Bake With A Legend Review

Bake With A Legend Review

If you’ve visited my blog before you will know that I am a massive fan of The Great British Bake Off. It is the baking show that inspired me to start both this blog and my journey of delicious baking adventures. So when I heard that there were baking classes being hosted by some of the most talented and well known GBBO stars, well there wasn’t much that was going to stop me from getting involved! The classes are called Bake With A Legend, and at first they started off in London (as most things do unfortunately for us Northerners). Thankfully, because they’ve been so brilliant and successful, they’ve started doing classes in Manchester this year.

I attended two Bake With A Legend classes in Manchester. The first was baking bread with Paul Jagger. Paul was a quarter finalist in series six and is most well known for his lion bread sculpture. Because the classes are in small groups, they feel very intimate. You can chat away to the hosts and asking them questions throughout is welcomed. At the start we all sat down with Paul and we were offered a hot drink. He talked to us about what we would be baking. He was a very warm, friendly and open guy. Paul was full of anecdotes and stories about his time on GBBO. I found it absolutely fascinating to hear what went on behind the scenes!

Then it was time to bake! Paul demonstrated each step first and explained what we needed to do. There were two large work stations at the Food Sorcery location in East Didsbury for us all to use. They provided plenty of baking equipment to go around and the main ingredients were all weighed out and ready. As there were bakers on either side of the worktops it was ideal for chatting with others in the group and helping each other to remember which ingredients to add!

At the bread making class we made grissini (aka breadsticks) flavoured with parmesan and rosemary. Paul brought rosemary from his garden at home for us to use which was a lovely touch. We also made an asian inspired twist on garlic bread which was stuffed with chickpeas, pepper, cumin, chilli and coriander. I have made bread several times in the past, but I’d never made these recipes before. So it was a learning experience for me. Paul made his way around the group whilst we baked to guide us, answer our questions, and most importantly reassure us that we were following the recipe correctly!

The Bake With A Legend staff were also on hand to clean up after us, help us work the fancy ovens, and keep an eye on our bread as it baked. When everything was ready the whole room smelt amazing! We got another chance to sit round the table with Paul at the end of the session. He chatted with us some more, and we got to ask any further questions we had. We were provided with everything we needed to package up our bread and take it home with us. We also got the chance to get a photo with Paul! It was such a fun day and I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

The second class I attended was cake making with Howard Middleton. He featured in series four of GBBO and is probably best known for having his custard accidentally ‘stolen’ by a fellow contestant. He’s also known for his love of gluten free baking and using unusual flours in his bakes. On one week of the show he used hemp flour, which gave Mel & Sue plenty to joke about! Howard has since released a book full of gluten free recipes (I’ve linked to it at the bottom of this post if you are interested).

We were making a recipe from Howard’s book called a Cacaoccino cake. It’s a sponge containing cacao, hazelnuts and coffee, surrounded by hazelnut wafers and filled with whipped cream. Howard was very funny and self deprecating throughout the class. We were all laughing at regular intervals and he made the atmosphere light and comfortable. As in the previous class, Howard demonstrated the steps of the recipe before we went over to the baking stations and had a go ourselves.

I baked in a pair with a lovely lady called Bev who had been bought the class as a Christmas gift from her husband. It was really nice to bake with someone else, to have a chat and bake together. Howard was pottering around the group to help us when we got stuck. So we felt reassured that the cakes would turn out well. He even brought his own stencils from home so we could finish off the cake with either a Bake With A Legend logo, or a coffee cup. I went for the logo and Howard applied the stencil and dusted the cocoa on everyone’s cake for them which was a fantastic personal touch!

Bake With A Legend

At the end of the class we sat down to relax with a glass of prosecco or orange juice. Howard served us a slice of the cake he had made during the demonstration. It was absolutely delicious! And this is coming from someone who doesn’t even like coffee! We also got to chat more with Howard and ask him questions. He told us all about his GBBO experience and what he’d been up since the show ended. He also signed copies of his book and happily posed for photos with the group.

I had a brilliant time at the cake making class, and I loved every moment of getting to meet and bake with these two fabulous GBBO stars. Even as an experienced baker, I learnt new things and feel inspired to try out new recipes. I think the Bake With A Legend classes are suitable for bakers of any level of experience as you are guided every step of the way. There’s always have help at hand to steer you in the right direction. The atmosphere of each class is so comfortable and welcoming that you don’t feel like any question is a stupid one. Essentially, if you love baking and you love The Great British Bake Off, you’re going to love Bake With A Legend!

If you want to find out more and see what classes are coming up in your area, visit the Bake With A Legend website.

NB. I attended the classes free of charge, I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.

Vegan Cardamom & Sea Salt Chocolate Tart

Vegan Cardamom & Sea Salt Chocolate Tart
A while back the kind people at Magazine.co.uk signed me up for three magazine subscriptions of my choice. (If you follow my blog you may remember this delicious Coconut Bar Cake I made from Olive magazine.) So this time round I got my first issue of Veggie magazine through the letterbox. I chose all food related magazines for my subscriptions – obviously! As we’re a vegetarian friendly household I’m always looking out for new veggie recipes so it was the perfect fit.

Jump straight to the recipe!

Veggie magazine is completely vegetarian, from it’s recipes to the beauty and skincare products it recommends. It also includes some vegan and gluten free recipes. My sister is vegan and we’ve recently found a love of baking together so when we do we of course make vegan friendly treats. So this Vegan Cardamom & Sea Salt Chocolate Tart was an easy choice to make as it sounded damn delicious!

I started by making the tart base which involved gently warming coconut oil and maple syrup in a pan. Once it melted together I added dessicated coconut and cocoa powder and mixed in.

I pressed the base into a tart tin making sure to pack it as tightly as I could and also cover the sides. I decided to use my rectangular tin as I love the elegant look of a tart this shape.

The base baked on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes, I left it to cool. Put it on a baking tray when in the oven as some of the coconut oil can leak out.

I made the filling by warming coconut cream, ground cardamom and a pinch of salt until just simmering. I then left it to thicken for 10 minutes with a lid on the pan.

Then I added dark chocolate to the coconut cream and stirred until it melted. If you want this to be a vegan tart make sure the chocolate doesn’t contain any milk (‘may contain’ is ok as this is related to people who have allergies).

Vegan Cardamom & Sea Salt Chocolate Tart

I poured the ganache into the tart base and put it in the fridge for 2 hours to set. Once set I decorated the Vegan Cardamom & Sea Salt Chocolate Tart with raspberries and a sprinkling of salt. You could decorate it with any fresh berries you like, or some grated dark chocolate, or leave it plain.

Wow the Vegan Cardamom & Sea Salt Chocolate Tart was decadent! The filling was so rich and creamy with the perfect chocolate hit. The cardamom lingered delicately in the background and the sea salt provided the perfect kick. The base was deliciously crunchy, it all came together so well. This is a dessert that can be enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike, and would be perfect for a dinner party where your guests have mixed dietary needs.

   

I’m entering this Vegan Cardamom & Sea Salt Chocolate Tart into We Should Cocoa hosted by Tin & Thyme. The theme this month is butter, or coconut oil for vegan recipes. And the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Marathons & Motivations and Ilkas Blog.


Cardamom & Sea Salt Chocolate Ganache Tart (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Ingredients

For the base

  • 75 g Coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 150 g Desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder

For the filling

  • 270 ml Coconut cream
  • 1 tsp Ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 100 g 70% dark chocolate

To decorate

  • 10 Fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Gently warm the coconut oil and maple syrup in a pan. Once melted, add the desiccated coconut and cocoa powder and mix in
  2. Press the base into a tart tin, pack it tightly along the bottom and sides
  3. Bake the base in the tart tin, and on a baking tray in case any coconut oil leaks out, on 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes. Then leave to cool
  4. Make the filling by warming the coconut cream, ground cardamom and a pinch of the salt until just simmering. Then leave it to thicken for 10 minutes with a lid on the pan
  5. Add the dark chocolate to the coconut cream and stir until melted
  6. Pour the filling into the tart base and put it in the fridge for 2 hours to set. Once set, decorate with raspberries and a sprinkling of salt

You can find more of my Vegan recipes by clicking here!

Swedish Princess Cupcakes (Gluten Free)

Swedish Princess Cupcakes (Gluten Free)
 In Sweden, the one baked good they are crazy about (besides cinnamon buns) is Swedish Princess Cake, also known as Prinsesstårta. I recently spent a week in Stockholm, Sweden and saw these gorgeous green cakes everywhere. I’ve made a full size Swedish Princess Cake after the Great British Bake Off featured them as a technical challenge, but I thought turning them into cupcakes would be really cute and fun! Plus it’s a simpler way to get the delightful taste of the Prinsesstårta without making a full sized one.

I started by making the creme patisserie the night before so I could cool it in the fridge overnight. I’ve only made creme patisserie once before and the recipe worked beautifully so I decided to use it again. This did make far too much for the 7 cupcakes I needed, so I made another 12 the next day! So you may wish to half the creme patisserie recipe if you’re making a smaller number of cakes. I heated 500ml whole milk with
the seeds from a vanilla pod until it reached boiling point. I then took it off the heat and poured into a jug.

In my food mixer I whisked up 6 egg yolks with 140g caster sugar until pale and thick. I added 45g cornflour and mixed that in. I then put the mixer on a medium speed and poured the milk in slowly as it mixed.

I poured the mixture back into the pan and heated it up whilst stirring continuously. There is a moment when it suddenly thickens, I started whisking it at this point to keep it smooth and stop any lumps.

I put it in a bowl, and covered it with cling film. I made sure the cling film was touching the creme pattiserie so that a skin doesn’t form on it. I left it in the fridge overnight to cool.

The next day I made the cupcakes. I was taking them to a dinner party where one of the guests had a gluten intolerance so I made regular cupcakes with gluten free flour. Ideally I would have made genoise sponge cupcakes as this is the traditionally sponge. So it’s up to you which to use if you try this recipe. I creamed together 120g butter and 120g caster sugar. I then whisked in 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

I added 120g gluten free self raising flour and 3 tbsp whole milk, and mixed in. If you don’t need these to be gluten free, just use regular self raising flour.

 

I divided the cupcake mixture into 7 cases as that’s how many I needed, but I reckon you could stretch the mixture to 8 cupcakes. As I mentioned before, as the creme patisserie recipe makes quite a lot so you can make a lot more cupcakes to use it up if you wish.

I baked on 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes until golden. I left them to cool completely.

While they were cooling I kneaded some green food colouring into 100g natural marzipan and cut out 2.5 inch circles. I got exactly 19 circles from this much marzipan. I left the marzipan out to harden up.

I used a tiny dab of water to stick a pink heart sprinkle into the middle of each marzipan circle. Traditionally a pink flower is put on top of a Prinsesstårta, but I had these pink heart sprinkles in the cupboard from Valentine’s Day baking and I thought they looked really cute!

Once fully cool I used a knife to scoop out the middle of the cupcakes. A cupcake corer won’t make enough room for the filling so you do need to do this manually.

I half filled the holes with seedless raspberry jam, about 1 tsp per cupcakes.

Then I topped them up with the creme patisserie and smoothed the top.

I whipped up a 250ml tub of double cream and piped swirls onto each cupcake. I kept the swirls flat so I could place a circle of marzipan on top.

I was so pleased with the final result! I found making a full sized Prinsesstårta really tough in terms or decorating as I’m not skilled with covering cakes in fondant/marzipan, but these cupcakes are so much simpler. Everyone at the dinner party loved the cupcakes. The Swedes really have it down, I mean, cream, custard and jam in a cake – how can you go wrong?!

I’m entering this Swedish treat into myself and Cakeyboi’s baking challenge Treat Petite. Cakeyboi is hosting this month and the theme is Eurovision.

 

Swedish Princess Cupcakes (Optional Gluten Free)

Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 500 ml + 3 tbsp Whole milk
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • 6 Egg yolks
  • 380 g Caster sugar
  • 45 g Cornflour
  • 240 g Butter
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 240 g Self raising flour (gluten free optional)
  • Green food colouring
  • 100 g Natural marzipan
  • Pink sprinkles
  • 65 g Seedless raspberry jam
  • 250 ml Double cream

Instructions

  1. Start by making the creme patisserie the night before. Heat the whole milk with the seeds from the vanilla pod in a pan until it reaches boiling point. Then take it off the heat and pour it into a jug
  2. In a food mixer whisk up the egg yolks with 140g of the caster sugar until pale and thick. Add the cornflour and mix in. Then put the mixer on a medium speed and pour the milk in slowly as it mixes
  3. Pour the mixture back into the pan and heat it up whilst stirring continuously. It will suddenly thicken after approximately 5 minutes, start whisk it at this point to keep it smooth and stop any lumps from forming
  4. Put the creme patisserie in a bowl, and cover it with cling film so that the cling film is pressed into the bowl and is touching the top of the creme patisserie. Leave it in the fridge overnight to cool
  5. To make the cupcakes, cream together butter and 240g of the caster sugar. Then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract

  6. Add the flour and if using gluten free flour add the 3 tbsp whole milk, and mix in
  7. Divide the mixture into cases and bake on 175C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes until golden. Leave them to cool completely
  8. Knead the green food colouring into the natural marzipan and cut out 2.5 inch circles. Leave the marzipan circles to harden up

  9. Use a tiny dab of water to stick a pink heart sprinkle into the middle of each marzipan circle. You can also use a pink flower, pink heart made from fondant or leave plain

  10. Use a knife and spoon to scoop out the middle of the cupcakes
  11. Half fill the scooped out holes with seedless raspberry jam, about 1 tsp per cupcake
  12. Then fill the other half of the scooped out holes with the creme patisserie and smooth the top
  13. Whip up the double cream and pipe swirls onto each cupcake. Keep the swirls flat, then place a circle of marzipan on top of each cupcake

Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream
The Christmas season is here and I am loving it! Mostly because I could finally make this Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream… I saw the fabulous Mary Berry make this at the BBC Good Food Bakes & Cakes Show back in October and the whole audience was drooling. Although her original recipe doesn’t feature any Baileys, at the show she put a good glug of it into the cream and I thought it sounded delicious. I was recently invited over for dinner at a friend’s house and took this over for dessert, much to everyone’s delight!

I started by melting 175g dark chocolate in a glass bowl over water.

Meanwhile I whisked up 6 egg yolks (keep the whites!) and 175g caster sugar until thick and creamy.

I used my food processor to whisk up the 6 whites from the eggs until stiff.

I whisked the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture. Then I mixed in one tablespoon of the egg whites. I folded in the rest of the egg whites gently, and 2 tbsp of sieved cocoa powder.

I poured the mixture into a lined baking tray. If you have a swiss roll tin you can use that, but I just use a regular baking tray.

I baked it on 160C/320F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes. I left it to cool in the tin with a tea towel covering it.

When it was completely cool I whipped up 300ml of cream and a good glug of Baileys. I tasted it to make sure the amount of Baileys was enough for me, so put in however much you like. I tipped the sponge out onto a piece of baking paper dusted with icing sugar and scored it about 2cm from one end. I spread the cream over. I didn’t use all of the cream, I saved some for extra!

I gently rolled the sponge up. It will crack, this is meant to happen and also makes a nice effect!

I dusted it with extra icing sugar and served with the leftover Baileys cream. It’s so light and delicious, plus as no flour is used it’s a great dessert for anyone on a gluten free diet. The sponge has a great fudgey texture and the hit of Baileys in the cream adds festive decadence.

Chocolate Roulade with Baileys Cream

Ingredients

  • 175 g Dark chocolate
  • 175 g Caster sugar
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder sieved
  • 300 ml Double cream
  • 3 tbsp Baileys
  • Icing sugar to dust

Instructions

  1. Melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl over water
  2. Whisk up the yolks of the eggs and the caster sugar until thick and creamy
  3. Use a food mixer to whisk up the whites from the eggs until stiff peaks form
  4. Whisk the melted chocolate into the egg yolk mixture. Then mix in one tablespoon of the egg whites. Fold in the rest of the egg whites gently, along with the cocoa powder
  5. Pour the mixture into a lined baking tray. Bake on 160C/320F/Gas Mark 4 for 20 minutes then leave to cool in the tin
  6. Whip up the cream and the Baileys. Tip the sponge out onto a piece of baking paper dusted with icing sugar and score it 2cm from one end. Spread the cream over it
  7. Gently roll the sponge up. Dust it with icing sugar to finish

Cola Cupcakes (Gluten Free)

Cola Cupcakes (Gluten Free)

I’m not gluten free myself, but I have heard a lot of good things about alternative flours and wanted to try them out in my baking. I decided to make these Cola Cupcakes as cola bottles were my absolute favourite sweet growing up, and I still enjoy them now! I am experienced in using regular wheat flour to make some delicious treats, however wheat is difficult for some people’s bodies to process. So I decided to try the alternative flours out and see how it worked…

Jump straight to the recipe!

Recently my local Tesco have started selling coconut and almond flours. Coconut flour is high in fibre which will make you feel fuller for longer, it also contains iron and vitamin C. Almond flour is rich in vitamin E and has a high protein content. Both are of course naturally gluten free. I combined them in this recipe as it is usually best to blend alternative flours together to get the best results.

 

I started by whisking together eggs, sour cream, cola flavouring, soy milk, and caster sugar for about a minute until it frothed.

Next, I sieved together coconut flour and almond flour, along with baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

I added the flour to the wet mixture until it formed a batter. It wasn’t as smooth as a regular flour batter. I put it into cupcake cases. This mixture made 18 large cupcakes.

I baked them on 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for about 25 minutes. It’s a bit more difficult to tell when they are done because they don’t spring back when you press them because of the lack of gluten. They also came out a lot paler than wheat flour cakes. I used a very thin skewer to test they were baked in the middle.

Cola Cupcakes

I iced the cupcakes with cola icing which was a mixture of butter, icing sugar and cola flavouring. And I topped them with a fizzy cola bottle sweet. For extra fizz, you could sprinkle some popping candy over the icing too!

The Cola Cupcakes baked well and had a spongy texture, they tasted really nice too! A friend said they reminded him of Indian sweets. They didn’t have the same ‘spring’ as wheat flour sponge, which is because of the lack of gluten, and they broke apart a lot easier. I took them to a party and got lots of good comments, my friend’s niece loved them so they pass the kid taste test! Overall I think I definitely need a lot more practice with alternative flours, but I’m going to continue experimenting as the health benefits are so worthwhile. Let me know if you have used them before and have any tips!


Cola Cupcakes (Gluten Free)

Servings 19

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 3 Eggs
  • 400 ml Sour cream
  • 300 g Caster sugar
  • 3 tsp Cola flavouring
  • 4 tbsp Soy milk
  • 110 g Coconut flour
  • 95 g Almond flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

For the buttercream

  • 400 g Icing sugar
  • 200 g Butter
  • 3 tsp Cola flavouring
  • 18 Fizzy cola bottle sweets

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the eggs, sour cream, cola flavouring, soy milk, and caster sugar. Whisk well by hand for about a minute until it froths

  2. Sieve together the coconut flour and almond flour, along with the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
  3. Add the flour to the wet mixture until it forms a batter. Put it into cupcake cases
  4. Bake them on 160C Fan/180C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for about 25 minutes

  5. Make an icing by mixing the butter, icing sugar and the cola flavouring together until smooth. Pipe onto the cupcakes then add a fizzy cola bottle sweet

You can find more of my Cupcake recipes by clicking here!