Great British Bake Off never fails to get the nation in the mood for baking and drooling over our TV screens every Wednesday, as we tune in to see what treats we are in store for. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and with Season 7 now over, as well as the show as we know it, we’d thought we’d share with you some of our favourite bakes from the series and offer a guide on how to make them.
Simple Gingerbread house
The gingerbread pub made by PE teacher Candice Brown is definitely a series highlight, the pub was finished with a pool table, sticky ginger cake carpet, and even a pub dog. Making gingerbread is one thing, but building a house (or pub) out of it is another. Now, we know not everyone is going to go that far with their houses, so we have put together a recipe for a simple gingerbread house.
Instead of trying to make the stickiest royal icing to stick the walls of your house together, the Bake Off contestants opt for the easier option of cutting slats to be able to slot the pieces of biscuit together. This is easiest done whilst the dough is still raw, before you’ve put them in the oven, but remember that when the biscuits cook and spread, these caps can get smaller making them harder to fit together so some slight trimming after may be necessary. This could use some well thought out preparation however, and possibly templates, depending on how dedicated you are to creating a perfect gingerbread house. You can find many gingerbread templates online for you to print out and cut your gingerbread around. To get accurate piping for decoration and holding the walls together, you’ll need a good piping bag.
- 375g unsalted butter
- 300g muscovado sugar
- 150g golden syrup
- 900g plain flour
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- 3 egg whites
- 675g icing sugar
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- Sweets or chocolates of your choosing
- Melt the butter, both types of sugar, and the syrup in a pan. Put the flour, ginger, and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl, slowly pour in the melted mixture and stir in until it forms a ball of dough.
- Roll out your gingerbread and cut out according to your templates. Put each cut out peace onto a lined baking tray and bake for 7-8 minutes.
- Whisk egg white until frothy and add the icing sugar a spoonful at a time. Add the lemon juice and beat until icing is stiff.
- Put the icing into your piping bag and assemble the gingerbread house according to the template. Use the icing for added decoration and to stick sweets or chocolates of your choosing to the house.
Mary Berry's Delicious Lemon Meringue Pie
As much as we loved to watch Selasi Gbormittah and Benjamina Ebuehi battle it out over their grapefruit pies in botanical week we like to keep things easy and classic with a simple lemon meringue pie, following a recipe by the Queen Mary Berry herself. A crucial part of any citrus meringue pie is making sure that the meringue mixture is thoroughly whipped and stiff; although like we learned on the show, not overwhipped as it can lead to the mixture to harden. Even in GBBO we saw some of the dreaded ‘soggy bottoms’, which you’ll want to avoid when making this dessert yourself. The key to preventing a soggy bottom is by blind baking if you can, and using a pie or flan dish that conducts heat well. To achieve the signature serrated edges of a lemon meringue pie and for the perfect size, we suggest using a 9inch flan tin with a loose base to make it easier to remove the pie.
- 225g plain flour
- 175g butter
- 45g icing sugar
- 1 large egg
- 6 lemons
- 65g cornflour
- 250g caster sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 225g caster sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- After mixing together the flour and butter to resemble bread crumbs, mix in the rest of the pastry ingredients, adding a splash of water if you need, until you have a firm dough ball. Roll out the pastry and cover the flan dish, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Once cooled, trim off any excess and blind bake in a preheated oven of 180C for 15 minutes, removing the beans and then baking for a further 5 minutes.
- Mix together the juice and zest of the lemons with the cornflour and heat over a bain marie until thickened. Turn down the heat and in another bowl, mix together the egg yolks and sugar and slowly pour into the lemon mixture, again until thickened. Take off the heat and once cooled, pour into the pastry case.
- Whisk the egg whites until they have formed soft peaks, slowly add in the caster sugar whilst still mixing until glossy and then whisk in the cornflour.
- Spoon the meringue over the pastry case and bake for 15 minutes at 170C until golden.
Home-made Jaffa Cakes
Cake week posed the ever-thought-provoking question of ‘is a Jaffa Cake a cake or a biscuit?’. (For peace of mind, they are legally classed as cakes.) With the contestants showing various ways of covering their sponges with chocolate, this did appear to be the trickiest part of the recipe. We concluded that spooning over the melted chocolate slowly is the best way to go about it, using a fork to lightly make a criss-cross pattern on the top. Despite the controversy, you will still need biscuit cutters for cutting your jelly into the correct sizes for your Jaffa Cakes. Sticking with the recipe from the show, you will need a 5cm biscuit cutter to achieve the ideal shape.
- 1 packet orange jelly
- 150ml boiling water
- 1 orange zest
- unsalted butter, for greasing
- 1 large egg
- 25g caster sugar
- 25g self-raising flour
- 180g plain chocolate
- Pour the boiling water over the broken-up jelly pieces, and stir until jelly has dissolved. Add in orange zest and pour into shallow baking tray, refrigerate for an hour until set.
- Whisk the egg and sugar together before folding in flour. Grease a bun tin and fill around ¾ full. Bake for 7-9 minutes and cool on a wire rack.
- Melt the chocolate over a bain marie until melted, then remove from heat to cool and thicken.
- Turn out the jelly and use the biscuit cutter to cut out discs, lay each disk on top of each cooled sponge.
- Spoon the melted chocolate over each cake and use a fork to create a criss-cross pattern on the top of each Jaffa Cake.
As always, we'd love to get your thoughts and see some of your baking results. Share them with us by following or liking us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, where you can also keep up to date with all of our new products, promotions and goings-ons. GBBO how we know it may be over - but at least we can console ourselves with cake!