Recipes from The Great British Bake Off: Week 2

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Week 2 of The Great British Bake Off has come and gone. So you know what that means – Bikkies!Below are a number of recipes for biscuits both simple and sophisticated, elegant and complex, but also universally delish with a hot cuppa.

Mary’s florentines

Try making these chewy, luxurious biscuits at home. Careful weighing of the ingredients is the key to success.

Equipment and preparation: for this recipe you will need a sugar thermometer and three baking trays.

Ingredients

50g/1¾ozbutter

50g/1¾ozdemerara sugar

50g/1¾ozgolden syrup

50g/1¾ozplain flour

25g/1oz dried cranberries, finely chopped

50g/1¾ozcandied peel, finely chopped

25g/1ozalmonds, finely chopped

25g/1ozwalnutpieces, finely chopped

200g/7oz plainchocolate(70% cocoa solids)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line three baking trays with baking parchment or silicon sheets.

Measure the butter, sugar and syrup into a small pan and heat gently until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add the flour, chopped cranberries, candied peel and nuts to the pan. Stir well to mix.

Make 18 florentines by spooning six teaspoonfuls of the mixture on to each of the prepared baking trays, leaving plenty of room for them to spread during cooking.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown. Leave the florentines to cool before lifting onto a cooling rack using a palette knife (if the florentines have been baked on greased baking trays, then allow them to harden for a few moments only before lifting onto cooling racks to cool completely). If the florentines become too hard to remove, then pop them back into the oven for a few minutes to allow them to soften.

Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, without letting the bowl touch the water. Temper the chocolate by breaking half of the chocolate into the bowl. Stir until the chocolate reaches a melting temperature of 53C/127F. Meanwhile, finely chop or grate the remaining chocolate.

Carefully remove the bowl from the pan, add the rest of the chocolate and stir gently until the chocolate has cooled to 26C/79F.

Spread a little melted chocolate over the flat base of each florentine and leave to cool slightly before marking a zigzag in the chocolate with a fork. Leave to set, chocolate side up on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.

3D biscuits

Simple 3D iced biscuits inspired by Bake Off.For this recipe you will need a rack to lean the biscuits against while the icing sets, a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and biscuit cutters of your choice (it’s best to use small sizes).

Ingredients

For the basic dough

200g/7oz unsalted softbutter

200g/7ozcaster sugar

1 tspvanilla essence

1 free-rangeegg, lightly beaten

400g/14ozplain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the icing

1 free-rangeegg white

250g/9ozicing sugar

Preparation

To make the basic dough, line a baking tray with baking parchment (you may need two baking trays or, alternatively, cook the biscuits in batches).

In a bowl, use a wooden spoon or a mixer to cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla essence until just creamy. Do not over work the batter at this stage. Beat in the egg until well combined.

Add the flour and mix on a low speed until a dough forms. In the bowl, use your hands to lightly knead the dough into a ball. Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for least an hour.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a depth of about 5mm, if possible use spacers to achieve an even thickness. Cut the desired shapes. For the duck biscuits: use a duck-shaped cutter and a round cutter for the base (the base should be approximately the same size as the duck). For the tree biscuits: cut two simple tree shapes out using either a cutter or a template and cut one tree shape in half vertically. For the ladybird biscuits: cut out two rounds, one slightly smaller than the other (approx. 5cm/2in and 3cm/1¼in). For the lamb biscuits: use a cutter or a template to cut out two lamb shapes for each finished biscuit and cut two additional leg shapes separately (for each finished lamb biscuit you should have two lamb shapes and two leg shapes). For the sitting down person biscuits: cut a gingerbread person out of the dough and then cut off the legs. Trim about 2mm from around the edges of the legs and cut two slots out of the bottom of the gingerbread body, about the depth of the legs (the legs will slot in here once baked). Also cut out two small ovals for feet.

Transfer the shapes onto the baking sheet using a palate knife and chill again for about 30 minutes. (This is important to prevent the biscuits losing their shape when baked.)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Bake the biscuits for 6–10 minutes, depending on size, until lightly golden-brown at the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing, lightly beat the egg white in a large bowl. Add the icing sugar and mix slowly at first to avoid an icing sugar cloud. Once combined, whisk or beat for about five minutes if using an electric beater or whisk, or for longer if using a wooden spoon. Continue whisking until the ingredients form a thick, smooth paste that is bright white in colour.

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

Shop now on Harveynorman.ieShop the range of Food preparation appliances HERE.

In Short: It was biscuit week in The Great British Bake Off and a wide selection of biscuits and cookies both sweet and savoury were on display

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