So the first episode of The Great British Bake Off aired last night and it lived up to all expectations! There were tears, near disasters and lots and lots of cake.
Challenge one was to make a drizzle cake which involved a light sponge and a drizzle that flavoured the whole cake. Sounds simple for a Sunday afternoon of baking but the pressure of that tent got a little too much for some of our bakers. Tom had obviously done his research about Mary liking a little alcohol in her bakes making a gin and tonic cake. Unfortunately, the judges said he had gone a bit crazy adding too much alcohol killing any flavour in the cake. Jane managed to pack in a great lemon flavour to her cake after having to start again due to missing out the ground almonds from her recipe. The overall consensus was that most of the bakers were lacking in flavour but there was no time to dwell as they were onto the next challenge.
The technical for the first week was for jaffa cakes. This consisted of rounds of fatless sponge topped with a disc of orange jelly and then sealed with dark chocolate. Mary’s tip as she left the tent was to make the bake in layers, which they all seemed to do. Everyone managed to produce 12 Jaffa cakes with not too much variation in appearance. Val didn’t grease her tins enough however making it tricky to remove the cakes and a lot of the contestants got very messy when applying the chocolate layer which was meant to sit neatly on the top.
The judging is always done blind for the technical challenge where Mary and Paul don’t know who’s bake they are tasting. Andrew had placed his sponges the wrong way up and Louise had heated her chocolate topping too much leading to a dull finish. Overall, Andrew came in at 12th where as Tom just missed the top spot at 2nd and Selasi 1st, but it was still all to play for in the final round.
The showstopper this week was to bake a mirror glaze cake. The judges wanted a light genoise sponge and a super glossy icing. To achieve the shiny icing the cake needed to have a crumb coat applied and then this cooled in the fridge to make sure the mirror glaze stayed shiny and didn’t melt into the under coat. Lee seemed to be a little nervous after Paul asked him whether there was going to be any cream in his cake and Lee answered no. Paul gave him a ‘I’m not telling you if thats right or wrong’ kind of look. Benjamina was the first to shed a tear and Tom’s sponge luckily stayed in one piece after dropping it out the oven. The judging left Jane a little tearful after Paul said her bake was ‘like an elegant Jaffa cake’ but Lee was not so lucky with them saying his was too simple and dry…he should have put that cream in!
The first star baker of the series was Jane who looked over the moon and the first to leave was Lee who was very disappointed but were sure he’ll keep baking.
Next week is biscuit week and it looks like the bakers will be challenged with decorated biscuits, Viennese whirls and a 3D showstopper. We already can’t wait!
We wanted to share with you our recipe and top tips for making the first technical challenge of Jaffa cakes.
Ingredient (makes 12)
1 packet (135g) orange jelly
135ml boiling water
180g dark chocolate
Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease a 12 hole muffin tin with a little butter. Make the sponge by placing the eggs and sugar in a glass bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of just simmering water and whisk until the mixture is pale, fluffy and doubled in volume (be careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.). Fold in the flour and pour into the prepared holes. Bake for 10 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.
Meanwhile, make the jelly by cutting up the jelly cubes and placing them into a jug. Add 135ml of boiling water and mix well. You could add a tablespoon of orange marmalade or orange juice for extra flavour at this point. Once dissolved, pour into a shallow tray and place in the fridge to set.
Once set, remove from the fridge and use a round cutter to cut out circles the same size as the cakes. Remove the cakes from the tin and place the jelly discs on top.
Melt the chocolate by placing it in a glass bowl over a pan of just simmering water, being careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Once melted, let the chocolate cool a little before using a teaspoon to spoon it onto the jelly discs. Carefully spread it to completely cover the jelly but not any of the sponge. Use a fork to make a criss cross in the chocolate and leave to set.
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