Season 5 of The BBC’s Great British Bake Off is well under way, and we’ve already seen highs and lows, binned puds and drama’s galore! But when it comes to the baking we have witnessed some utterly delicious concoctions. Take a little pinch of inspiration from one of Britain’s favourite TV programmes and add it to your kitchen with these foolproof four step recipes that are destined to please even the sweetest tooth.
Challenge 1 : Cake
Classic Victoria Sponge
Master this simple cake recipe and you’ll be sorted for any birthday, picnic or BBQ for years to come. Who can resist a slice of Victoria Sponge?
Preheat you oven to 190C/gas 5.
Butter two round cake tins and line with baking paper
Step One: Pop all your cake ingredient into a large bowl and beat until you have a smooth batter.
Step Two: Divide your batter evenly into your tins and smooth over the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. When cooked, take out of the tins and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Top Tip: To check your cake is cooked, stick a knife into the cake. If the knife is clean when you pull it out, your cake is ready!
Step Three: For the butter icing, beat the butter and slowly add in the icing sugar. Drop in your vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
Step Four: Making sure your cake is completely cool, spread the icing on one sponge. Add the jam and then place the other sponge on top. Dust the top with icing sugar and enjoy!
Challenge 2: Biscuits
Custard and White Chocolate Biscuits
These yummy biscuits are perfect with a cup of tea, the trouble is trying to stop at just one.
Preheat your oven to 180C/gas mark 4
Line baking trays with baking paper.
Step One: Pop the butter and sugar into a food processor (save your arms from mixing). And mix until you get a fluffy mixture. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
Step Two: Sift in the flour and custard powder and pulse until you have dough. Take out of the food processor and work in the chocolate by hand.
Step Three: separate the dough into small balls and place on the baking sheets, making sure there is enough room for them to spread without sticking together. Press each ball down lightly with fingers.
Step Four: Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Challenge 3: Bread
Simple White Bread
It’s easy to think that making bread yourself is just far too much hassle when you can just pop to your local supermarket for a loaf. But nothing beats the smell and freshness of baked bread by hand. And you can take out your daily stresses whilst kneeding!
Step One: In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast. Make a well in the centre, and pop in the oil and water. Mix well. Tip onto a floured surface and start kneeding.
Top tip: If the dough is too stiff, add a few tbsp’s of water and mix well.
Step Two: Lightly oil a bowl. Once you have a smooth dough, pop it into the bowl and leave it to rise in the fridge overnight (or until it has doubled in size).
Step Three: Line a baking tray with parchment. Knock back the dough, then mould it into a ball. Place on the baking tray, and leave for an hour, again until it has doubled in size.
Step Four: Heat the oven to 220C/ gas 7. Dust the dough with flour and cut dashes into the top with a sharp knife. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Top Tip: You know when the loaf is cooked if you tap the bottom and you get a hollow sound.
Challenge 4: Desserts
Caramel Apple Crumble
A little twist on a very British dessert, this is a winner at any dinner party, or serve it after your weekly Sunday roast with your family. Such a classic!
Step One: Preheat oven to 200c/ gas 6. Put the apple into a pan with a few tbsps of water and cook on a high heat until just soft, stirring now and then.
Step Two: Stir in 3 tbsps of caramel and tip the mixture into individual ovenproof dishes. Dot dollops of caramel onto the mixture, leaving 1tbsp of caramel to spare.
Step Three: Mix together the flour and oats, the rub in the butter with your fingers, until you have a crumble. Stir the remaining caramel, and then top your dishes of apples.
Step Four: Bake for 20 minutes until golden and serve.
Challenge 5: Pies and Tarts
Key Lime Pie
This zesty pie will give a refreshing kick after any main meal, or is perfect for a late summer afternoon treat.
Preheat oven to 160c/gas 3
Step One: Whizz the Hob Nobs in the food processor until you have crumbs. Mix in melted butter and press down into a tart tin to make the base. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then leave to cool.
Step Two: Whisk the eggs yolks for 1 minute, then add the condensed milk and whisk for 3 minutes. Then add the zest and juice, and whisk again for a further 3 minutes.
Step Three: Pour onto the cooled based and pop in the oven for 15 minutes. Leave overnight to cool.
Step Four: To serve, carefully remove a slice from the tin. Whip the cream and icing sugar together and add a dollop to each slice.