Recipes from Week 1 of the Great British Bake Off

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The Great British Bake Off got off to a fantastic start with all three challenges putting the bakers’ skills to the test and making us salivate. Each baker was given some creative freedom with the signature challenge and the showstopper challenge, but accuracy was key when it came to the technical challenge. If you’d like to show off your baking prowess, follow some of the recipes below so you can impress guests or simply prepare some tasty treats to enjoy.

The Signature Challenge

First up was the signature challenge, which saw contestants making Swiss rolls. We all know the traditional Swiss roll, but these bakers wanted to showcase their talents with recipes ranging from a chocolate orange Swiss roll to one that included coffee and caramelised hazelnuts. Here is a sample for you to try out for yourself.

Chetna’s Cardamom, pistachio and coffee Swiss roll

Ingredients:

For the Swiss roll sponge

  • butter, for greasing
  • ½ tsp green cardamom seeds
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g/3½oz self-raising flour
  • caster sugar, to sprinkle on the baking parchment

For the filling

  • 300ml/10fl oz double cream
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
  • 50g/1¾oz dark chocolate, to make flowers
  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted shelled pistachios, finely chopped
  • icing sugar, to dust

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Grease and line a 33 x 23cm/13 x 9in Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
  • Crush the cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar until almost powder.
  • For the Swiss roll, whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl until the mixture becomes light and when you remove the whisk from the bowl it leaves a trail – this could take 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the ground cardamom seeds to the egg mixture. Sieve the flour into the egg mixture and carefully fold it in. Pour the mixture into the tin and give it a shake to level it, so that it spreads evenly.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cake turns golden-brown.
  • Tip the cake out onto a sheet of baking parchment sprinkled with caster sugar. Roll it and cover with a clean tea towel. Allow it to cool, rolled up.
  • While the cake is cooling, prepare the filling. Pour the cream into a large bowl and add the sugar. Whisk until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Add the coffee to this mixture and mix well.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bowl and cool it down slightly. Pour the chocolate into a piping bag and make flower patterns on an acetate sheet (or you can make any other design you like). Put this sheet in the fridge until the chocolate is set. Once set, you can peel the flowers off the sheet.
  • Pipe chocolate decorations. Once the cake has cooled, unroll it. Spread almost all the coffee cream evenly over the cake, and sprinkle the pistachios over it. Once again roll the cake neatly and decorate with some more coffee cream and sprinkle over some nuts. Finally place few chocolate flowers on top. Dust with icing sugar.

Diana’s Lemon curd Swiss roll

Ingredients:

For the lemon curd

  • 110g/4oz lightly salted butter
  • 110g/4oz caster sugar
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 2 free-range eggs, at room temperature, beaten

For the sponge

  • unsalted butter, for greasing
  • 4 free-range eggs, three whole eggs plus an egg yolk
  • 160g/5¾oz caster sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 160g/5¾oz self-raising flour, sifted

Instructions:

  • For the lemon curd, put the butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice into a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (ensure the bowl does not touch the water). Stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
  • When the sugar is dissolved, add the beaten eggs and continue to heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  • For the sponge, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Grease and line a 26x40cm/10½x16in baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Place a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the eggs and sugar to the bowl and whisk until lukewarm (don't overheat the mixture). Remove bowl and whisk until the mixture is very thick and leaves trails when the whisk is removed. Fold in the sifted flour using a metal spoon.
  • Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking tray and place on the middle shelf in the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
  • Lay a large piece of greaseproof paper or a tea towel on the work surface and dust with sugar. Tip out the cake onto the dusted paper/tea towel and carefully remove the baking parchment.
  • Spread the, still warm, lemon curd evenly over the sponge.
  • Position the cake with one of the short ends nearest to you. Make a cut across the width of the sponge about 1cm/½in in and about three-quarters of the way through the depth of the sponge (this will help you roll up the sponge). Tightly roll up the sponge starting at the nearest edge and using the paper/tea towel to help you. Set aside to cool.
  • Before serving, trim the ends of the roll to create a neat finish and dust with a little extra sugar, if desired.

The Technical Challenge

Mary Berry’s cherry cake

This wreath-shaped sponge cake is full of cherries and covered in a thick icing and almonds. Delicious! It takes approximately half an hour to prepare and the same time to cook. Once done, it’ll serve ten to twelve people. It’s recommended to use a 23cm/9in savarin mould or a bundt tin, but you could get away with using a 20cm/8in round cake tin.

Ingredients:

  • 200g/7oz glacé cherries
  • 225g/8oz self-raising flour
  • 175g/6oz softened butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g/6oz caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest only
  • 50g/1¾oz ground almonds
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • For the decoration
  • 175g/6oz icing sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 15g/½oz flaked almonds, toasted
  • 5 glacé cherries, quartered

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 23cm/9in bundt tin or savarin mould with butter.
  • Cut the cherries into quarters. Set aside five of the quartered cherries for the decoration later. Put the rest of the quartered cherries in a sieve and rinse under running water. Drain well then dry thoroughly on kitchen paper and toss in two tablespoons of the flour.
  • Measure all the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and beat well for two minutes to mix thoroughly. Lightly fold in the cherries. Turn into the prepared tin.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until well risen, golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
  • For the icing, mix the icing sugar together with the lemon juice to a thick paste. Drizzle over the cooled cake using the back of a spoon, sprinkle over the toasted almonds and reserved cherries.

The Showstopper Challenge

The final segment of the inaugural episode saw the bakers tasked with creating 36 perfect miniature cakes of identical size, shape and texture. And there were some amazing creations including. We’re sure that Claire’s Mini chocolate and cherry cakes would have been exceptional if everything had gone alright on the night.

Martha’s Mini lemon and thyme drizzle cakes

Ingredients:

For the lemon curd

  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 2 large unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
  • 110g/4oz unsalted butter
  • 175g/6oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour

For the sponge

  • cake release spray or butter, for greasing
  • 175g/6oz baking spread
  • 175g/6oz caster sugar
  • 3 medium free-range eggs
  • 175g/6oz plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped lemon thyme leaves
  • ½ lemon, zest only

For the syrup

  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  • few sprigs fresh lemon thyme, leaves picked
  • 1½ lemons, zest and juice only
  • For the topping
  • 35g/1¼oz caster sugar
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest only
  • 12 candied lemon slices
  • thyme leaves, for decoration

For the filling

  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 50g/1¾oz icing sugar
  • 100g/3½oz mascarpone cheese
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream, whipped

Instructions:

  • For the lemon curd, whisk the eggs together in a small saucepan. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, sugar and cornflour. Stir over a low heat until the curd thickens. Pour into a bowl and then chill in the fridge.
  • For the sponge, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Spray the muffin tin with cake release spray or grease with butter. Line the bottom of the trays with small circles of baking parchment.
  • Put the baking spread and sugar in a freestanding mixer and cream together until smooth and pale. Mix in the eggs, then fold in the flour, salt, baking powder, thyme and lemon zest.
  • Fill each hole of the muffin tin until three-quarters full (it’s easiest to use an ice cream scoop, if you have one). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden-brown and springy to the touch.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the tins, then remove and place on wire racks to cool completely.
  • For the syrup, heat the caster sugar, thyme, lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved and a syrup forms.
  • Using a fork or skewer, pierce the sponges then use a pastry brush to brush the warm syrup over the cakes.
  • For the topping, mix any remaining syrup with the sugar and lemon zest. Drizzle it over the tops of the mini cakes to create the classic lemon drizzle topping.
  • For the filling, use an electric whisk to cream the butter and sugar together. Stir in the mascarpone and then fold in the whipped cream. Spoon the filling into a piping fitted with a small round nozzle.
  • Slice the cakes in half and pipe small rounds on top of the bottom half of each cake. Spread the lemon curd on the top halves and then place on top of the creamed bases.
  • Top with the candied lemon slices and a few thyme leaves and arrange on a serving plate or cake stand.

Claire’s Mini chocolate and cherry cakes

Ingredients:

For the cake

  • 150g/5½oz dark chocolate (at least 50% cocoa solids, no more than 70%)
  • 150g/5½oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g/5½oz caster sugar
  • 35g/1¼oz soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 150g/5½oz self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g/1¾oz cocoa powder
  • 18 amarena cherries in syrup (approximately 1 jar), quartered, 5 tbsp syrup reserved
  • 110ml/3¾fl oz buttermilk

For the syrup

  • 50ml/1¾fl oz amarena cherry syrup (from the cherries)
  • 40g/1½oz caster sugar
  • 135ml/4½fl oz cherry brandy

For the filling

  • 150g/5½fl oz double cream, whipped
  • For the ganache
  • 100g/3½oz double cream
  • 200g/7oz dark chocolate

For the decoration

  • 120g/4¼oz nonpareils sprinkles (optional)
  • 250g/9oz yellow fondant sugar paste
  • 10g/¼oz gold lustre edible dust
  • 250g/9oz fuchsia fondant sugar paste
  • tylose (optional)
  • food grade alcohol spirit (optional)

Instructions:

  • For the cake, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease the muffin tins with melted butter and line the bases with baking parchment.
  • Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water and leave to cool slightly.
  • Cream the butter and two types of sugar together in a bowl.
  • Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them gradually to the creamed butter.
  • Sieve the flour and add it to the mixture with the baking powder and cocoa. Stir to combine. Fold in the melted chocolate and cherries. Add the buttermilk and amarena syrup, and mix to combine.
  • Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tins until three-quarters full.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Meanwhile, make the syrup. Boil the amarena syrup, caster sugar and cherry brandy together in a pan until the sugar has dissolved and the alcohol has cooked off in part. Set aside to cool.
  • Once the cake is removed from the oven, syringe the syrup into the cakes, or prick the cakes with a skewer and drizzle the syrup over. Set aside to cool.
  • For the filling, when the cakes are cool, use an apple corer to remove a cylinder from the middle of the cakes. Using a piping bag, fill the hole with whipped cream and place the cakes in the fridge.
  • For the ganache, warm the cream to a simmer.
  • Break the chocolate into small pieces and add the chocolate to the cream. Whisk to a shiny dark mixture. Allow to cool and firm up a little.
  • Spread the chocolate ganache all over the mini cakes. Set aside to allow the ganache to firm up slightly.
  • For the decoration, carefully roll the cakes in the sprinkles (if using) then place in the fridge to firm up.
  • Meanwhile, mould the yellow fondant into 32 small hearts and brush with gold dust. Roll out the fuchsia fondant and cut into 32 strips long enough to wrap around the base of the mini cakes. If the cakes need to be stored for more than a few hours, you may want to work tylose into the fondants, as this will prevent them cracking and drying out.
  • When the ganache is firm, wrap a strip of fondant around the base of each cake, using a little water or food grade alcohol spirit to help the ends stick.
  • Top each cake with a gold heart, securing it in place with a little leftover ganache, if required.

Richard’s Miniature coffee and walnut cakes

Ingredients

For the sponge

  • unsalted butter, for greasing
  • 75g/2½oz walnut pieces
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar
  • 225g/8oz unsalted butter
  • 175g/6oz plain flour
  • 3 tsp instant decaffeinated coffee granules, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 4 tsp whole milk

For the filling and topping

  • 500g/1lb 2oz icing sugar
  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter
  • 2½ tsp instant decaffeinated coffee, dissolved in enough boiling water to make a smooth paste
  • 3-4 tsp lustre dust (optional)
  • 100g/3½oz walnut pieces, crushed
  • chocolate coffee beans, to decorate (optional)

Instructions:

  • For the sponge, preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and grease and line three 23x33cm/9x13in baking trays with baking parchment.
  • For the sponge, put the walnuts and sugar in a food processor and grind to a coarse powder consistency. Transfer to a large bowl or a freestanding mixer.
  • Add butter to the bowl and cream until smooth and light. Sift in the flour and continue to mix. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix to a smooth consistency.
  • Divide the mixture equally between the prepared tins and smooth the surface. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden-brown and springy to touch. Leave to cool for a few minutes before turning out of the tins onto wire racks.
  • When the cakes are completely cool, cut out 54 circles using a 5cm/2in round cutter.
  • For the filling, sift 350g/12oz icing sugar into a large bowl or a freestanding mixer. Add the butter, half the coffee mixture and the lustre dust and mix until you have a smooth buttercream icing with a soft golden shimmer. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
  • For the topping, mix the remaining coffee paste with four tablespoons of water. Sift the remaining icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the coffee mixture to make glacé icing for the tops of the cakes. If the icing is very thick add more water until the icing runs off a spoon in thick ribbons.
  • To assemble the cakes, take a third of the cake circles and pipe coffee buttercream icing on top. Top with another circle of cake and pipe more buttercream on top. Add a final layer of cake and drizzle the glacé icing over. Top with crushed walnut pieces and chocolate coffee beans, if using.

For more recipes, pictures and news from the Great British Bake Off, visit the show's dedicated website.

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In Short: The Great British Bake Off has returned to screens, inspiring bakers everywhere to try their hand at the challenges. Here are some recipes from week one.

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