BAKE Off fever is once again sweeping the nation.
Many an amateur baker has been inspired to dust off their spatulas, whisks and wooden spoons and try their hand at whipping up their own showstopper at home.
If you’re one of them, we’ve got a few recipes to try, from the much-loved Victoria Sponge to a delicious Red Velvet!
Chocolate cherry brownie cake
Black Forest gâteau and brownies are combined to make this rich, crumbly cake
350g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
225g Lurpak Danish Slightly Salted Butter, diced
3 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
225g Billington’s Dark Brown Soft Sugar
75g self-raising flour
75g Dr. Oetker Dark Chocolate Chips (selected branches)
FOR THE FILLING
50g Lurpak Slightly Salted Butter
100g Billington’s Golden
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey
Vanilla Bean Paste
200g Bonne Maman Cherry Compote
1 tsp cocoa
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Grease and base line 2 x 22cm sandwich tins.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water.
3. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate mixture and then fold in the flour and chocolate chips. Divide between the 2 tins and bake for 25 minutes until just cooked. Allow to cool, then chill.
4. To make the filling, whisk the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until pale and fluffy. Drain the cherry compote.
5. Spread the butter icing over 1 half of the brownie cake, spoon over the drained cherries and top with the remaining brownie cake. Dust with cocoa and serve.
Chocolate Guinness cake
250g unsalted butter
100g cocoa powder
300g caster sugar
2 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
1 tbsp vanilla essence
300g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the frosting:
150g unsalted butter, softened
150g icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
420g full-fat cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)
1 Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Line the base and sides of a loose-bottomed, deep, 20cm cake tin.
2. Pour the Guinness into a medium saucepan with the butter and gently heat until melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder and caster sugar.
3. Mix the eggs, vanilla essence and buttermilk in a bowl, then add this to the mixture in the pan.
4. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda together into a large bowl or into the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Using a hand-held electric whisk or the mixer set on a low speed, pour in the contents of the pan. Scrape down the sides
of the bowl and continue to mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are incorporated.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 55-60 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
6. Set aside to cool, then remove from the tin onto a wire rack, making sure the cake is cold to the touch before you frost it.
7. To make the frosting, use the electric whisk or the freestanding mixer with paddle attachment to mix the butter, icing sugar and vanilla together until it is fully combined in a smooth mixture. Add the cream cheese and mix on a low speed, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
8. Place the cooled cake on a serving dish and spread the top generously with the vanilla cream cheese frosting.
Chocolate ganache cake
Chocolate cake is always a favourite and this one is made with unrefined light muscovado sugar and ground almonds which add a rich flavour. It’s topped with chocolate ganache to create an impressive celebration cake.
For the filling:
150g Country Life Butter
150g Billington’s Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
200g plain chocolate, broken into small chunks
200g ground almonds
6 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs, separated
4 tbsp brandy or milk
For the ganache:
200g plain chocolate
200ml double cream
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Base line 2 x 20cm sandwich tins with non-stick baking parchment.
2. Melt the butter, sugar and chocolate in a pan until melted. Cool slightly and fold in the almonds, egg yolks and brandy or milk.
3. Whisk the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks and fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the tins and bake for 40-45 minutes until firm. Cool slightly before turning out onto wire racks. Discard the paper and allow to cool.
4. Meanwhile, make the ganache by melting the chocolate and cream in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted. Whisk until glossy and thickened and allow to cool.
5. Place one half of the cake upside down on a serving plate, spread with ¼ of the ganache and put the other cake on top. Spread the rest of the ganache on the top and sides with a palate or round bladed knife until smooth and shiny.
Blueberry Victoria sponge
The hint of zesty lemon, and floral and fruity blueberry jam make a delicious flavour combination.
250g golden caster sugar
250g Stork With Butter
4 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
250g self-raising flour
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
170ml pot essential Waitrose Double Cream
4–5 tbsp blueberry jam or conserve
Icing sugar, to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4, and grease and line two 20cm sandwich tins with baking parchment. Place the sugar and Stork in a large mixing bowl. With an electric whisk or wooden spoon, beat together until pale and creamy. Next add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl down after each addition.
2. Fold in the flour in two additions, then lastly fold through the lemon zest and vanilla. Pour into the prepared tins and place in the oven for 22–25 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
3. Once the cakes are completely cool, pour the double cream into a mixing bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Spread the cream over the bottom of one of the sponges, spread the other sponge with jam, and sandwich them together. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar just before serving.
Cook’s tip: Instead of whipped cream, a vanilla-scented buttercream is a lovely alternative and is great if you want your cake to keep until the next day. Simply cream together 150g Stork With Butter with 150g icing sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Red velvet cake
Based on the US classic, this beautiful cake will suit any special occasion or family get-together. The pale butter icing contrasts well with the red sponge layers.
- Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Cooking time: 50-60 minutes
- Total time: 70-80 minutes
- Serves: 8 – 10
200g Anchor Butter
200g Waitrose Light Brown Soft Sugar
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
4 medium British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
200g self-raising flour
2 x 10g tubes Dr Oetker Gel Food Colour, Bright Red
1 tbsp cocoa
For the filling
150g Anchor Butter
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
200g Waitrose Light Brown Soft Sugar
1 tbsp freeze-dried raspberries
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Grease and base line an 18cm round cake tin.
2. Whisk the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until combined (add a little of the flour if it looks curdled). Mix in the red food colour. Fold in the flour and cocoa.
3. Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Allow to cool.
4. To make the filling, whisk the butter, vanilla extract and sugar until pale and fluffy.
5. Cut the cake into 3 even-sized horizontal rounds. Spread ⅓ of the butter icing over 1 slice of cake, and then lay another slice on top. Spread this with another ⅓ of the icing and top with final slice. Spread with the remaining icing and sprinkle over the dried raspberries.
Coconut & lime angel food cake
This fatless sponge is lifted to another level by its zingy lime and coconut milk frosting – and the good news is that it’s dairy free!
4 tbsp desiccated coconut
10 medium Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Eggs, whites only
1 tsp cream of tartar
175g plain flour
175g icing sugar
Zest of 1 lime
For the icing
400ml can coconut milk
Juice of ½ a lime
4 tbsp icing sugar
Lime zest and flaked coconut, to decorate
1. Put the can of coconut milk into the freezer for about an hour, making sure it is upright. When ready, preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Take a 25cm angel food cake tin, and sprinkle the desiccated coconut over the bottom. You do not need to grease the tin.
2. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar into a large bowl, and use a handheld electric whisk to whip into soft peaks. The whites should hold their shape, but not be stiff enough to turn upside down over your head, like when making meringue.
3. Sift the flour and icing sugar together into a small bowl. Carefully fold the dry mixture into the whisked egg whites, a few tablespoons at a time, using a flexible spatula. Keep as much air in the mixture as possible, folding only until the flour has just disappeared. Stir in the lime zest and gently spoon the mixture into the tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the sponge is golden brown and a skewer inserted into its centre comes out clean.
4. Remove from the oven and immediately flip it upside down on to a cooling rack and leave to cool in the tin. When cool, run a palette knife around the inside of the tin to release the cake.
5. To make the coconut icing, remove the can of coconut milk from the freezer (don’t shake it). Remove the lid and spoon the thick white layer of coconut cream into a large bowl. You only want the white layer – stop spooning as soon as you reach the clear, watery part.
6. Add the lime juice and icing sugar to the coconut, and whisk by hand until the mixture thickens to the consistency of whipped cream. Apply to the top and sides of the cake using a palette knife, then scatter lime zest and toasted flaked coconut over the top. Store in the fridge, until you’re ready to eat it.