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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  • This looks delicious. Love the idea can’t wait to follow along with your series, and of course for more guest star appearances!

    • Hahaha, I’m glad that you like it. I can only hope that the guest stars get more and more outrageous. x

  • James Dunlop Burns

    How do you make a Swiss Roll? Push him down the Alps.Please don’t ban me.

  • erica

    OHYGOODNESS you’re actually my favourite person.

  • This is my favourite thing ever!! Love all your pictures! Can’t wait to follow along with your series! Being Australian, I’ve never seen the Great British Bake Off but I think your series will be better anyway! I really want to participate – sounds sooooo fun πŸ™‚

    Carly xo

    • Hahaha thanks! Although I can never truly surpass just how awesome the show is. Basically it’s like Amateur Masterchef but just for baking and funnier and more cutesy. xx

  • Aahhh this is so fab! I’m also doing a bake along, my swiss roll is going up tomorrow BUT yours definitely looks better than mine haha! Mine is a poor attempt! White chocolate ganache mmmmmm xxx

    • Girl you need to back yourself way more because yours looked delicious. And also I wanted to just drink your salted caramel! xx

  • what a fun idea! and a fab challenge. lucky Sam! and of COURSE she showed up to give you an award – it’s gorgeous πŸ™‚

  • Best post on a Monday morning ever, I mean guest stars are really cool. I wonder what guest stars I could get to my house…
    Fredrik made a swiss roll once, with some sort of jam or something either way it was good!

  • haha I love everything about this. also, impressed with the rolling and the pattern!

  • Such a fun post! You might want to check out #TheGreatBloggerBakeOff organised by I Love Crafty ( A bunch of us are all joining in with the themes each week too so share your posts with the hashtag! fun fun!


  • Sounds fun! I’ll be keeping up with your posts. I don’t like to cook but baking is an exemption πŸ™‚

  • amitygardens

    So apparently my feed for your blog stopped updating, and I just completely forgot to check. So i am back to keep spamming your blog! yay!

    • Argh! When I switched from blogger to wordpress there were a handful of accounts that blogger wouldn’t let me bring with me follower wise! You must have been one of them. I’m so sorry! But you can subscribe on the right hand side to follow, google +, rss feed or bloglovin. Damn. I thought I’d caught almost everyone who feel through the cracks. Apologies! x

  • Oh my gosh is that Sam? haha aw I just love your blog! I’m really impressed at your swiss roll since you’ve never made one before! Looks delicious πŸ™‚

    • Hahaha, no it’s Mary Berry πŸ˜‰ And thank you! Hopefully my baking will become more technically proficient by competing! x

  • Lol I’m really into your intense enthusiasm and commitment to dressing up in costume. Well done!

  • Ashley Angle

    umm YUM!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  • I have never made a swiss roll, but for thanksgiving we make a pumpkin roll and it is absolutely delicious!

  • londonkiwiemma

    This is just epic. Are you going to do a Mary Berry chews sub-tumblr as well ;D
    We are GBBO addicts – in fact Rich is more addicted than I am….

  • Yum yum yum!!!

  • Anna

    Nyom Nyom! Your baking posts make me sugar hungry, which is not a pretty sight. This looks amazing!

  • Yummmm, this looks good! I’ve never made a Swiss roll either.

    • Thanks! I was a bit disappointed that my filling was a bit runny BUT I was super proud of my cake! x

  • HYSTERICAL LAUGHING. I think I woke my flatmate. HYSTERICAL. I have so much love for this post. xx

    • Hehehehe. I’m glad. And also I hope it did make you periodically giggle throughout the day. x

  • That is awesome–the pictures, the Swiss roll, your award, everything. You are totally a star baker!! πŸ™‚

  • Oh Yes! It looks like you had fun doing this!

  • bahahaha yes. and, also…delicious.

  • Oh my gosh.. at first I was like.. does Amanda wear some weird shower cap when she’s baking? Then I was like.. Awww maybe Mary Barry is Sam’s grandma’s friend aaaaand then I looked a bit closer. I’m so gullible. Good job and great idea for a recurring post! Love it!

  • Thanks Sara! Although there might be some epic failures in the future depending on what they make during the show that week! x

  • this is kind of awesome! can’t wait to see all the goodies you make!

    • Thanks Fran! I know that some weeks I am going to epically fail but that will have to be part of the fun! x

  • Okay, I don’t even like pistachios but the pictures in this post were simply irresistible…

  • These pictures are incredible. If it tastes as good as it looks then I’d say you did an amazing job!

  • This is such a fun idea!! I think the cake looked really good for your first attempt…mine would have probably never survived the rolling step πŸ™‚
    P.S. I think I lost you from my reader feed, I just now realized it…sorry! I’m so behind on blogging stuff πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! And my apologies! It’s completely my fault! I moved from blogger to wordpress self-hosted last month – my bloglovin’ subscribers moved over, but anyone solely following via GFC got lost in the move. I tried to message as many people as I could, but I was sure a few got lost in the move. I’m so sorry that you did, but I’m glad to have you back now! x

  • I love this and that cake looks fab!! GBBO is the only thing I use my VPN for…best programme ever! Even the German loves it! Good luck with the rest of the challenges!!

    • Thank you so much! It’s easily my favourite show on television! Glad you still get to watch it! x