So it was biscuit week on the Great British Bake Off this week. The Signature Bake had the contestants baking 36 savoury biscuits, the Technical Challenge was making florentines and to finish off they had to build a 3D scene out of biscuits for the Showstopper. Luis’ George and the Dragon and Martha’s Ski Scene were my favourites, I liked how they had thought about the flavours of their biscuits and not just the design.
This week I decided to bake florentines, they are a quick and easy bake and it gave me an opportunity to practise tempering chocolate. I used the recipe they used on the programme, with a few tweaks. I reduced the amount of candied peel and swapped cranberries for glacé cherries, although I was lucky to find any according to this article.
I’m at home with my parents this weekend and they seemed to go down well, all of the florentines were gone within 24 hours!
50g demerara sugar
50g golden syrup
50g plain flour
50g glacé cherries, finely chopped
25g candied peel, finely chopped
25g almonds, finely chopped
25g walnut pieces, finely chopped
200g plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
- Melt together the butter, sugar and golden syrup over a low heat.
- Stir in the flour, fruits and nuts.
- Spoon teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper and flatten them slightly.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes, remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray.
- When the florentines are cool melt the chocolate and spread on the bottom of the biscuits. If you want to have a go at tempering the chocolate there is a good guide here.
Last Wednesday was an exciting day for bakers and cake lovers, Great British Bake Off returned for series 5! Lots of you might know that I applied to be on GBBO this year and I was pretty disappointed to not be competing in the tent. So instead of just sitting through every episode and saying “I could do that!”, I’m going to bake along!
Episode one involved the bakers take on three cake challenges, firstly the Swiss Roll Signature Bake, then trying to replicate Mary Berry’s Cherry Cake for the Technical Challenge and then baking 36 mini British cakes for the Showstopper. Now, my Grandma’s Cherry Cake is pretty hard to beat and I don’t have 36 mini cake tins, so I decided to bake a Swiss Roll – something I have never baked before.
I made a Chocolate Swiss Roll with Whipped Cream and Raspberry Curd. I was surprised by how quick and easy the cake mixture was to make, the challenging bit was the rolling and in true GBBO fashion it didn’t go quite to plan! My cake ended up with one quite major crack which ended up being cemented back together with plenty of whipped cream and some of the outside of the cake ended up sticking to the baking paper but a quick sprinkle of icing sugar managed to disguise that! I think Mary and Paul would have been impressed by the swirl and it doesn’t taste bad either!
Chocolate Swiss Roll with Whipped Cream and Raspberry Curd
Recipe from Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book
4 large egg
100g caster sugar
65g self-raising flour
For the filling:
150ml double cream, whipped
raspberry curd or jam
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7 and grease and line a Swiss roll tin (33 x 23 cm).
- Whisk together the eggs and the sugar until they are really light and fluffy.
- Sift the flour and cocoa into the egg mixture and carefully fold them in, use a metal spoon and try not to knock out all the air.
- Bake for about 10 minutes.
- While the cake is baking lay out a sheet of baking paper and sprinkle it with a bit of caster sugar.
- When the cake is ready take it out of the oven and turn it out on to the baking paper straight away and peel off the paper from the bottom.
- Trim the edges of the cake with a knife and roll it up, with the paper inside, while it is still hot and then leave to cool.
- When the cake is cool, carefully unroll it and spread on your filling.
- To finish off roll the cake back up without the paper.