Monday, 11 August 2014

2014 GBBO Challenge - Week 1

So last week saw the start of the fifth season of The Great British Bake Off! I think I have seen every series of this so far and have even watched some of the repeats! I started blogging in the summer last year and one of my very first blogging friends was London lifestyle blogger Emsypickle. We've known each other via twitter for over a year now and one of the many things we have in common is baking! During the last season of GBBO I followed Emsypickle's blog posts as she had her own bake off every week too featuring similar bakes to those seen on the show that week.

This year I've decided to bake along with my lovely friend and will be blogging alongside her throughout the series. Please make sure you check out her blog to see her bakes and also all the fun fashion, beauty and London lifestyle posts she has over there. You can check out her wonderful blog here.

I love baking but I am very much still a novice in comparison to my mum Evelyn, so I've roped her in to help me out with some of the trickier techniques that I might come across! Our ambitious first bake took all of the ideas from the bake off on Wednesday night - Cherry Cake, Swiss Roll and Miniatures!

Swiss Roll is not something I'm fond of if there is jam involved! Although I do like jam I'm not particularly fond of it in sponge cakes! First thing on Sunday morning I headed over to my good friend Google and searched for funky Swiss Roll decorations. One of the first I came across was a Swiss Roll with a giraffe pattern on it! I loved this idea and after feeding a giraffe when I was on holiday 6 weeks ago I though this one would be perfect! Here is the finished product, complete with the giraffe I bought at Naples Zoo (Florida).

I was so pleased with how it turned out all I said for about ten minutes was "I can't believe we made a giraffe!". Without a recipe to follow I used techniques from the show on Wednesday night coupled together with some old faithful Mary Berry recipes!

The yellow pattern you can see was made using some left over Victoria Sponge mix and was piped out freehand onto a lined tin then popped in the freezer to chill while I prepared the mixture for the roll. The chocolate mixture is nothing fancy, simply just a chocolate Swiss Roll mixture and was then poured into the tray on top of the chilled pattern!

Here is what you will need for the roll mixture.

4 large eggs
4oz (100g) caster sugar
2.5oz (65g) self-raising flour
1.5oz (40g) cocoa

For the filling -

3oz (75g) unsatlted butter
8oz (200g) icing sugar
a spot of milk

you will also need a 33x23cm rectangle cake tin lined with baking paper (different to grease proof paper as it has a non-stick coating, if you don't have this grease your greaseproof paper. TIP - measure your tin, it's crucial, when lining snip the paper at the corners so that it folds (see pic))

1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (ours only goes as high as 190°C)
2. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is light and frothy and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted out. Sift the flour and cocoa into the mixture, carefully folding at the same time
3. Turn the mixture into the prepared (and patterned) tin and give it a gentle shake so that the mixture finds its own level, making sure it spreads evenly into the corners. TIP - you will probably have to use your spatula to persuade the mixture to head into the corners completely
4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the sponge begins to shrink away from the edges of the tin. Be careful not to over cook as this can cause the cake to crack when you roll it
5. While the sponge is in the oven cut two sections of baking paper ready to run the cake out onto. As the pattern is on the top you will have to turn it out then switch it over so that the pattern will be on the outside when you roll it.
6. Remove your cake from the oven, inverting it onto the first baking sheet and quickly peel the paper away from the bottom of it. Covering it with the second baking sheet flip it over so that your patterned side is now face down on your work surface.
7. Trim the edges and score a mark about an inch into the cake to make it easier to make the first roll. Roll up the cake making sure you keep the paper inside, which makes it easier to unroll - if you don't the cake will stick together - and leave to cool.

After your cake has cooled, beat together the icing sugar and butter for the filling adding a little milk so that it turns into smooth butter cream, unroll your cake and spread the filling over it evenly, right to the edges so that you will be able to see the swirl. Re-roll the cake and serve (with or without a giraffe)

The other cakes on Wednesday night's show were Cherry Cake and Miniatures. Here are some snaps from our attempts at those!

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