I love ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and have eagerly awaited this year’s series of baking challenges. The programme is full of baking achievements and struggles, hilarity, banter and innuendo and tears of disappointment when things don’t go quite right. The team of presenters and judges are a perfect mix and its interesting getting to know all the new characters attempting to become Bake Off champion.
I take my hat off to all the competitors. I can’t imagine anything quite as terrifying as having to bake in a kitchen you’re not used to, in a time limit, in front of T.V. cameras and taste tested by the formidable Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Whew!
However, the series has been a source of great inspiration to me and I have learned so much from all the tips, triumphs and disasters. This year I’ve decided to get a bit more involved in my own little way by baking along with some of the challenges. I know it will inspire me to try different bakes and hopefully enable me to increase my baking skills.
Last Wednesday night saw the competitors baking Swiss Rolls, Mary Berry’s Classic Cherry Cake and mini cakes. I’ve had a go at a Swiss Roll, following Mary Berry’s own recipe very carefully in her 100 Cakes and Bakes. I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the sponge mixture, filled the cake with Morello Cherry Conserve and some double cream whipped with a little caster sugar and vanilla extract. Wow! Ok so I’m not quite Bake Off standard, but I was quite pleased with the result and the taste was heavenly! I would never choose to make a Swiss Roll normally as I have horrible memories of the cheap manufactured ones found in supermarkets so I was sweetly surprised.
I also baked mini Cherry Cakes. I adapted Mary Berry’s recipe slightly by adding lemon zest and then making the icing with lemon juice and icing sugar. I topped with toasted almonds and added a fresh cherry for decoration. Mary’s mixture made 6 mini cakes.
Thanks to Mary’s tip of washing and drying the cherries carefully my cherry’s miraculously stayed put and didn’t all sink to the bottom – yay!