Over the years I have been taking part making the technical challenges on The Great British Bake Off, I have learned a lot about the basics of mixing, proving, stretching, rolling, folding, kneading, stirring, not stirring too much and generally baking.
As more and more news seems to come out every day confirming that the end of The Great British Bake Off as we know it really is here, I’ve decided to do a round up of all my technical bakes to date.
Victoria Sandwich (a surprising challenge for the final ever episode of the Great British Bake Off)
Savarin with Chantilly Cream – probably my favourite bake of the series but I still thought it was a little dry.
Jumble Biscuits – terrible. Tasted gross
Marjolaine – way too rich. Some people liked it but I couldn’t cope with the amount of sugar
Fougasse – a herby bread that’s basically just focaccia. Fine, but still not clear what’s so special about shaping a focaccia like a leaf.
Bakewell Tart – my bottom wasn’t perfect but it was a fun tasty bake to do.
Lace Pancakes – rubbish idea, because when I want a pancake, I want a whole one, not just one with holes in.
Dampfnudeln – I thought these were delicious doughnut-like dumplings, but I messed it up by using the wrong kind of pan.
Viennese Whirls – used the wrong piping nozzle, but otherwise these were okay.
Homemade Jaffa Cakes – I thought these were good! Even though I’m not a massive jaffa cake fan.
Raspberry Millefeuille – there weren’t enough layers in this one in my opinion
Chocolate Soufflé – rubbish, don’t bother
Mokatines – Fun and tasty, but needed practice
Tennis Cake – RUBBISH. Fruit cake with crazy decorations. Not worth it!
Flaounas – CHEESY and yummy but not worth sourcing the ingredients for.
Gluten-Free Pitta Breads – TERRIBLE. NEVER MAKE THESE.
Spanische Windtorte – the craziest bake of this series for sure
Baguettes – ended up a bit wonky
Arlettes – these go soft really quickly so only make them if you have a load of guests to serve them to immediately
Frosted Walnut Cake – messed up the icing! A bit grainy.
Schichttorte – weird grilled cake?
Povitica – probably my favourite bake of all 7 series!
Kouign Amann – tasty but basically just sugary baked pastry
Prinsesstårta – my friend’s favourite of all 7 series I think, but I couldn’t manage the creme pat very well
Mini Pear Pies – fine, but only for dinner parties when you’re trying to show off
Tiramisu – I forgot about this one. I don’t normally like tiramisu but this was nice. I don’t think I managed to eat it all, though.
Ciabatta – just what you’d expect.
Florentines – chewy caramely chocolate biscuits that weren’t really worth the effort
Cherry Cake – my second favourite bake of this series
Pretzels – recipes were odd. Didn’t like the sweet ones
Charlotte Royale – aka that weird brain cake
Hazelnut Dacquoise – a yummy hazelnut meringue based cake
Religieuses – basically profiteroles
Apricot Couronne – I love couronnes, but I burnt this one a tad
Tuiles – not worth the effort!
Custard Tarts – not my best attempt…
Îles flottantes – an odd dessert but you could serve it at a dinner party for a light end to a meal
English muffins – my best bake of this series I’d say
Angel Food Cake – this was quite lovely, but my icing was a bit… messy
Fondant Fancies – forgot to buttercream the sides before icing!
Fraisier Cake (Fail) – my worst bake of the entire 7 series!
Teacakes – these were cute and probably my favourite of this series
Jam Doughnuts – I was impressed with these too
Queen of Puddings – yummy pudding I would make again for friends, as it can be made ahead and isn’t disproportionately difficult for the outcome
Hand-Raised Chicken and Bacon Pie – not my thing, but got good reviews
Crème Caramel – totally forgot I made these. Meh
Treacle Tart – a tad rustic looking, but otherwise not too bad
Eight-strand Plaited Loaf – this hurt my brain to make, but it turned out ok I think
Rum baba – cute, I liked these, and they are quite similar to the Savarin I made in the final series
Chocolate Roulade – a little bit square-edged as I overbaked the chocolate cake a bit
Mini Pork Pies – again, not my thing. But pretty good
Brandy Snaps – as per the tuiles, the arlettes, the florentines, not really my thing
Focaccia – fine? A bit rustic but it was so tasty
Tarte au Citron – okay so I was just starting out and maybe I should have taken more care
Battenburg – I mean, not great but give me a break. I think this was a difficult first challenge to try!
I’m a little sad that I missed a couple recipes as I only heard about this little show called The Great British Bake Off partway through Series 2. Technical challenges I missed were:
- Iced Fingers (series 2) – I’ve found the recipe here
- Cornish pasties (series 1) – Paul’s recipe, here
- Hot lemon soufflé (series 1) – a bit of a doozy it sounds like, from Mary Berry
- Cobs (series 1) – now this one looks easy. I’ve made dozens of loaves like this before…
- Scones (series 1) – I was surprised to see these were a Paul Hollywood recipe
- Victoria Sandwich (series 1) – I missed making this initially but then I did make a Victoria Sandwich for the final of Series 7
So I may have to go back and make those 5 just so I’ve got a complete set…