Tag Archives: Great British Bake-off

Sugar-free orange cake

29 Sep

Sugar-free orange-almond cake

When the Great British Bake-off contestants were tasked with making a sugar-free cake, I immediately thought of Claudia Roden’s orange cake.

This Judeo-Spanish cake relies on puréed whole oranges for much of its sweetness, which I thought would make it relatively easy to adapt. And because it calls for ground almonds instead of flour, it’s gluten-free as well, which seemed in the spirit of the challenge.

As this was my first attempt at baking with agave nectar, I did some reading first. The recommendations are to cut the quantity of sugar by about quarter, reduce the liquid in the recipe and lower the oven temperature – all of which I did.

Continue reading

Crème brûlée

21 Sep

Crème brûlée

Crème brûlée is – without a doubt – my favourite dessert. I love the moment when you crack the crust of caramelised sugar, and the shards shift apart to reveal the creamy custard waiting beneath. I’m already happy before I even raise the first spoonful to my mouth…

Until now, all my crème brûlée moments have occurred in restaurants. But the fourth Great British Bake-off signature bake was crème brûlée, so it was time to give it a go. Continue reading

Soda bread

16 Sep

Soda bread

Soda bread and I have never got on… My go-to quick bread has always been baking powder biscuits – I could throw together a batch with my eyes closed, and they would turn out light as air, fluffy and delightful.

Soda bread is another story. Whatever I do, it turns out heavy as rock, dense and… undelightful. I still remember making it for the first time in Home Ec. The ugly brown lump that emerged from my oven had a crust like rhinosaurus hide and a sullen, pastelike interior. It had somehow doubled in weight– though not in size – and could have been used as a weapon in close combat.

So when the Great British Bake-off contestants were tasked with producing a signature quick bread, my first thought was to make something based on biscuit dough. That would have been the easy way to go… Continue reading

Cranberry and almond biscotti

13 Sep

cranberry almond biscotti

Biscotti is the second signature bake on this year’s Great British Bake-off. I’ve eaten plenty of biscotti, and even knew that the name means “twice cooked” in Italian because they are baked once as a log, and again in slices. But I had never tried baking them myself. Continue reading

Madeira cake

10 Sep

madeira cake

The Great British Bake-off has returned to our tellies, and the family is following along enthusiastically. Inspired by the contestants’ efforts in the tent each week, I’ve signed up to complete each week’s signature bake. Baking and desserts are not my forte, so this will be a stretch for me. First up, Madeira cake… Continue reading