It's back! It's finally back. The Great British Bake Off has come back giving me serious baking envy and a lot of us rumbling tummies. I only started watching Bake Off a couple of years ago but as soon as I saw it, I was HOOKED. Wednesday nights are dedicated to the shenanigans that come from that famous tent with delicious bakes and the banter between Mel and Sue.
This year I started what I like to call my baking journey. I have always been a bit useless when it comes to things like baking because, well, I never really gave it the time of day. But as I am getting older I am wanting to be able to become a true Snow White, with a pie cooling on the window ledge and a bird chirping a tune as I tidy the house. Okay fantasyland over - this week on the GBBO we went to cake town. I am going to dedicate a series on my blog rounding up my inner most thoughts on each weeks episode as well as attempting either a signature, technical and (well, very unlikely) a showstopper each week. Think of it as though I am taking part and this is what I would produce to the judges... I am also hoping it will improve my baking!
So for the signature bake this week it was all about the drizzling. The contestants were asked for a sumptuous drizzle with ultimate moistness. So little old me decided that for this weeks task I would attempt my very own variation of the classic lemon drizzle cake.
Oh - lemon drizzle, what a journey we've been on! Let's take it back to 2013 when my lemon drizzle cupcakes looked like pancakes and to just last week where it was as good as charcoal. I can safely say me and the drizzling have come along way since then and I finally feel as though I have cracked it. You know what they say you need to break a few eggs to make a cake, right? Some choose the classic lemon drizzle whilst others opted for something a little bit different. Tom produced a G&T drizzle cake, Candice a gluten free little number and Kate a apple and bramble drizzle cake inspired by her garden. Perhaps it's the fact I don't drink alcohol, but I don't think I like the thought of booze infused baking and it seems Tom went a little too OTT with the gin as the judges breath was briskly taken away after one bite...
Now let's talk the technical challenge and the look of horror on Mary's face when Paul dunked his Jaffa Cake in his brew. Apparently they "don't do that in the South" Well sorry Mary, in the North we do.
Who knew a Jaffa Cake could cause so much debate? Also have none of the contestants ever seen a Jaffa Cake before? They were acting like it was some kind of mythical legend by some of them even thinking they should resemble flying saucers. *cough Jane, cough Andrew* Poor Jane thought she could hide her mistake by strategically placing the mistake in the middle of the plate. But that wasn't enough for old hawk eyed Mary who spotted it straight away.
The showstopper this week was to create a mirrored glaze on a genoese sponge which probably made a good fraction of the nation (and some of the contestants) think a what sponge? Just to sum it up a genoese sponge should remain fatless and light as you whip air into eggs and sugar, keeping it there even when adding the dry ingredients.
Kate's mirrored glaze sadly didn't fulfil it's good intentions and led Paul to compare her swallows on a blue icing, as penguins on the sea; unfortunately not what she was aiming for. But if she wanted to create a Happy Feet cake, maybe she would have won star baker? *Note to bakers: change direction of cake if trying to create a swallow and it resembles a penguin...
But the star baker was awarded to Jane this week despite her minor error with the
So after all the #JaffaGate and mirrored cakes (which is it just me or would anyone else HATE to see their reflection as they scoff cake?) Who do I think are the ones to watch so far? My top 3 (ATM) are:
2. Val (if she remembers the difference between caster and icing sugar)
Although Andrew managed to pull it back with his mirrored glaze I think he was in danger with his other previous bakes, could this make him a potential leaver for biscuit week? Who knows...
Signature Bake: Lemon, Lime & Poppyseed Drizzle Cake
As I mentioned before I have had some difficulties with this! If I had served up my previous drizzle cake to Paul and Mary I can only imagine their horrified faces. It's safe to say I would have been sent packing. But on my third attempt I finally nailed it (I think, I mean it looked edible?) My mum will be making a guest appearance here to give me a rating out of 5 for each bake each week. Oh, and also if I have done the recipe myself I will include it underneath!
And the verdict is in, mums rating on the drizzle cake:
For the cake:
175g self raising flour
175g unsalted butter at room temperature
175g caster sugar
3 large eggs
Zest of 2 limes and 2 lemons
30g poppy seeds
For the syrup:
100g caster sugar
115ml lemon & lime juice
For the icing:
100g icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon & lime juice
For extra decoration:
Leave a little bit of the zest from the lemon to add on top of icing to finish
1. Begin by greasing your cake tin (I used a bundt tin) and letting your oven warm up to 180 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl cream together your butter and sugar until smooth.
3. Next, in a larger bowl add the eggs, flour, zest of all fruit, poppy seeds and the creamed sugar and butter and beat together until mixture is smooth.
4. Pour all of your ingredients into your cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes. WARNING! I have learnt that some cookers cook quicker than others, so after 30 minutes test with a skewer. If it comes out clean then it's ready.
5. Take the cake out of the tin and place on a wired racked. Whilst your cake is cooling you can make the syrup. For this you simply need to add the caster sugar and the juice together into a small pan and bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent burning. Once it has boiled for 5 minutes take off the hob and allow to cool for a further 10 minutes. The syrup should have a slightly thick constituency.
6. Poke holes through the top and sides of the cake. This is to allow the juice to be absorbed throughout the cake and prevent it being dry. We all know how much Mary Berry loves a moist one. I would place a plate underneath the cake before slowly pouring the syrup onto the top of the cake and letting it absorb. Do not pour all the syrup on at once, do this process carefully and slowly allowing each time you add a little bit of the syrup the cake to absorb it (approx 5 minutes)
7. Whilst the syrup is doing it's job, you can make the icing. Cream together the icing sugar and fruit juice until icing sugar has a thick consistency but will still be able to slightly run down the edges. If you need to you can add more icing sugar, or fruit juice if you need to thin it. Leave to cool for a further 20 minutes, then ENJOY!
Are you watching the GBBO this year? What do you think so far? And will you be attempting any of the bakes?
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