The great British Bake Off returns

Baking

The start of The Great British Bake Off usually heralds the beginning of the end of the summer season and we start to spend more time inside, especially with the current weather we are experiencing. Thoughts turn to weekend afternoons spent in the kitchen, creating perfect pies and crumbly biscuits.

The latest series has certainly got many of us talking here in the office as we discuss the successes (and failures) of the episode the night before. Whilst collapsed black forest gateau’s may not inspire us, there are lots of fantastic creations which certainly get us baking in our own kitchens.

Lucy, our new Marketing Executive who joined the team last month actually took the leap a year or so ago and applied for the show:

“You’ve got to know your macaroons from your macarons to be considered for the show and there are quite a few stages to the application process to enable the producers to find the right mix for the final 12 contestants. There are multiple auditions and screen tests before you can even get close to impressing the King and Queen of baking; Paul and Mary.

I got down to the final 60 or so which I was thrilled with. I even had to create one sweet and one savoury bake and carefully transport them to London. Needless to say I was very protective of them on the tube!

I’m in awe of some of the contestants this year and how they cope under the pressure of time constrictions and cameras in their faces. I think it’s too early to tell who might be a contender for the 2015 crown but I think we’ve all got our favourites already here in the office. For now certainly, I’m perfectly happy baking from the comfort of my own kitchen.

One of my favourite things to bake is cake and I want to share a recipe for one of the cakes I bake the most. The recipe calls for fresh lemons, which can often be found growing in greenhouses.”

Lemon and elderflower drizzle cake

Lemon and elderflower drizzle cake

Serves: 12

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Cooking time : 25 minutes

Ingredients

For the cake

225g butter

225g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

225g self raising flour

½ tsp baking powder

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tbsp elderflower cordial

For the filling

Lemon curd

50g butter

250g icing sugar

1tbsp elderflower cordial

For the lemon glaze

2 tbsp lemon juice

100g icing sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c (160c fan), gas mark 4.

Get all your ingredients out and bring them to room temperature.

Grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins.

Cream together the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and very fluffy.

Add one egg at a time along with one tablespoon of the flour and baking powder. Doing this will ensure the batter does not curdle.

Mix in the lemon zest and elderflower cordial.

Carefully fold in the remaining flour and baking powder. Don’t overmix.

Divide the batter between your sandwich tins and pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when poked in to the middle.

Whilst the cakes are baking, prepare the filling in a bowl by mixing the butter, icing sugar and elderflower cordial together.

You may need more or less icing sugar, it’s best to judge by eye.

Prepare the lemon glaze in another bowl by mixing the icing sugar with lemon juice. You will want a consistency which runs off the spoon slowly and will drizzle down the side of the cake.

Put the baked cakes on cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

Assemble the cake by putting a layer of lemon curd on one sandwich, followed by the buttercream on top of this. Put the top sandwich on top of this.

Now the cake is assembled, drizzle the glaze and slowly spread it to the edges so it begins to drizzle down the sides.

Present proudly on a cake stand and enjoy

Tags: Great British Bake Off, baking, lemon and elderflower drizzle cake