Celebrate the Return of the Great British Bake Off
The Great British Bake off is back on our screens as ‘Comic Relief Bake off’ featuring Jonathan Ross, Gok Wan, Zoe Sugg, Joanna Lumley Abbey Clancey to name a few.
Get involved in the baking trials and try a few of our favourite past bake off recipes:
Chocolate, Cherry and Hazelnut Brownies:
300g/10½oz unsalted butter, plus knob for greasing
300g/10½oz dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
450g/1lb caster sugar
5 large free-range eggs
200g/7oz plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 x 225g/8oz jar maraschino cocktail cherries, drained, chopped
150g/5½oz blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped
200g/7oz white chocolate, chopped into rough chunks
15 fresh cherries
icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line the bottom and sides of a 30x23cm/12x9in baking tin with butter. Put the dark chocolate and butter in a small saucepan and heat until just melted. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together until light and frothy.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour with the salt. Once the chocolate has cooled slightly, add it to the sugar and egg mixture and mix until combined. Gradually add the flour and salt mixture, mixing well between each addition. Stir in the cocktail cherries, hazelnuts and 150g/5½oz of the white chocolate. Mix until evenly distributed then pour into the greased and lined tin and smooth the mixture into the corners.
Melt the remaining 50g/1¾oz white chocolate and place evenly distributed blobs of chocolate on top of the brownie mixture. Use a cocktail stick to swirl the blobs of chocolate into the mixture. Place a fresh cherry at the base of each .
Place on the middle shelf in the oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until just set. Be careful not to overbake the brownies.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove carefully and place on the wire rack to cool. When cooled cut into 12-16 pieces and arrange in a mound of fudgy goodness on a pretty plate liberally dusted with icing sugar.
Cranberry and Orange Bagels
Sweet, chewy bagels flavoured with cranberries and orange zest. Try them filled with cream cheese:
600g/1lb 5oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
10g/¼oz fast-action yeast
3 tbsp golden caster sugar
1 tbsp mixed spice
310ml/½ pint warm water
3 tsp sea salt flakes
2 large oranges, zest only
2 tsp vegetable oil
75g/2½oz dried cranberries, chopped
50g/2oz candied orange peel, chopped
3 tbsp light brown sugar, for the poaching water
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten, for glazing
4-5 brown sugar cubes, lightly crushed
For the dough, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Lightly oil a large bowl and grease two large baking sheets. In a large clean bowl, mix the flour, yeast, golden caster sugar and mixed spice together.
In a separate bowl, mix the water, salt, orange zest and vegetable oil, then gradually incorporate this mixture into the dry ingredients.
On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Transfer to the oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave for 10 minutes. Briefly knead the dough again for a minute, cover again and leave to prove for a further 10 minutes.
Add the cranberries and candied peel to the dough and knead until evenly distributed. Cover and set aside to prove for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a neat ball. Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside to prove for 20 minutes.
Shape the dough balls into rings by inserting a wooden spoon handle into the centre and using your fingers to gently stretch the dough.
To prepare the poaching water, fill two large pans with water, distribute the brown sugar between them and bring to the boil. Poach the bagels two or three at a time for 30 seconds on each side. Lift them out with a slotted spoon, shake off any excess water and lay them on the prepared baking trays.
Brush lightly with egg, sprinkle over the crushed sugar cubes and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden-brown.
Raspberry and White Chocolate Sponge Pudding
A sweet and moist classic sponge pudding served with basil ice cream and raspberry coulis:
For the basil ice cream
12g/½oz fresh basil
90g/3¼oz golden caster sugar
3 free-range eggs, yolks only
300ml/½ pint full-fat milk
300ml/½ pint double cream
30ml/2 tbsp crème de framboise liqueur
For the sponge puddings
85g/3oz golden caster sugar
85g/3oz light brown sugar
175g/6oz lightly salted butter, softened
3 large free-range eggs
170g/5 2/3oz self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
85g/3oz frozen raspberries
85g/3oz white chocolate chips
For the raspberry coulis
300g/10½oz frozen raspberries
50ml/2fl oz crème de framboise liqueur
4 tbsp icing sugar
For the basil ice cream, in a food processor blend the sugar and basil until the basil is incorporated and you have bright green sugar granules. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and whisk until thick and airy.
In a pan set over a low heat, gently warm the milk then slowly pour it into the egg yolk and sugar mix, stirring continuously. Pour the mix back into the pan and heat gently stirring all the time until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Sieve into a clean bowl and set aside to cool completely.
Whisk the cream until soft peaks form, then add the crème de framboise liqueur. Fold the cream into the cooled custard mixture and pour into an ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. (If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a 5 litre tub, cover and place in the freezer. After one hour remove and whisk quickly, before placing into the freezer for another hour. Repeat this process for up to 5 hours until the ice cream has set and has an even texture without any ice crystals.)
For the sponge puddings, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and grease six non-stick pudding molds. In a large mixing bowl whisk the sugars and butter until pale and fluffy. Add one egg and a third of the flour and mix until combined. Repeat until all the eggs and flour are incorporated.
Fold in the vanilla extract, along with the raspberries and white chocolate chips. Divide the mix equally between the molds, ensuring that each mold is no more than two thirds full. Cover each mold with a piece of greased tin foil and place into a baking tray with deep sides. Half fill the baking tray with boiling water (so that it comes halfway up the pudding molds). Then cover the baking tray with foil (to keep all the steam in). Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
For the raspberry coulis, in a food processor, blend the frozen raspberries, crème de framboise and icing sugar to a liquid. Pour into a freezable container and store in the freezer until ready to serve.
To serve, turn out the puddings onto the serving plates, drizzle over the raspberry coulis and add a scoop of basil ice cream.