With the Great British Bake Off drawing to a close and baking fever still sweeping the nation, we at Tower HQ wanted to share a few of our favourite bakes from the series along with a few handy tips to help you create your own showstopper at home.
Marie impressed with her tangy take on this English tea time classic during the first challenge of the series, bringing a bit of a citrus-y kick to the gingham alter. The judges actually called Marie’s effort the ‘perfect Madeira cake’- so to whip up your own slice of Bake Off perfection, try this recipe.
- Heat your oven to 170° and line a 900g loaf tin with some greaseproof paper.
- Add the lemon and orange zest then the sieved flour and almonds. Combine into a thick batter- like consistency (the batter should fall off a wooden spoon but if yours is a little thick, just add a splash of milk).
- Pour your mixture into the tin, smooth over and place in the oven for around 50-60 mins. When it’s done you should be able to insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and it will come out clean.
- Leave to cool, then slice and serve with a cup of tea!
Hailing from the Dough-verload that was bread week, King of the Loaf Paul Hollywood set the bakers a challenge in the form of the crispy French classic; the baguette. It was a mixed bag as far as the technical was concerned, with nobody quite delivering the crispy on the outside/chewy in the middle combo that the judges were after. Out of the intense pressure of the tent though, you can knock these up in less than 2 hours for fresh, authentic baguettes straight from the continent.
- Prepare a square plastic container by greasing with a little olive oil.
- Into a mixer -we recommend the Tower 1200W Die Cast Stand Mixer with attachable dough hook - sieve the flour and add the salt and yeast (although not directly on top of one another!) Add three-quarters of the water and mix on a slow speed.
- As the ingredients start to combine into a dough, slowly add the remaining water, then mix on a medium speed for around 5-7 minutes. You should end up with a glossy, elastic dough.
- Place the dough into the pre-prepared plastic container, cover, and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Carefully tip the dough onto a floured work surface and carefully divide into four equal pieces. Roll into thick sausage-like shapes around 30 centimetres long and place onto a floured baking tray.
- Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for another hour or until doubled in size.
- While your dough proves, pre-heat your oven to 240° and place a roasting tray in the oven to heat up. Something like this Tower Roaster would be great.
- Dust your baguettes lightly with flour, make 4 diagonal slashes along their length and place into the oven, adding water to the pre-heated roasting tray (this will create steam and give you a crispy finish!).
- Bake for 20-25 mins. Serve warm with butter.
Sugar Free Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Alvin’s simple but perfectly executed Pineapple Upside Down Cake was a winner with the judges during alternatives week. Ditching refined sugar in favour of the natural sweetness of agave nectar, it’s perfect for those on sugar-free diets, as well as having a touch of the retro about it (which in the world of Bake Off is never a bad thing!).
- Pre-heat oven to 170° then grease and line a 30cm by 20cm baking tin.
- Into the bottom of the tin, spoon 2 tablespoons of agave nectar and spread over the base. On top of this, place the pineapple rings in a single layer, followed by a cherry in the middle of each.
- Sift your flour and salt together in a bowl, then make a well in the middle. Add the melted butter agave nectar and lightly beaten eggs.
- Fold the mixture together carefully to ensure that there is still air in the mixture.
- Pour the cake mixture over the pineapple slices and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Remove your cake from the tin and drizzle with the remaining agave nectar and leave to cool.
Want to try your hand at your very own Signature Bake? Head over to our Food Preparation
pages before you do for some great appliances (aside from those mentioned here) to help you make your own Bake Off worthy creations.
6 October 2015