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.
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
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.