The final of the Bake Off has been and gone, and there were some amazing bakes – I really love the idea of the meringue crown but with my time being a bit limited I’ve decided to shelve that project for another day.
Instead I set my sights on the showstopper – we have a family tradition of firework night get-togethers and so I’ve themed this weeks bakes around some of the traditional things we like to eat for that. I also cheated a bit and only made six of some items as I am not sure everything would get eaten otherwise…
- A chocolate and ginger cake
- Spicy shortcrust sausage rolls
- Goats cheese, pancetta and caramelised onion tarts
- Apple and cinnamon scones
- Sticky toffee and walnut tarts
Here’s how you can recreate them yourself!
Chocolate and Ginger Cake
For the cake
250g plain flour
300g golden caster sugar
3tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
240ml whole milk
2 tbsp cocoa
For the icing
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids or more)
4250g icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line three 6in cake tins, round or square.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, butter and sugar until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add a little of the milk and beat on low.
4. Beat together the remaining milk, vanilla, and eggs and pour slowly into the mix, beating as you pour.
5. Continue to mix for another minute or two until smooth.
6. Set aside 1/4 of the mix, and fold in the grated ginger.
7. Add the cocoa to the remaining mix, and beat for a further minute until incorporated.
8. Pour the ginger mixture into one of the prepared tins, and divide the chocolate mixture equally between the other two.
9. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until they spring back when pressed. Leave in the tins for a couple of minutes, then place each layer on a baking rack to cool.
10. Whilst the cakes are cooling, make the chocolate icing. Melt together the butter and chocolate, then add the icing sugar and milk and whisk until smooth and fluffy.
11. Place a thin layer of frosting between each layer of cake, with chocolate cake on either side and the ginger cake in the middle. Pipe the remaining frosting around the sides and top of the cake.
12. Decorate with chocolate and ginger shards.
Spicy shortcrust sausage rolls
For the pastry
225g plain flour
1/4 tsp mustard powder
For the filling
20g fresh white breadcrumbs
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped and sauteed in olive oil for five minutes
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp tomato chutney
2tbsp grated parmesan
120g lean beef mince
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare a lined baking tray.
2. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the milk and bring the mixture together to form a dough.
3. Roll to about .5cm thick, and 30cm square – cut into two equal strips.
4. Whizz up all the filling ingredients in a blender.
5. Spread the filling ingredients across the pastry in two rows, roll so that the fold is on the bottom. Cut each strip into 5cm slices.
6. Cut out any remaining offcuts into star shapes and place on top of each sausage roll if desired.
7. Glaze with beaten egg or milk, then bake for around 25m until golden brown.
Pancetta, goats cheese and caramelised onion tarts
1 qty pastry as described above, minus the paprika and mustard powder.
1 small red onion, thinly sliced and sauteed in 25g butter and a handful of soft brown sugar.
1 egg, beaten
100ml double cream
25g grated parmesan
3 slices pancetta
2 tsp freshly chopped thyme
25g goats cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Roll out the pastry until thin, then cut out circles and press into a 12 hole tin. Place a small circle of baking paper over each hole, and fill with baking beans or rice. Blind bake for 15 minutes.
2. Whilst the tart cases are baking, prepare the filling. Mix together the egg, cream and parmesan and set aside.
3. Once the cases are blind baked, remove from the oven and arrange most of the onion, thyme and pancetta before pouring over the pre-prepared mixture.
4. Add a further couple of pieces of red onion and a small sprig of thyme to the top, and sprinkle the goats cheese across evenly.
5. Bake for around 20 minute until the cheese is turning golden and the tarts have a slight wobble to them.
6. Eat warm or leave to cool.
Apple and Cinnamon Scones
1 apple, peeled cored and chopped into small cubes
25g soft brown sugar
250g self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
25g golden caster sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Prepare a lined baking tray.
2. Place the apple in a small saucepan with the butter and soft brown sugar. Heat at low until the apple begins to brown around the edges – this can take a little while.
3. Place the flour, cinnamon and baking powder in a bowl. Add the butter in small chunks and rub into the dry ingredients with fingertips.
4. Once the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add the apple before whisking together the egg and milk and adding to the mix. Stir well with a fork to form a dough.
5. Turn out the dough and knead it lightly for a minute or two before rolling out on a lightly floured surface to around an inch thick.
6. Cut into 12 equal round scones.
7. Brush each scone with a little milk.
8. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
Sticky toffee and walnut tarts
For the pastry
225g plain flour
65g caster sugar
2 large egg yolks
For the sticky toffee sauce
200g light muscovado sugar
250ml double cream
For the filling
25g date, roughly chopped
50g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g ground almond
2 large eggs
100g light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp treacle