Great British Bake Along | Mary Berry’s Jaffa Cakes

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Something happens to me when The Great British Bake off is on TV. From the Ready, Set, BAKE this bubble in the pit of my stomach begins to rise, my eyes never leave the screen and on occasions (the amount of which I’m far too embarrassed to admit) I give my own commentary on what they’re doing right and wrong… surely I can’t be the only one?

I feel the stress, I wince at the oven burn, and my heartaches when the sponge Just.Wont.Bloody.Rise. Why? Because baking is my passion and these things happen to me every god dam time I’m in the kitchen. I’m so invested in it I may as well be one of the contestants.

Hmmm one of the contestants now there’s an idea?

So as GBBO is practically going to be my life for the next 8 weeks (alongside the frantic move into my first home) I thought I would join the contestants and do a Bake Along of sorts with each week’s Technical Challenge. I can’t say I’m the only one as #JaffaCakes has been a trending topic on Instagram over the last 7 days, but if this little challenge will teach me anything it’ll be to never under estimate a technical, after all they aren’t called TECHNICAL for nothing.

If my first attempt at Mary Berry’s Jaffa Cakes is anything to go by…I’m clearly a quick learner as they are a lot more fiddly than they look.

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Disclaimer: Recipe below is by Mary Berry


Makes|12 Jaffa Cakes

Preparation time| 1 – 2 hours

Baking time| 12 minutes


130g orange jelly

150ml boiling water

Zest of 1 orange

Unsalted butter, for greasing

1 large free-range egg

25g caster sugar

25g self-raising flour

180g 70% dark chocolat


Start by breaking the jelly into pieces and place in a small bowl. Pour over the boiling water and stir until the jelly is completely dissolved. Add the orange zest, then pour into a shallow 30x20cm/12x8in tray lined in baking parchment and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and grease a 12-hole, shallow bun tin with butter.

For the sponge, whisk the egg and sugar together for until pale and fluffy. This is a fatless sponge so you need to create lots of air to help with the rise. For me whisking for a good 4 minutes achieved that.

Once you have the aerated mixture gently fold in the flour. Fill each well in the bun tin three-quarters full and smooth the tops. Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until well risen then leave to cool on a wire rack.

Break the chocolate into pieces then melt in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool and thicken slightly.

Turn the jelly out onto a sheet of baking parchment and cut 12 discs using a 5cm/2in round cutter. Sit one jelly disc on top of each sponge.

Spoon the cooled melted chocolate over the jelly discs. NOTE: chocolate must be cool or the jelly will begin to disintegrate. 

Using the tips of the tines of a fork or a skewer, lightly press to create a criss-cross pattern on top of the chocolate, then leave to set completely.

Ginger and Pistachio Chocolate Dipped Fairings

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Fellow Londoners and readers of Stylist Magazine may have noticed that 2 weeks ago Stylist announced they would be launching The Great Stylist Cake Off competition, in celebration of course, with the Great British Bake off which aired on that same week.

Over nine weeks, Stylist will be setting weekly challenges via their Instagram account @stylistcakeoff which will match the challenges set on GBBO. All eager contestants have to do is post a photo of their bake tagging @stylistcakeoff using the hashtag #stylistcakeoff and they will repost it onto their page. The most liked photo that week will then go through to the reader final to be in with a chance of winning a KitchenAid.

I’m sure it won’t surprise you that it took me all of five seconds to jump at the opportunity. A baking competition inspired by GBBO is the kind of competition I can most certainly get on board with. The first challenge was Biscuit week (with a hint of chocolate) so I quickly began pondering which kind I would create. Shortbreads, Stables and Biscotti were all high contenders, but then I remembered how successful my Ginger and Cinnamon biscuits had been before, so I set upon recreating them with a new and exciting twist.

As one of the first to post my photo, it was then a long and nerve-wracking week as I waited for the closing date to arrive. To my absolute delight my photo reached the lead in the early stages, but I couldn’t get complacent as in the game of “likes” anything can happen. This became all the more apparent when two other photos joined me in the leading ranks and they weren’t far behind. The final 24 hours turned into a steeplechase with the contenders likes increasing ever closer by the hour. It was intense to say the least.

As the final hour approached my like count reached 287 which is where it stayed. Midnight was fast approaching and with one challenger on my tail it was utterly unbearable. It was only as the clock struck twelve that I think I managed to take a breath. I had won, by a margin of 31 likes. Did I mention how intense this was?

I’m now so excited to be baking in the reader final with the eight other weekly winners. The theme of our final bake is yet to be announced but I will keep you all updated once I hear more.

First things first however I am delighted to give you my winning biscuits – Ginger and Pistachio Chocolate Dipped Fairings.

For more information about The Stylist Cake Off Competition please click here.

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Makes 24

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 10 minutes


 200g Plain Flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

50g Pistachios (finely blended)

2 tsp freshly grated ginger

100g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

4 tbsp golden syrup

1 tbsp milk


 For decoration

200g good quality dark chocolate

50g Pistachios (finely blended)


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/Gas 4 and line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Blitz 100g of pistachios and weigh out 50g for the biscuits and 50g for decoration. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, fresh ginger and pistachios together in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub together with your fingers to form what resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar.

In a separate bowl mix the honey and milk and wait for the honey to dissolve. Stir this liquid into the breadcrumbs mixture then bring it all together with your hands to make a dough.

Break off small bits of dough and roll them into small balls roughly 20g in weight. Space 12 balls out onto each baking tray, ensuring you leave enough room for them to spread during baking.

Bake for 10 minutes until amber, but keep your eyes on them towards the end of baking as they can darken very quickly.

Once out of the oven, leave them on the tray for a few minutes to firm up, then transfer to a wire rack to fully cool.

While they cool, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and pour into a small ramekin. Into another ramekin pour your remaining blitzed pistachios.

To decorate, dip the biscuits into the chocolate so that half is coated, then transfer over to the pistachios and sprinkle them all over.

Continue with all biscuits then pop into the fridge to set for an hour.

Sea Salt, Butterscotch and Chocolate Chip Cookies

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It was at a summer BBQ not so long ago (you know one of those low-key, paper plates kind of BBQ’s) when I was fully able to appreciate my love for salt and sugar combined.

Having already consumed my body weight in meat, wedges and potato salad there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to succumb to dessert, but then the chocolate cake came round and my sweet tastebuds took charge ordering all the savoury inside my stomach to move up an inch and make some room.

The chocolate cake was fast approaching however, to my distress all the fresh paper plates were gone. I had a dilemma, I could go inside to search for a clean plate, but with only a few slices remaining doing that risked getting no cake at all. If I wanted dessert I was going to have to use the plate that still housed a few remaining salty wedges.

As the host reached me a decision had to be made. By this point the anticipation of chocolate was making my mouth water so I had to bite the bullet and take the only option available. As I lifted the cake off the tray my eyes darted around searching for potential clean spots.

None

“I just won’t eat the contaminated parts” I said to myself, which let me tell you is harder said than done with a cake that tasted this good. It’s at times like this that I applaud my lack of self-control and give it a well deserved pat on the back. Like love at first sight the salt instantly clung to the sugar buttercream and when my fork scooped it up, my mouth was given one hell of a taste sensation. From that very moment I’ve been hooked. I even used the last potato wedge to wipe up the last of the chocolate buttercream and I’m not even ashamed of it!

These salted butterscotch and chocolate cookies are just the start of a whole range of salt and sweet related recipes. I’m obsessed with this flavour combination and am intent on finding new ways of using it in different kinds of bakes so watch this space; but first make these!

Sea Salt, Butterscotch and Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Makes 24

Preparation time: 1 hour

Baking time: 8-12 minutes


85g Brown sugar

100g Caster sugar

100g Soft unsalted butter

1 Egg

2tsp Vanilla

200g Self-raising flour

1tsp Baking powder

80g Chocolate chips

80g Butterscotch pieces

1tsp Sea Salt


Preheat the oven to 180C/250F/Gas Mark 4 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper

Weigh out all your ingredients and cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat the egg in a separate bowl with the vanilla and slowly combine with the butter mix, adding a teaspoon of flour if it begins to curdle.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add this to the wet mixture until fully combined then stir in the chocolate and butterscotch pieces.

Combine the dough and gently knead to form a ball, then wrap it up in a lightly floured sheet of cling film and leave in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes.

Cut the ball into quarters and tear into 6 equal sizes balls. Roll them neatly and drop them onto a baking sheet, making sure they are spaced well apart so they can expand during baking.

Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until golden brown. While they are still warm sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt then lift from the tray and leave to cool on a wire rack.