Hello everyone! Well, here I am back with a Monday Munchies post (albeit late – work was a ‘mare!) and as I said yesterday, I’ve decided to attempt the challenges set this year in the Great British Bake Off. Why? It’s the closest I can get to being in the tent…
If you’re not familiar with the show that is (now) a British institution (even if that other institution, the BBC, has now lost the rights to it), 10-12 amateur bakers are put through their paces each week, with three challenges set around a theme. Under the watchful eyes of professionals Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, contestants show off their baking prowess, whist trying to get to the final to win…erm… a golden whisk? (I actually don’t know what they win!)
Paul is hard to please (I can’t decide if he’s quite dishy…nice eyes, beard a little too perfect for my liking), but once you’ve impressed him, he seems to stay on your side. Mary…well, just infuse your creations with any alcohol and you’re in with a chance!
Oh and don’t forget the minefield of innuendos, thrown about by the presenters, Mel and Sue. I’m sure, back when it first aired, the mention of ‘soggy bottoms’ and ‘teasing it until it stiffens’ were quite innocent remarks but it seems this is now part of the game and if you’ve not uttered at least one during the hour, you should hang your apron up in shame.
You can even play along at home with innuendo bingo… shots are not compulsory (unless Mary Berry is playing!) It also helps if you’re a Londoner (or thereabouts) as any innuendo shouted in a semblance of a Cockney accent sounds waaaay better, conjuring up images of some tawdry tavern in a Dickensian novel! (“Ere…can someone come ‘elp me wiv me big jugs?” – see what I mean?!)
Anywho, these are the challenges:
The BASIC: This could be specific (as in ‘make me a Victoria sponge’) or must adhere to strict rules (24 biscuits of exactly the same dimensions).
The TECHNICAL: A higher skill level required, usually for something never heard of (Dampfnudeln anyone?), with less instructions than your average flat-pack. The only challenge you cannot practise beforehand (because its a surprise!)
The SHOWSTOPPER: Whatever the theme is, this last challenge must fit the bill and be presented with bells, whistles, a variety of icing and look like something a Parisian Patissiere would be jealous of.
Three guesses which challenge I likely wont be attempting! 😉
So, week one was cake week and after a few years of out-the-box ideas, they’re going back to basics. The second, technical challenge was to make jaffa cakes – seeing as I’ve already made a giant jaffa cake, I felt happy to skip this one.
The first challenge however, was for a DRIZZLE CAKE. Previously, I’ve never been a fan of anything lemon flavoured, until we went to Cyprus last year and our apartment hosts left us the most amazing lemon drizzle loaf as a welcome – more please!! So this classic variation was the one I chose to try out.
To make it even more ‘authentic’, I was going to use a Mary Berry recipe but the thought of using 1 and half eggs put me off (I mean, how do you crack half an egg….?) So I settled on the one below (from BBC Good Food) and as my loaf tin was in use and I didn’t want a round cake, I opted for a traybake (better for packed lunches).
And drizzly delicious it was! Anyone with half an interest in Game of Thrones will know how much Sansa loves her lemon cakes and she would not be disappointed with these! It also keeps in the freezer for up to a month. (Apologies for the lack of photos, I just forgot to take any cut up!)
Cake Week Challenge completed!
Have you made drizzle cake before? Are you watching and / or taking part? I’d love to know in the comments. Meanwhile, I must prepare my self for the Week Two theme: BISCUITS!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- 225g unsalted butter, softened.
- 225g caster sugar.
- 4 eggs.
- finely grated zest 1 lemon.
- 225g self-raising flour.
For the drizzle:
- juice 1½ lemons.
- 85g caster sugar
Heat oven to Gas Mark 4 (160C). Cream together butter and sugar then beat in eggs, one at a time.
Sift in the flour and add the lemon zest, mixing well. Transfer to your chosen tin (I used a 20 x 30 cm tray) and level the top.
Bake for 45 – 50 mins and the allow to cool in the tin. Whilst cooling, mix the lemon juice and caster sugar together. Prick the cake all over, then drizzle the lemon sugar over the top. Finally, cut into squares (mine made 12 good sized pieces). Enjoy! 🙂
Image Credits: My own plus paulhollywood.com, Twitter and the Guardian.