to be as neat as professional ones, but I thought they came out alright in the end. The sides could have been neater, but the top were lovely and smooth. My fondant didn’t fully set, even after being in the fridge overnight, so they were quite messy when eating them!

And the best bit, they tasted just like apple pie! The cinnamon, apple and caramel all came together in a way I wasn’t expecting, and produced a delicious apple pie flavour. This wasn’t my original intention, but it really made the whole experience of making these worthwhile.

   

I’m linking up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps, with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular, and with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation.

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Apple Pie Fondant Fancies

Ingredients

  • 5 Eggs
  • 150 g Golden caster sugar
  • 150 g Plain flour
  • 3 tsp Cinnamon
  • 75 g Melted butter
  • 1 Chopped cooking apple
  • 25 g Light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Apricot jam
  • 1.25 kg Orange or white ready to roll fondant
  • 150 g Butter
  • 300 g Golden icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Caramel extract
  • 100 g White chocolate
  • Bronze sprinkles
  • (If using white fondant) Orange food colouring

Instructions

  1. To make the genoise sponge whisk the eggs with the golden caster sugar in a stand mixer for about 7 minutes until thick and trebled in size

  2. Sieve in the plain flour and 2 tsp of the cinnamon in three stages, and gently fold them in each time. Add the melted butter by pouring it around the edge of the bowl and folding it in. Pour the batter into a lined 12" x 9" traybake tin

  3. Bake it on 180C/160C fan/Gas 4 for 25 minutes. Let it cool then wrap it up and put it in the freezer for an hour

  4. To make the apple filling heat up the chopped cooking apple with 1 tsp of the cinnamon and the light brown sugar on a low heat for 15 minutes until the apples are soft. Let the mixture cool, then whizz it up using a hand blender

  5. Take the cake out of the freezer and brush a thin layer of apricot jam over the top

  6. If you are using white fondant, knead some orange food colouring into it first until you get the desired shade. Rolled out 250g of the fondant and cover the cake with it

  7. Trim the edges of the cake then using a ruler cut it into 1.5" squares. Then cut each square into half horizontally

  8. Spread the apple filling onto the bottom half of the cake and sandwich them all back together

  9. Make a caramel buttercream by mixing the butter, golden icing sugar and caramel extract together. Use a palette knife to coat the sides of each cake with the buttercream, then put them in the fridge for an hour for the buttercream to set

  10. Make a pourable fondant by mixing up 1kg of the ready to roll fondant with 115ml water. Set up a cooling rack with a baking tray underneath and using it to place the cakes on before the pouring the fondant over the top

  11. Melt 100g white chocolate, put it into a piping bag and piped a zig zag pattern on top. Add some bronze sprinkles

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Giveaway: Win A Pair of Tickets to a BBC Good Food Show

Giveaway: Win A Pair of Tickets to a BBC Good Food Show

The BBC Good Food Shows are a food and drink lover’s dream day out. I’ve been to the Winter show in Birmingham twice in past years and I’ll be heading to it again this year. They last for 3 days (usually Friday – Sunday) and you really could spend all three days there! There are lots of celebrity chefs at the show, for example Mary Berry, Nadiya Hussain, The Hairy Bikers and James Martin, they do recipe demos that you can go and watch and they talk about their careers and tell stories. One of my favourite things to do there is watch the demos as I love to see The Great British Bake Off stars and celebrity chefs baking live on stage and giving me in insight into their world.

There are also lots of exhibitors selling their wares and it’s great wandering around and coming across lots of fantastic new products that may become your favourites. It’s also a fantastic place to pick up Christmas gifts for fellow food and drink loving friends and family.

To find out more about the shows you can read my reviews of the BBC Good Food Show Winter 2013 and BBC Good Food Show Winter 2015.

The tickets gives you admission to any one of the upcoming BBC Good Food Shows listed below, on any day of the event except Saturday. I will contact the winner by email once the giveaway ends on 6th November, and as soon as I receive the winner’s address I will post the ticket out by first class post. If you are the lucky winner please make sure to respond immediately if you want to attend the London show, so I can get the tickets to you on time.

11 – 13 November 2016, London Olympia
24 – 27 November 2016, Birmingham NEC (Winter)
9 – 11 December 2016, Festival Fayre at Hampton Court Palace

Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter below:
 
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Maple Pecan Squares

Maple Pecan Squares

I am so obsessed with maple syrup. I absolutely adore the stuff. I mean obviously it’s sweet and delicious, but it’s origin also fascinates me. I mean, it comes out of a tree! Maple syrup is primarily produced in Quebec, Canada and all they do is drain the sap from the tree then reduce it to a syrup, so it involves very little processing to create the gorgeous golden liquid. Maple syrup is a type of sugar, but is much better for you than refined sugars as it is a natural product, has higher levels of antioxidants than other sugars and contains more minerals too like zinc and manganese. I mean, I don’t need an excuse to eat maple syrup, but it’s good to know! These squares combine it with buttery shortbread and pecans, and they are so easy to make.

I started by making the shortbread base, I mixed 125g plain flour with 70g golden caster sugar.

I then added 115g butter and mixed it in to make a soft dough. I pressed it into a lined square baking tin, pricked it all over with a fork and baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes.

For the topping I mixed together 1 egg, 70g maple sugar, 3 tbsp maple syrup and 60g chopped pecans.

I used maple sugar and maple syrup that my dad and stepmum brought me back from Canada recently. Maple syrup is easily obtained from supermarkets (make sure you buy maple syrup and not maple flavoured syrup), I’ve not seen maple sugar before in the shops so if you can’t find it just use light brown sugar instead.

I poured the topping over the cooked base and put it back in the over for 15 minutes.

I let it cool fully before removing from the tin and cutting into squares.

The squares were melt in the mouth, flavoured with delicious maple sweetness, and had a gentle crunch of pecans. I could easily have gobbled up several of these and I also enjoyed having one with vanilla ice cream (try it, you won’t regret it). I need to make another batch soon!

      

I’m linking these up with Treat Petite hosted by me! And to The Food Calendar hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen for National Nut Day on 22nd October, with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation, and Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.

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Maple Pecan Squares

Ingredients

  • 125 g Plain flour
  • 70 g Golden caster sugar
  • 115 g Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 70 g Maple sugar
  • 3 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 60 g Chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. To make the shortbread base mix the plain flour with the golden caster sugar
  2. Add the butter and mix to make a soft dough. Press it into a lined square baking tin, prick it all over with a fork and bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes
  3. For the topping mix together the egg, maple sugar, maple syrup and chopped pecans
  4. Pour the topping over the cooked base and put it back in the over for 15 minutes
  5. Let it cool fully before removing from the tin and cutting into squares
 
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Blackberry & Hazelnut Roulade: GBBO Week #7

Blackberry & Hazelnut Roulade: GBBO Week #7

It was dessert week on The Great British Bake Off this week. Can you believe it’s the quarter finals next week?! It’s coming around so fast as usual. I’m going to be missing out on next week’s bake along as I’m away on holiday, but I’ll be back in time for the week after. The signature challenge was so make a sweet sponge roulade which could be filled any way the bakers liked. Mary was looking out for a spiral when the roulades were rolled up, and Paul advised against filling the roulades too much.

The bakers were trying to avoid cracking when rolling their roulades. My view has always been that a roulade should crack. Perhaps it is because they were making sponge roulades rather than meringue ones. A sponge roulade is just a swiss roll really isn’t it?! Selasi made a lemon and strawberry roulade filled with cream and lemon curd that the judges loved. Tom made a millionaire’s roulade with a nutmeg sponge, and the judges didn’t like that he’d covered up the spiral at the ends. Benjamina made a pina colada roulade which sounded really fun and her sponge was lovely and soft according to Mary, but Paul thought the coconut extract she used tasted too artificial.

Jane rolled her chocolate & hazelnut roulade from the long end, which is clearly the wrong way… maybe at home if that’s how you like it, but not on Bake Off! The judges commented on this technique, but loved her flavours. Candice made a white chocolate and passion fruit roulade with a cheesecake filling which sounded heavenly. Andrew used a clever technique to create a stripy pattern on the outside of his roulade which impressed Paul and Mary.

This week’s technical certainly veered from the theme so far of going back to basics, as the baker’s were asked to make a Marjolaine which is a French rectangular gateau featuring four layers of praline meringue, praline and chocolate buttercream and a nut coating. Thankfully for the bakers, the recipe provided seemed to have a bit more information than usual. None of the bakers had made one before, and most of them hadn’t made all of the different elements of the Marjolaine either.

They all seemed to get on with it without any major problems. One of Andrew’s meringue layers cracked but it wasn’t noticable once the gateau was constructed. I chuckled when he described it as looking like a Vienetta! There were some issues with Selasi’s meringue which meant he came last, Tom was 5th because of his piping, Jane was 4th as her meringue was too chewy, and Benjamina came 3rd due to piping issues too. Candice was 2nd as her bake was very neat, which left Andrew as 1st with a picture perfect Marjolaine!

The showstopper this week was to make two flavours of mini mousse cakes. Mary was looking forward to soft sponge textures and set mousses. Paul wanted the mousses to be full of flavour and melt in the mouth. It was hot in the tent so the bakers were concerned about their mousses setting, freezers and gelatine were used to avoid any disasters. Jane made a very impressive patterened sponge collar for her vanilla and coffee mousse. She also made a berry mousse cake with 3 different mousse flavours, she did so well to get it all done in the time and the judges were impressed.

Benjamina made apple crumble mousse, and a chocolate and coffee mousse. The appearance of her mousses wasn’t great, but the judges loved the flavours. Usually she is very good at presenting her bakes. Selasi made a rapsberry mousse with a passion fruit jelly and chocolate mint mousses, he had problems with getting his mousse to set and Paul said his chocolate mint mousses were too big. Andrew made a mint chocolate mousse and a forest fruit mousse, he presented them on a ferris wheel and got a glowing result from Mary and Paul!

Candice went a bit overboard on her gelatine in her blackberry raspberry mousse and had to make it again. Her fruity mousses were presented on top of a processo and raspberry liquer jelly. She also joined in with a bit of a theme in the tent and made a mint chocolate mousse. Tom made a Hipsters picnic where his mousse was piped between two cakes to look like finger sandwiches.The judges did not approve of this technique and said he had not delivered what they asked for.

Tom left us this week, which is the first time ever in Bake Off history that the star baker of bread week hasn’t made it to the final. Andrew won star baker which was really well deserved as he did very well in every challenge. Next week is another new theme – Tudor week!

I made this roulade before the episode aired as I’ll be on holiday when you read this. Roulade was the only thing I could guess they were making from the next week’s preview so it was an easy choice! The bakers roulades seemed more like swiss rolls to me, whereas I made a traditional meringue roulade.

I started by whisking up 140g egg whites (about 4 eggs) until stiff peaks formed. I then added 200g caster sugar with the mixer still going. Finally I added 1 tsp cornflour and 1 tsp cider vinegar and mixed it in.

I poured the mixture out onto a lined baking tray and smoothed it out.

I baked it on 160C/140C Fan/320F/Gas Mark 3 for 25 minutes.

When the roulade came out of the oven, I let it cool for 5 minutes in the tin while I prepared a sheet of baking paper dusted with icing sugar.

I then tipped the roulade out onto the icing sugar and left it there to cool fully.

When it was cool I whipped up 300ml double cream with 1 tsp vanilla extract and spread it all over the roulade. I reserved a small amount of cream for decorating the top.

I sprinkled over some chopped roasted hazelnuts, about 30g.

Then I covered it with blackberries, for any large ones I cut them in half.

I made a coulis for drizzling over the roulade by using a hand blender to mix 3 heaped tbsp icing sugar with 75g blackberries.

I gently and slowly rolled up the roulade. I used the reserved whipped cream to decorate the top and added some blackberries and a sprinkle of hazelnuts.

For serving, I drizzled the coulis over the roulade, and drizzled more of it over the sliced pieces. I’ve never had this type of roulade before and it is gooooood! The meringue is really light, soft in the middle with a crunchy outside. I definitely plan on making this again, and it’s so customisable as you can fill it with different fruits and flavours.

        

I’m linking up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps, with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular, with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation, and Recipe of the Week hosted by A Mummy Too.

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Blackberry & Hazelnut Roulade

Ingredients

  • 140 g (approx 4 large eggs) Egg whites
  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Cornflour
  • 1 tsp Cider vinegar
  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 30 g Chopped Roasted Hazelnuts
  • 200 g Blackberries
  • 3 tbsp Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Whisk up the egg whites using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Add the caster sugar a spoonful at a time with the mixer still going. Then add the cornflour and cider vinegar and mix in

  2. Pour the mixture out onto a lined baking tray and smooth it out. Bake it on 160C/140C Fan/320F/Gas Mark 3 for 25 minutes

  3. Let it cool for 5 minutes in the tin and prepare a sheet of baking paper dusted with icing sugar. Tip the roulade out onto the icing sugar and leave it to cool fully 

  4. When it is cool whip up the double cream with the vanilla extract and spread it all over the roulade. Reserve a small amount of cream for decorating the top

  5. Sprinkle over the chopped roasted hazelnuts then cover it with blackberries, cut any large ones in half

  6. Make a coulis by using a hand blender to mix 3 heaped tbsp icing sugar with 75g blackberries

  7. Gently and slowly roll up the roulade. Use the reserved whipped cream to decorate the top and added some blackberries and a sprinkle of hazelnuts. Drizzle over the coulis when serving

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Dominican Sweet Potato Cake (Gluten Free)

Dominican Sweet Potato Cake (Gluten Free)

It’s around this time of year, when the weather starts it’s decent into cooler temperatures, that we all start to wish for sunnier climbs. I’ve teamed up with Inntravel to share this Caribbean style recipe with you, as they have recently launched a new holiday to Dominica in the Caribbean. If you’re lucky enough to be able to enjoy a holiday to this dream destination, then check out their websitje. If not, this sweet potato cake can bring a taste of the Caribbean to your home! The recipe has been created by Caribbean chef Dean who owns the Caribbean cafe in Leeds.

I started by grating up 900g sweet potatoes. I used a food processor to make this quicker and easier.

I then added 260g light brown sugar, 70ml vegetable oil, 250ml milk (I used almond), 2 eggs, 2 tsp fresh grated ginger, 40g dessicated coconut, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp nutmeg. I also chose to add 1 tsp allspice.

The most unusual thing about  this cake is that it contains no flour, making it gluten free. I poured the mixture into a lined baking tray.

I baked it on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes.

The cake had a very soft texture, and tasted deliciously exotic with all the spices and coconut. It paired perfectly with ice cream and sultanas. I did some research on this cake as it was so new to me and typically they are made with a white varient of sweet potato that is more starchy, so if you can get hold of that, it will make the texture firmer.

I’m linking this recipe up with Simple & In Season hosted by Feeding Boys, as sweet potatoes are in season October – December.

And to Cook Blog Share hosted by Sneaky Veg Blog.

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Dominican Sweet Potato Cake (Gluten Free)

Ingredients

  • 900 g Sweet potatoes
  • 260 g Light brown sugar
  • 70 ml Vegetable oil
  • 250 ml Almond milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Fresh grated ginger
  • 40 g Dessicated coconut
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • Ice cream for serving
  • Sultanas for serving

Instructions

  1. Grate up the sweet potatoes using a food processor
  2. Add the light brown sugar, vegetable oil, almond milk, eggs, fresh grated ginger, dessicated coconut, cinnamon, salt, all spice and nutmeg
  3. Pour the mixture into a lined 12" x 9" baking tray and bake on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 45 minutes

  4. Slice into squares and serve with ice cream and sultanas
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Lemon & Elderflower and Orange & Honey Floral Cake: GBBO Week #6

Lemon & Elderflower and Orange & Honey Floral Cake: GBBO Week #6

Well The Great British Drama of the past couple of weeks seems to be settling down for now, and it’s all been outside of the tent so far! This week’s theme was a new one – Botanicals Week. It based all around things that grow, so fruits, flowers, herbs and vegetables. I really liked this theme and the challenges that were themed around it. I also loved how Selasi, Jane, Mel and Mary all got into the spirit of it by wearing floral clothes!

The signature challenge was to make a citrus meringue pie. Mary was very excited and she wanted crisp meringue that was baked in the oven. Paul wanted balance between the sharp citrus and sweet meringue. Rav made a mandarin tart served with tequila. Both Jane and Candice used lime and coconut, Andrew also went for lime but added ginger to it, and both Benjamina and Selasi chose grapefruit to flavour their tarts. Benjamina added ginger to hers, while Selasi chose mint. Tom of course, went for something different and made a pumpkin, blood orange and pecan tart.

Everytime a baker mentioned using a blowtorch on their meringue the look on Mary’s face was very disapproving! Personally I prefer blowtorched meringue, it’s lovely and marshmallowy. A few of the bakers had problems with their meringue being too ‘wet’. Benjamina got a glowing result, as did Jane. Selasi’s curd was his only let down. Rav’s meringue was not stable enough, but they enjoyed his flavours. Andrew’s pie also lacked volume from his meringue, but his curd was ‘beautiful’ according to Paul. Tom’s pastry was not baked through and the judges couldn’t taste any citrus. Candice failed to impress with the apperance of her tart.

This week’s technical challenge was to make two herb fougasse. A leaf shaped bread flavoured with three different herbs – thyme, sage and rosemary. The main part of the instructions the bakers struggled with was how to cut the bread. Some made the middle cuts on top of one another, and some made them next to each other. There was also variety in the choice of proving time chosen.

Tom was relieved to be doing bread as this is his comfort zone, also he got quite stressed towards the end of the challenge. Selasi was his usual over relaxed self, and he didn’t get his bread in the oven quickly enough so it wasn’t baked through. A few of the bakers added water to the bottom of the oven to create steam as the bread baked. Selasi came last, Andrew 6th, Candice 5th and Jane 4th. Leading up the top three were Rav in 3rd, Benjamina 2nd and the winner was Tom.

This week’s showstopper was to make a spectacular three tiered floral cake. The floral element could be the decoration or flavours. Mary warned against over powering them with floral flavours, and Paul wanted exceptional decoration. Andrew’s three cakes were cherry & almond, strawberry & vanilla and lemon & elderflower. He decorated them simply with buttercream and fresh flowers, the judges thought it was too simple and his cake was dry. Rav spent the whole challenge in quite a nervous state as he doesn’t do “pretty” when it comes to baking. His cakes were all only one flavour, which was orange blossom & almond. The judges found it uncreative.

Tom used floral teas as her flavour inspiration and his three cakes were flavoured with camomile, jasmine, green and elderflower teas. He also made genoise sponges and decorated with a pretty floral effect, Mary called it simple but it clearly took a long time to do. She said his cakes were brilliant. Candice made a four tier changing of the seasons cake which looked really impressive and the judges agreed. Her flavours were chocoalte & orange, lemon & raspberry, spiced carrot and her Nan’s boiled fruit cake. I love how she uses inspiration from her her family for her bakes and it is always a success when she does this, like with her gingerbread pub.

Jane didn’t use any flower flavours in her cake and went for all orange sponges. She suffered from lack of timing throughout the whole challenge and even had to throw one cake away. She made floral chocolate collars and buttercream flowers but due to her timing problems they were very messy. Selasi made a stunning cake that really showcased his piping skills, it was flavoured with carrot, strawberry & vanilla, and lemon & poppyseed. The judges loved all of his cakes too! Benjamina produced a gorgeous naked cake which Paul said looked ‘unfinished’ – has he never seen a naked cake before?! They are everywhere! Get yourself on Pinterest Paul. Her spongers were camomile, honey & poppyseed, and orange blossom & almond. Unfortunately they were slightly underbaked.

Rav left us this week and Tom won star baker. It was a tricky one as Andrew and Jane equally could have left, and Selasi and Candice equally could have won star baker. If any of those three names for either decision had been announced I would not have been surprised. Next week is desserts week.

I wanted to go all out this week and make the showstopper. I couldn’t do three tiers as I don’t have the right size pans and I didn’t have time to buy any. I did however realise that this is the first time I’ve ever made a tiered cake! So I’m starting small, but who knows how many tiers I’ll make next time round!

I started with the lemon and elderflower sponge. I creamed together 350g butter and 350g sugar, then added the zest of 3 lemons.

I added 6 eggs, 2 at a time, and mixed between each one. And 3 tsp elderflower cordial. Then I added 350g self raising flour.

I divided the mixture between two 9 inch lined and greased tins. I always make a hole in the middle to avoid the cake from doming on the top too much.

I baked them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 35 minutes until they were golden brown and a skewer came out clean.

While the cakes were baking I made a syrup from 10 tbsp caster sugar, 50ml elderflower cordial and the juice of 3 lemons.

I used my  Joseph Joseph Glaze Refillable Silicone Pastry Brush to brush the syrup all over the hot cakes, then I left them to cool. It was sent to me recently as part of their new baking range and it made this task so much easier!

 
 
Then I moved onto the orange and honey sponge. I creamed together 180g butter and 180g caster sugar. I added the zest of 1 orange, then 3 eggs, 1 tbsp honey and finally 180g self raising flour.

 

I divided the mixture into two 6 inch lined and greased tins.

I baked them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 25 minutes. They took a lot longer to bake through so they were a bit darker than I wanted. I brushed a syrup made from the zest of 1 orange and 85g honey all over the cakes and left them to cool.

After trimming the cakes around the side and top to make sure they were neat and level, I started stacking them. I used apricot jam between each layer as I had some to use up in the fridge and I wanted something fairly neutral so the flavour of the cake would come across. Lemon curd would work really well too though.

I used four wooden skewers as dowels in the bottom sponge to support the top cake and avoid any sinking/collapsing.

Then I stacked up the two smaller cakes.

I had to make a lot of buttercream to cover and decorate this cake. I total I used 750g butter and 1.5kg icing sugar. I made the icing in two batches, and I also added 1 1/2 tsp orange extract and 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract to each batch.

I covered the cake in a base layer, or crumb coat, of icing. Then I put it in the fridge for an hour to set.

I turned my piping bag inside out and painted stripes of baby pink food colouring inside. I turned it back the right way, then filled it with buttercream.

I covered the whole cake in buttercream rosettes.

I made a last minute decision to make some flowers, and I rolled out some baby pink renshaw fondant. I used a fab flower tool to make the flowers, for full details on the tool and how to use it have a read of my Elderflower Cupcakes post.

I used a madeline tin to put the flowers in while they dried.

I used a dab of water to stick a pink sugar pearl in the middle. Then I stuck them all over the cake.

I was really pleased with the appearance of the cake. I’m not a very girly person, so I don’t often make things that are this pink and flowery! But I did think it looked lovely and the rosettes are simple but very effective.

I was most pleased by how neat the slices looked when the cake was cut! The lemon and elderflower cake was stunning, I adored the strong citrus flavour. The orange and honey was more delicate in flavour, but certainly no less delicious.

     

I’m linking up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps, with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular, with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka’s Blog and Marathons & Motivation, and with The Food Calendar hosted by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen, for National Cake Week.

NB. I was sent the Joseph Joseph products for free, all opinions are my own.

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Citrus Floral Cake

Ingredients

  • 1.28 kg Butter
  • 530 g + 10 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 530 g Self raising flour
  • 3 Lemons
  • 50 ml + 3 tsp Elderflower cordial
  • 9 Eggs
  • 1 Orange
  • 85 g + 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1.5 kg Icing sugar
  • 8 tbsp Apricot Jam
  • Baby pink ready to roll fondant
  • Pink sugar pearls
  • 3 tsp Orange extract
  • 3 tsp Lemon extract
  • Pink food colouring

Instructions

  1. To make the lemon and elderflower sponge cream together 350g of the butter and 350g of the caster sugar, then add the zest of the lemons
  2. Add 6 of the eggs, two at a time, and mix between each addition. Then add the 3 tsp of elderflower cordial, followed by 350g of the self raising flour, and mix in
  3. Divide the mixture between two 9 inch lined and greased tins. Bake them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 35 minutes until they are golden brown and a skewer comes out clean
  4. While the cakes are baking make a syrup from the 10 tbsp caster sugar, 50ml of the elderflower cordial and the juice of the lemons. Brush it all over the hot cakes as soon as they come out of the oven
  5. For the orange and honey sponge cream together 180g of the butter and 180g of the caster sugar. Add the zest of the orange and mix in
  6. Add 3 of the eggs mixing between each addition, then mix in the 1 tbsp of honey and finally fold in 180g of the self raising flour
  7. Divide the mixture between two 6 inch lined and greased tins. Bake them on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for around 25 minutes until they are golden brown and a skewer comes out clean
  8. While the cakes are baking make a syrup from the zest of the orange and 85g of the honey. Brush it all over the hot cakes as soon as they come out of the oven
  9. If required, trim the cakes around the side and top to make sure they are neat and level, then start stacking them using apricot jam between each layer
  10. Use four wooden skewers or dowels in the bottom sponge to support the top cake and avoid any sinking/collapsing
  11. Make a large batch of buttercream by mixing together 750g of the butter and the icing sugar. When it's mixed add the orange and lemon extracts
  12. Cover the cake in a base layer, or crumb coat, of icing. Then put it in the fridge for an hour to set
  13. Turn the piping bag inside out and paint stripes of baby pink food colouring inside. Turn it back the right way, then fill it with buttercream. Cover the whole cake in buttercream rosettes
  14. Roll out the fondant and make flowers with a cutter and pressing tool. Allow to dry, then use a dab of water to stick a pink sugar pearl in the centre of each flower. Stick them all over the cake as desired

 

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Treat Petite October 2016

Treat Petite October 2016
Welcome to Treat Petite October 2016!
 

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out September’s Round Up which was also hosted by me. It was packed with delicious delights including lots of Great British Bake Off bake alongs!

As Treat Petite is now themeless, this month once again Anything Goes! So you can enter anything you like, just remember the Treat Petite rules below…

Treat Petite is for all of those delicious bites, which can be individually portioned. Tray bakes are fine, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, macarons and so on. No cakes, puddings, whole loaves – you get the idea… here are those all-important rules:

1. Add your petite treat to the Linky Tool at the bottom of the current month’s post by the 25th of the month, midnight at the latest

2. Post your bake onto your blog and link back to Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer, stating who is hosting this month

3. Follow Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer blogs on Google+ (see sidebar links), if you haven’t already.

4. If you tweet use #TreatPetite and mention @MrCakeyboi and @BakingExplorer – we will retweet

5. Add the challenge logo to the post and ‘Treat Petite’ as a label to the post

6. Use any recipe as long as the source is noted

7. If you like, add your photo to the ‘Treat Petite’ Pinterest board (request access from Cakeyboi)

8. Only 2 entries per blogger per month

9. Feel free to enter old posts as long as you update the post and meet all the requirements above!

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