Monday, 31 October 2016

Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake: GBBO The Final!


The Great British Bake Off series 7 came to an end last week, and it really was the end of an era as it was the last time the show will be aired on the BBC. Of course, none of the bakers or presenters knew that at the time of filming. Our three finalists were Candice, Andrew and Jane. Candice has been well known throughout this series for making elaborate bakes themed around her family, she's won star baker three times and is this year's lipstick queen! Jane won star baker on week one, and has had quite a few ups and downs since then. Andrew has been known for his technical approach to baking, and has won star baker twice.


The theme of the final was royal and the signature challenge was to make a three layered filled meringue crown, family sized and decorated. Paul said the bakers have struggled with meringue in the past so he wanted to see how they did again. Jane's meringue crown was filled with blueberry compote, raspberry and strawberry compote and nectarines. It had quite a simple appearance, and Paul said it had to be perfect because of this. Apart from her blueberry compote being slightly runny, her bake went well. Mary gave it plenty of praise while Paul stayed quiet as he was happily eating it all! He gave her a double Hollywood handshake!


Andrew used muscavado sugar in his meringue, which meant there was a higher risk of his meringue cracking. He made it in the shape of the Queen's jubilee crown and filled it with pecan praline, layered it with blackberry fool and made cassis jelly 'jewels'. He struggled with his pecan praline as it stuck to his baking paper, but he had a good bake. The judges felt that his praline was too sweet and overpowered the meringue, and that the fool wasn't tart enough. They enjoyed his meringue and cassis jelly.


Candice made two different types of meringue, one with caster sugar and one with golden caster sugar. Her crown was filled with prosecco soaked strawberries, mango curd, and glittered fruit and nuts. One top was a tiny tiara style crown. The judges thought it looked impressive and that it had great texture and flavour, she got a Hollywood handshake too!


This week's technical gave the bakers nowhere to hide. It was to make a Victoria Sponge, but without a recipe. They also had to make the buttercream and jam for the filling, again without a recipe. This is pretty straightforward for people who bake a lot, but the bakers were really feeling the pressure so were bound to make mistakes. I did think it was a little simple, and they could have challenged them more.


Jane made the mistake of weighing her eggs in the shells, so she had far too much mixture. Both Jane and Candice made their sponge with the all in one method, while Andrew used the creaming method. Candice made the raspberry jame seedless, which Mary didn't like. Jane came third due to using too much mixture, Candice was second as her buttercream was grainy, and Andrew won the technical!


The showstopper challenge was to make a picnic fit for a Queen, this had to include: 1 chocolate celebration cake, 12 puff pastry sausage rolls, 12 mini quiches, 12 savoury scones and 12 fruit and custard tarts - 49 items in total! Mary said that even though the bakers had 5 hours to make everything, they still needed good time management. Paul wanted every item to be suitable to serve to the Queen herself.


Candice made a chocolate, orange & cardamom cake, bacon, mushroom & black pudding sausage rolls, manchego & olive scones, salmon & asparagus quiches and rhubarb & custard tarts. The pastry on her tarts did catch, but they still looked good and she avoided a soggy bottom! She also made cute pig faces on her sausage rolls which was a nice touch, and her puff pastry was well cooked. Her quiches were crispy and full of salmon. Her scones didn't taste of cheese as the olives overtook the flavour. Paul loved her chocolate cake, and Mary thought it was a great cake for a picnic.


Andrew made smoked cheddar & paprika scones, sausage & chorizo rolls, sweet potato, goats cheese & caramelised onion quiches, strawberry & pistachio tarts and a chocolate cake featuring chocolate shards. He had an extremely detailed Excel spreadsheet which had every 5 minutes of the challenge planned to keep him on track. He also used family recipes to ensure success. Andrew added a sugar glaze to his fruit tarts which unfortunately soaked through and made the pastry soggy. His sausage rolls tasted good but he had raw pastry. Mary loved the apperance of his scones, but couldn't taste any cheese. His quiches were crispy and tasted delicious according to Paul. His chocolate cake looked great and Paul felt the same about the taste of it.


Jane made red fruit and elderflower tarts, butternut squash & parmesan scones, apple & thyme rolls, salmon & prawn quiches and a chocolate cake decorated with a chocolate collar. Jane was flapping quite a lot as she seemed unorganised. Her chocolate collar did not set so she had to cover her cake in buttercream and glitter instead. Her sausage roll had raw pastry, but tasted good. Mary really enjoyed her quiches and fruit tarts. Neither Mary or Paul could taste the butternutsquash in her scones. The judges did enjoy her chocolate cake and said it was light and soft, and loved the cherry and cream surprise in the middle.


And the winner was... Candice! She certainly deserved it as her bakes were the best in this episode. She was who I wanted to win as I felt she deserved it overall from the quality of her bakes throughout the series, even though the judges don't take that into account on the final day. It was quite emotional as she talked about what winning meant to her. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does next!


I started by greasing and lining three 9 inch sandwich tins.


I creamed together 520g caster sugar and 520g butter.


I added 9 eggs, mixing them in two at a time.


I then mixed in 400g self raising flour, 120g cocoa powder and 2 tbsp milk.


I divided the mixture into the tins, I always make a hole in the middle of the batter to try and stop it from doming too much in the middle.


 I baked it on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes, then left to cool fully.


I made the nutella buttercream by mixing together 150g butter and 300g icing sugar, then I added 200g Nutella, 3 tbsp double cream and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. I mixed it until it was smooth.


 I made the cream filling by whipping up 250ml double cream, then mixing in 250g mascarpone cheese


 I started stacking up the cakes. I spread half of the cream mixture onto the first layer.


 Then I spread half a jar of cherry jam on top.


I stacked up the next layer of cake, then spread the rest of the cream layer on, followed by the rest of the cherry jam.


I then added the last sponge and spread a layer of the Nutella buttercream over the top using a palette knife.


I put the rest of the Nutella buttercream in a piping bag and piped two rows of rosettes around the edge of the cake. I used a Wilton Number 6B Open Star tip for this effect. I filled the middle with some Dr Oetker chocolate strand sprinkles.


I took 10 cherries out of a jar of kirsch soaked cherries and put them on some kitchen towel to soak away as much moisture from them as I could. I then rolled half of each cherry in edible gold glitter and arrange them around the cake.


The cake was ready for a celebration! I took it along to my friend's 30th birthday party for the guests to enjoy.


The cake was so yummy and if I do say so myself it's one of the best cakes I've ever made! The sponge was lovely and moist, and the fresh cream and cheese filling was the perfect balance against the sweet chocolate and Nutella buttercream. I adore kirsch soaked cherries so they were a tasty bonus for me.


I'm linking up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps.


And with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.


And with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka's Blog and Marathons & Motivation.


And with Bake of the Week hosted by Casa Costello.


And Cook Blog Share hosted by Sneaky Veg.


Nutella buttercream recipe from What Jess Baked Next


print recipe

Cherry & Nutella Chocolate Cake
Ingredients
  • 670g Butter
  • 520g Caster sugar
  • 9 Eggs
  • 400g Self raising flour
  • 120g Cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp Milk
  • 300g Icing sugar
  • 200g Nutella
  • 250ml + 3 tbsp Double cream
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 250g Mascarpone
  • 1 jar of Cherry Jam
  • 10 Kirsch soaked cherries
  • Gold edible glitter
  • Dr Oetker chocolate strand sprinkles
Instructions
Grease and line three 9 inch sandwich tinsCream together the caster sugar and 520g of the butterAdd the eggs, mixing them in two at a timeMix in the self raising flour, cocoa powder and milkDivide the mixture into the tins and bake it on 180C/160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 35 minutes, then leave to cool fullyMake the nutella buttercream by mixing together 150g of the butter and the icing sugar, then add the Nutella, the 3 tbsp double cream and vanilla extract. Mix until smoothMake the cream filling by whipping up the 250ml of double cream, then mixing in the mascarpone cheeseStart stacking up the cakes. Spread half of the cream filling onto the first layer, followed by half a jar of the cherry jam on top. Do the same with the second layer of cakeAdd the last sponge and spread a layer of the Nutella buttercream over the top using a palette knifePut the rest of the Nutella buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a Wilton Number 6B Open Star Tip and pipe two rows of rosettes around the edge of the cake. Fill the middle with the chocolate strand sprinklesTake 10 cherries out of a jar of kirsch soaked cherries and put them on some kitchen towel to soak away as much moisture as possible. Then roll half of each cherry in edible gold glitter and arrange them evenly around the cake

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Treat Petite October - Round Up


Welcome to October's round up of Treat Petite! There are some amazing Autumnal recipes below, please comment on and share your favourites! Thank you to everyone who took part this month, check out Cakeyboi for November's link up coming soon.


Blueberry Compote Cupcakes by Caroline Makes, and the compote is homemade.


Packed Lunch Pizza Swirls by Feeding Boys, a great alternative to the traditional sandwich.


Dark Chocolate, Stem Ginger & Peanut Butter Tiffin by De Tour Coeur Limousin, who says they are a rich, crunchy and spicy treat.


Homemade Caramel Apple Ice Cream by Farmersgirl Kitchen, which is served in cookie cups.


Triple Chocolate Buns by Tin & Thyme, which she made for National Chocolate Week.


Pumpkin & Apple Muffins by Searching For Spice, she made her own pumpkin puree to add to the muffins.


Maple Pecan Squares made by me, which I made with some maple syrup and maple sugar my dad brought back from Canada.


Mini Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Maple Syrup Drizzle by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary, made without paper cases in a super non stick Jamie Oliver muffin tin.


Chocolate Tahini Maca Bliss Balls by Green Gourmet Giraffe, a healthy Halloween treat!


Pistachio, Orange & Raspberry Fondant Fancies (Gluten Free) by The Gluten Free Alchemist, baking along to The Great British Bake Off.


Peanut Butter Ghosts by Foodie Quine, which are no bake and perfect for Halloween!

Monday, 24 October 2016

Apple Pie Fondant Fancies: GBBO Week #9


I didn't post a bake along last week as I've been on holiday, I feel like I lucked out as Tudor Week looked tough! I'm still not over Benjamina's shock exit either... This week was patisserie week and also the semi finals! As usual Bake Off is coming to an end far too fast. All of the bakers were very nervous this week, even Selasi!


The signature challenge was to make two styles of 24 savoury palmiers, using only puff pastry (no rough puff allowed!) Paul and Mary were looking for layers in the pastry, and a small amount of filling but with a lot of flavour. There were some debate amongst the bakers over whether they were using strong bread flour or plain flour for the puff pastry dough, with most of them using a mixture of the two. Andrew was the only one who used only plain flour and he had to re-start his puff pastry as it was too crumbly.


There were lots of different palmier shapes from the bakers. Jane made flowers, Andrew did musical notes, Selasi made butterflies and Candice made hearts. The judges thought Jane's pesto and sundried tomato palmiers were not fully baked, they loved the flavour of her tapanade palmiers but again they were not quite baked. Candice's pastry was well baked and the judges enjoyed the flavours, however they felt the palmiers were too big and thick. Selasi's palmiers were also underbaked. Despite Andrew having to redo his pastry, his palmiers were crispy and Paul loved them.


This week's technical challenge was to make a Savarin, this is basically a large rum baba. It's a yeasted cake which is soaked in an orange liquor syrup and decorated with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Paul warned the bakers may not prove the cake correctly, and he also wanted to see the cake evenly soaked with the liquor. Jane knew what it was, but the others were unsure.


Jane struggled with the caramel shards, I lost count of how many times she attempted to make them! All of the bakers had very neat piping skills when they made the chocolate label for the cake. It was a hot day in the tent so they all struggled with getting the cake to cool so they could add the whipped cream decoration. Paul actually gave the bakers some grace for this! Selasi came last as his savarin was over baked and his orange segments still had membrane on, Candice's was also over baked and under proved which meant she got third place. Andrew's was also slightly over baked so he came second, and Jane won despite not being successful with the caramel decoration.


The showstopper was to make 36 fondant fancies, two different types, all made with genoise sponge, and all made from scratch. They had 4 and a half hours to complete the challenge, Mary admitted that you'd make the sponge the day before usually which would make it more difficult for the bakers, but of course she still wanted them to be perfect. Paul wanted to see shop standard fancies with flat sides.


I liked Jane's tip to use a potato masher to dip the fancies into the fondant. Mary made a comment about Selasi not sifting his flour, so he immediately re-made his sponge again! All of the fancies had to be covered in buttercream to ensure smooth sides, but Jane was the only baker who decided against doing this as it is a time consuming element to the bake. It was a very tense time in the tent as they all struggled to complete the challenge on time.


Mary and Paul both loved Candice's praline fancies and cherry bakewell fancies, they thought the overall apperance was a bit messy but the flavours and fillings were what won them over. As Jane did not use buttercream to cover her fancies, the side were very messy and the judges noticed this immediately. Andrew's fancies looked fantastic, I loved the way he presented them, it was such a clever idea.The judges agreed and called the presentation 'stunning'.



Selasi left this week, he came last in the technical and the judges thought his white chocolate fancies were overly sweet. It was very close between him and Jane I thought, and I was surprised they chose him. Next week is the final and we get to find out who the winner is!


This week I decided to make the fondant fancies. I find making puff pastry from scratch quite boring (too much turning and folding) and I don't have the right tin to make a Savarin in. Making these gave me so much sympathy towards the GBBO bakers! They are very time consuming due to all the different stages, but ultimately worth giving a go at least once as they taste so good and look really impressive!


I started with the cake. I made a genoise sponge and whisked up 5 eggs with 150g golden caster sugar for about 7 minutes until it was thick.


I then sieved in a mixture of 150g plain flour and 2 tsp cinnamon in three stages, and gently folded them in each time. I then added 75g melted butter which I poured around the edge of the bowl and folded in. I poured it into a lined baking tin.


I baked it on 180C/160C fan/Gas 4 for 25 minutes. I let it cool then wrapped it up and put it in the freezer for an hour.


While the cake was baking I made the apple filling. I heated up 1 chopped cooking apple, 1 tsp cinnamon and 25g light brown sugar on a low heat for 15 minutes until the apples were soft. I let the mixture cool, then whizzed it up using a hand blender.



I took the cake out of the freezer and brushed a thin layer of apricot jam over the top.


I then rolled out a 250g pack of orange fondant and covered the cake with it.


I trimmed the edges of the cake then using a ruler I cut it into 1.5" squares.


Then I cut each square into half.


I spread the apple filling onto the bottom half and sandwiched them all back together.


I made a caramel butter cream by mixing 150g butter, 300g golden icing sugar and 1 tsp caramel extract.


I used a palette knife to coat the sides of each cake. This was quite fiddly to get 100% neat. I put them in the fridge for an hour for the buttercream to set.


I made a pourable fondant by mixing up 1kg ready to roll fondant with 115ml water and some orange food colouring. I set up a cooling rack with a baking tray underneath and using it to place the cakes on before the pouring the fondant over the top.


I melted 100g white chocolate, put it into a piping bag and piped a zig zag pattern on top. I then added some bronze sprinkles.


I didn't expect the fancies to be as neat as professional ones, but I thought they came out alright in the end. The sides could have been neater, but the top were lovely and smooth. My fondant didn't fully set, even after being in the fridge overnight, so they were quite messy when eating them!


And the best bit, they tasted just like apple pie! The cinnamon, apple and caramel all came together in a way I wasn't expecting, and produced a delicious apple pie flavour. This wasn't my original intention, but it really made the whole experience of making these worthwhile.


I'm linking up with the Great Bloggers Bake Off 2016 hosted by Mummy Mishaps.


And with Bake Off Bake Along hosted by Rhyme & Ribbons and This Particular.


And with the Sunday Fitness & Food Link Up hosted by Ilka's Blog and Marathons & Motivation.


print recipe

Apple Pie Fondant Fancies

Ingredients
  • 5 Eggs
  • 150g Golden caster sugar
  • 150g Plain flour
  • 3 tsp Cinnamon
  • 75g Melted butter
  • 1 Chopped cooking apple
  • 25g Light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Apricot jam
  • 1.25kg Orange or white ready to roll fondant
  • 150g Butter
  • 300g Golden icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Caramel extract
  • 100g White chocolate
  • Bronze sprinkles
  • (If using white fondant) Orange food colouring

  • Instructions

    To make the genoise sponge whisk the eggs with the golden caster sugar in a stand mixer for about 7 minutes until thick and trebled in size
    Sieve in the plain flour and 2 tsp of the cinnamon in three stages, and gently fold them in each time. Add the melted butter by pouring it around the edge of the bowl and folding it in. Pour the batter into a lined baking tin
    Bake it on 180C/160C fan/Gas 4 for 25 minutes. Let it cool then wrap it up and put it in the freezer for an hour
    To make the apple filling heat up the chopped cooking apple with 1 tsp of the cinnamon and the light brown sugar on a low heat for 15 minutes until the apples are soft. Let the mixture cool, then whizz it up using a hand blender
    Take the cake out of the freezer and brush a thin layer of apricot jam over the top
    If you are using white fondant, knead some orange food colouring into it first until you get the desired shade. Rolled out 250g of the fondant and cover the cake with it
    Trim the edges of the cake then using a ruler cut it into 1.5" squares. Then cut each square into half horizontally
    Spread the apple filling onto the bottom half of the cake and sandwich them all back together
    Make a caramel buttercream by mixing the butter, golden icing sugar and caramel extract together. Use a palette knife to coat the sides of each cake with the buttercream, then put them in the fridge for an hour for the buttercream to set
    Make a pourable fondant by mixing up 1kg of the ready to roll fondant with 115ml water. Set up a cooling rack with a baking tray underneath and using it to place the cakes on before the pouring the fondant over the top
    Melt 100g white chocolate, put it into a piping bag and piped a zig zag pattern on top. Add some bronze sprinkles