Sunday, 16 August 2015

Joining the Great British Bake Off Technical Challenges

After the first episode of the Great British Bake Off I decided it would be a great idea to make each of the technical challenges each week.

Sunday's would become the day to stay indoors and bake with my partner. The summer hasn't been particularly great this year and with lots of soggy Sundays to entertain ourselves this seemed to be a fantastic idea.

The first weeks episode was cake, My favourite thing to bake and our favourite thing to eat and so off to the store I went to purchase the ingredients to make week ones technical challenge Mary's Frosted Walnut Layer Cake.

The first challenge was that the cake was made using three equal sized cake tins and I only had two of the same size and one larger. But with the cake mixture evenly shared out It was a case of cutting down the larger cake to match the other two and I was still on track to making an acceptable bake.

Mary Berry's frosted walnut layer cake
The great thing about making one cake slightly bigger is that there were offcuts for the tasting before the rest of the cake was finished.
Once the cakes were cool it was onto the final stage of decorating. The cake required 10 walnuts to decorate the cake all coated in caramel so the first thing to do was make some caramel. This however, was easier said than done. With my sugar in the pan and the heat rather low my sugar slowly started to melt and bubble and started to colour but I didn't realise how quickly the sugar turned from a light golden brown to a sticky black mess of burnt caramel! 

With attempt number two more successful there were 10 perfect little walnuts covered in caramel cooling and ready to decorate the cake. 
Next it was to make up a butter cream to sandwich between the cakes and finally to finish with a boiled icing. I've got to be honest I've never heard of boiled icing before but it was a mix between royal icing and meringue. 
Once the icing had set over the cake it resembled the texture of snow. It had a texture that was light and fluffy and made a slight crunch when cut and compressed. I'm not sure if it was suppose to be like this but this is how ours turned out. 

Great british bake off walnut layer cake
All in all I found the cake delicious, however my partner with a sweet tooth declared that the cake was too sweet! Can a cake be too sweet? It did have A LOT of icing in between the layers, a lot of icing around the cake and then the sugary sweet nuts on top so yes it was very sweet but I loved it. 

Next it's time to make Paul's Arlettes which i'm not very confident about making, the recipe for wafer thing rolled biscuits uses simple ingredients however looks like a much more technical challenge.