Baked Goods & Sweet Treats Recipes

The Not So British Bake Off: Week 1 (Cakes)

I’m happy to announce a new series that I’ll be doing – at least for the duration of GBBO. It’s no secret that I am a fan of ‘The Great British Bake Off”. Last year I wrote a post extolling the virtues of the show (and Sue Perkins). This year I decided to set myself the task of competing along with the contestants. The show airs on Wednesdays so on the following Monday, I’ll put up my version of the challenge.

For fans of the show, you know that they do 3 challenges per episode. I’m not made of money and I have other things to do, so I’ll only be attempting 1 of the 3. I decided this is a pretty fair trade. For 2 of the 3 challenges the contestants can prepare and practice their recipes ahead of time, but they have the immense pressure of being on television in a competition; on the other hand, I have no pressure as I am at home, but I’ll have had no practice for things I’ve never done before. And all shall be documented. Sound good?

If you make it to the end of the post then you shall meet my special celebrity guest star……

me with swiss roll
This week’s theme was cakes. The first cake the contestants had to make was a swiss roll. I’ve never made a swiss roll before let alone one with a pattern so that’s the challenge that I set for myself. I’ll let you be the judge of how it turned out. I decided mine would be pistachio. (What a surprise.)

Swiss Roll with Pistachio and White Chocolate Ganache

4 egg whites
5/8ths cup of confectioners sugar (70 g)
2 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking powder
5/6ths cup of flour (70 g)
food colouring (if desired)
(for filling)
1 cup of whipping cream
1 1/2 cups of white chocolate (chopped)
1 cup of pistachios (ground)

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Separate your egg yolks and whites carefully. Add the egg whites to a large bowl with the confectioners sugar and beat until you have firm peaks. (You should be able to tip the bowl upside down over your head without it falling out. As I demonstrate at my own peril, below.)

In a smaller bowl, mix the sugar, baking powder, flour and vanilla. Then add the this mixture to your egg white mixture. Add the flour slowly (with a sieve if you have one), gently folding it in.

(If you aren’t doing a pattern you can skip the following paragraph.)

*Take about 1/3 of your dough out and add it to a separate bowl and add your food colouring. Add your coloured dough to a piping bag and pipe your design onto your baking tray. Bake it for about 3 minutes then remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5. *

After your design has cooled slightly, spread the rest of the dough lightly on top. Try to make it as even as possible. Bake for 12 minutes.

When you’ve baked your swiss roll take it out of the oven and roll it up to cool. Rolling it up while it’s warm helps it keep that shape later without cracking. Don’t worry about taking off the baking paper, you’ll do that later. Just roll it up like a scroll and set it aside to cool. (Use gloves, dishtowels etc as it will be hot.)

While the swiss roll was cooling I made my filling. Add your crushed white chocolate to a heatproof bowl. Then add your whipping cream to a small saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Then pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for about 2 minutes. Then stir until it’s smooth and all the chocolate has melted.

Once your swiss roll has cooled, unroll it and cover it with your white chocolate filling. Then sprinkle it with your chopped pistachios. Then start rolling the swiss roll up again, whilst peeling the paper off the back as you go. (Pictured below.)

checking texture
Testing my egg white texture.

making pattern
plopping on doughrolling in action
The first rolling, with the baking paper still on.

sprinkling pistachiorolling the swiss roll
The second rolling, whilst taking the paper off.

mary berry looms
Luckily, old family friend Mary Berry makes an appearance to judge. Just for me.

swiss roll close upmary berry congratulates
Mary Berry presents me with my Star Baker award for the week. I was overwhelmed with joy at the honor.

star bakeredges
All the spiraly, oozy goodness.

Check back next Monday for The Not So British Bake Off : Week 2! (With potentially more celebrity appearances!)

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