<Photos: Snap + Stir>
Yay, the Great British Bakeoff is back! For all you armchair bakers out there, who prefer to watch it from the comfort of your sofa rather than actually dust off the Magimix, we’ve created some recipes just for you. Inspired by some of our favourite contestants from last season, all the recipes below have a few sneaky cheats thrown in (look away now Mary Berry!). Ready, steady, baaaaake!
CHEAT'S MILLIONAIRES SHORTBREAD
INSPIRED BY FRANCES QUINN
There’s always a Traybake Challenge and one of last year’s highlights was when (GBBO winner) Frances Quinn gave a classic millionaire’s shortbread a twist. Inspired by Frances we’ve created our own more humble version, crushing some shop-bought shortbread biscuits as a base, adding some readymade caramel sauce – and nuking some chocolate for the topping. Naughty, but nice.
- 250 g packet shortbread biscuits
- 75 g butter, melted
- 2 x 220 g jars thick caramel sauce
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 150 g dried whole bananas, finely sliced (try Holland & Barrett)
- 16 dried banana chips (try Holland & Barrett)
- Makes: approx 16
- Line a 17x27 cm baking tin with baking paper allowing the paper to extend over each side so it is easy to lift the shortbread out once finished.
- Place the shortbread biscuits in a food processor and process until fine. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the melted butter. Press into the base of the prepared tin.
- Place the caramel sauce into a ceramic bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir and continue at 10 second intervals until just softened. Stir in the sliced whole dried bananas and spread over the chilled shortbread. Chill again for 1 hour.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute and then stir every 10 seconds until melted and pour over tarts and spread smooth. Arrange the banana chips in rows with 8 down the middle of each half of the topping. Chill for 30 minutes.
- To serve, lift the shortbread out of the tin and cut into 16 fingers.
EASY-PEASY (APPLE) PUDDING AND PIE
INSPIRED BY CHRISTINE WALLACE
Christine has 60 years of baking under her apron belt and despite winning the acclaim of Star baker twice for being a whizz at homemade classics, her grandmother’s recipe - Granny Rogers apple plum and cinnamon country pie - let her down in week four when it failed the extremely-strict Paul Hollywood ‘firm-as-opposed-to-soggy-bottom’ test. Despite this, she made it the quarter finals. Here, rather than faff with flour and butter, we’ve created a simple clutzproof version that is a ‘free-form’ pie (basically a pastry base with turned-over edges and no top), using pre-rolled shortcrust pastry (simply unwrap straight onto the counter).
- 280 g Ready roll sweet shortcrust pastry (from all supermarkets)
- 350 g apples, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
- 350 g plums, quartered, stoned and thinly sliced
- 25 g soft brown sugar
- 15 g butter, diced
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- a pinch ground allspice
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbs clear honey
- 1 tbs icing sugar mixed with 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Readymade custard, to serve
- Serves: 8
- Preheat the oven to 190c/170c fan–forced and place a large baking tray on the middle shelf to heat up. Line a second large baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the pastry on the lined baking tray. Combine the apple and plum slices in a bowl and stir in the sugar, butter, cinnamon and allspice and spoon into the centre of the pastry leaving about 5 cm of pastry around the rim.
- Pull the edges of the pastry up and press down over the fruit to form a crust allowing the fruits in the centre to remain visible. Brush pastry edges with beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, glaze again and dust with a mixture of icing sugar and cinnamon. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes until bubbling and golden.
- Brush the fruit with honey to glaze and dust the tart with the cinnamon icing sugar. Serve with shopbought custard (stir in a pinch of cinnamon to posh it up).
A PIECE OF CAKE CHOCOLATE CAKE
INSPIRED BY ROBERT SMART
Robert is a space satellite designer by trade who gave the other contestants a run for their money. His ‘disastrous Dalek’ cake finished his Bakeoff career off in episode five, but in the weeks before that his talent for creating super-precise bakes won him the accolade of Star Baker. Super-precise our raspberry chocolate cake recipe is not. Inspired by Rob’s recipe we cut corners with a Waitrose sponge. And while we commend Rob for spending hours melting chocolate on balloons to create little chocolate cups, we nipped down the supermarket and bought cupcakes instead. The edges of the cake we decorated with readymade chocolate rolls (great for hiding messy edges too!).
- 2 plain chocolate sponge cakes (Waitrose Chocolate Victoria sponge)
- 3 tbs raspberry jam
- 100 ml double cream
- 250 g raspberries
- 250ml chocolate fondant icing
- 2 packets Elizabeth Shaw’s Flute selection (or similar)
- 50 g white chocolate
- 3 chocolate cup cakes
- Serves: 16
- Arrange one cake upside down on a plate and spread with half of the jam. Repeat with the second cake.
- Whip the double cream until thick and spoon over one of the cakes. Arrange 100 g of the raspberries on the cream and invert the second cake over the top sandwiching the two together.
- Spread the fondant icing over the top of the cake. Spread evenly over both the top and the sides of the cake and chill for 30 minutes.
- Trim the chocolate flutes so they are the same depth as the cake and arrange in alternating flavours around the outside of the cake. Using a potato peeler, pare the white chocolate into small curls.
- Place the chocolate cups on top of the cake and fill with raspberries. Scatter over the white chocolate curls and serve.