Bake Along 2012

Bake Along 2012 – Fondant Fancies

One of the last Bake Along challenges of 2012 and it was a cow. They had to make these in 2 1/2 hours I think and on a hot day – that is just so difficult. The fondant icing was thick, the buttercream would melt if the fondant was warm enough to dip, but if the fondant was cold it wouldn’t spread. I made about half a dozen decent ones then got utterly fed up and just made messy ones – that’s why there are only four in the picture.


I would strongly suggest just buying these.

If you really want to bake them, don’t try to do it in 2 1/2 hours. The best tips I can give you are:

1. Make the cake the day before. It won’t be as crumbly when you cut it and when you spread it with buttercream.

2. Spread the buttercream on carefully but don’t make yourself crazy if it’s not perfect. You need it smooth so the icing will be smooth, but you can chill the first effort at buttercream-ing (should that be a word? I’m not sure) then smooth with a knife warmed in hot water once it has set. Then chill again.

3. When dipping, put the fork in at a 45 degree angle to the base of the cake (Mary Berry’s tip). It won’t dip easily – resign yourself to the use of fingers.


The recipe is here although I would advise not going anywhere near that link. Life is too short.

Bake Along 2012 – Jam Doughnuts

I utterly love these. I could eat them until I was sick. In fact, last time I made them I did nearly make myself sick. They are best eaten IMMEDIATELY, to if you’re making a batch, invite friends round to hoover them up as they soon as they’re done. The jam will ooze out if you put it in too soon, so wait a few minutes but not much longer.


I found I needed to cook them at 160C (not 180C as in the recipe) to get them golden and still cooked all the way through. I used a piping bag with a long metal nozzle to put the jam in. It helps to cut a hole first by sticking in a knife and twisting it a bit.

There are some good tips from Felicity Cloake at the Guardian here.


Bake Along 2012 – Plaited Loaf

Bake Along 2012. The first attempt at this was a flop because a) I couldn’t work out the instructions (I should have just taken them literally) and b) I left it too long while putting my son to bed and it over-proved into a hideous flat mess. So I’m not posting those pictures (they’re too, too shaming) but I am admitting that this is my second attempt after watching a YouTube video of how to plait a challah loaf.

You can find the recipe here.


When plaiting, it’s important to have your bits of dough rolled out smoothly and let them rest a bit once rolled. When plaiting, keep it nice and tight without stretching them otherwise the whole thing ends up floppy and full of gaps (although the proving phase will remedy some of this).

Sadly it got a big crack in one side.IMG_5418

I think I could have avoided this if I’d let it rise a bit more and avoided the ovenspring.

Bake Along 2012 – Teacakes

Bake Along 2012 technical challenge. These were not that difficult, but I had the advantage of having watched both the contestants and Paul Hollywood make them, which definitely helped. I wouldn’t make them on a hot day, as the chocolate would be very difficult to temper, but you can make them without tempering the chocolate.


You can find the recipe here.


I didn’t completely coat the biscuits in chocolate – only the underside – as I wanted the marshmallow and biscuit to meld as I thought that would taste nicer. I would also make the biscuit a bit softer next time (more butter) so it’s more cake-y and less crunchy.IMG_6614


Bake Along 2012 – Rum Babas


First post, so I’m going to go back through my baking photos and upload some things from 2011/12. Most of them were taken as I baked my way through the technical challenges for the Great British Bake Off 2011 and 2012. Why? Because I suggested I might want to try out for the show, and I my husband unwittingly commented that it might be a bit ‘out of your league’. I promptly set out to prove him wrong by baking all the challenges. He hasn’t complained, and he’s eaten a lot of cake as a result. And I think he’s now convinced he was wrong, but I’ll still bake along with 2013. Until it’s back on though, I might just bake some things I want to eat!

First thing I made for Great British Bake Along 2012: Rum Babas. The recipe is here.

They weren’t too difficult and they tasted absolutely delicious!


They’re quite delicate once drenched in rum.



Bake Along 2012 – Choux Swans

Another effort from my Great British Bake Along 2012 – Brendan’s Choux Swans.

Choux Swans 2

They look impressive, but they’re not too tricky really. They taste utterly delicious!



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