Floral Three Tier Cake – GBBO Showstopper Challenge (Week 6)

img_4841Week 6! Botanicals Week?

The first ‘botanicals’ week on GBBO saw the bakers making things with floral flavours and just ‘anything that GROWS’, as star baker Tom bluntly put it.

The episode started with a citrus meringue pie signature bake, followed by a fougasse (basically a French focaccia), and finally ended with the bakers making a 3 tier botanical cake to the following criteria:

  • 3 tiers
  • must contain flowers in/on
  • 4 hours

A BLOOMIN’ THREE TIER CAKE! *unamused face emoji*

From the moment I saw the episode preview, and realised what I had to make next, I was already dreading how much effort this was going to involve. I even considered cheating and just posting a picture of the 3 tier wedding cake I made for my best friend Sonia last year and saying ‘DID IT!’ instead!

I mean, it did have sugar flowers so teeeechnically ‘botanical’!

Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOOVE baking and will happily bake a MASSIVE cake if asked/needed, but to spend all that time and money just because I’d set myself some silly little personal challenge? Hurr.

However, that all changed when I started planning.

img_9931In true Ang style, I got out my ProMarkers and started drawing possible ideas. This is when the challenge suddenly changed from simply baking a massive cake, to constructing an arty masterpiece… and then I got excited about it.

img_4863I knew I wanted to have 3 different flavours of cake, and to somehow include said flavours to the decoration too. (Because Mary Berry always says she likes it when a cake is decorated to reflect the flavours inside! And because I’m a little suck up.) I knew I wanted to include lemon peel ‘roses’, so decided on a Lemon & Rosemary cake for the bottom layer. I then figured since I’m making roses I should probably use that too, so for the middle layer I decided on a Rose, Cardamom and Pistachio cake. Then I thought I’d challenge myself with a floral flavour that’s notoriously difficult to balance (and one I’m not usually the biggest fan of)… lavender. So, for my final top layer I decided I’d make an Earl Grey & Lavender cake. Because tea.

Speaking of which, I’d probably make a brew if I were you, this is going to be a long one…

Continue reading “Floral Three Tier Cake – GBBO Showstopper Challenge (Week 6)”

Sweet & Savoury Amuse-Bouche – GBBO Showstopper Challenge (Week 5)

amuseboucheWEEK 5: Pastry Week!

Ok, so 5 weeks into my personal GBBO Showstopper Challenge and I’m already asking myself, ‘Erm Ang, why on earth are you doing this again?!’ Don’t get me wrong, I’m LOVING eating all the things I’m getting to make, but MY GOSH is it a lot of effort! (Especially with a day job!) I mean, by the time I’ve baked one showstopper, edited photos and written a blog post for it, it’s already the next episode and I’ve got to spend the next couple days planning the next bake for the weekend. It’s exhausting!

I definitely have a new found respect for the GBBO bakers and how stressful, time-consuming, and costly being on the show must be for them! Granted they’re not foolish like me in that they’re doing it every weekend (they will have a couple weeks between filming each ep!), and they most certainly won’t be taking photos and writing blog posts for each bake either… but still, they have 2 challenges to plan for!! Not to mention a technical bake to practice EVERYTHING for! I don’t envy them. If there was ever a part of me that considered applying for GBBO it would definitely be doubting itself now! Not helped, of course, by the most recent update from the tent… MARY BERRY IS LEAVING GBBO! *drops whisk*

This is not ok. Can the BBC do us all a favour and just hurry up and start their own rival baking show with Mel, Sue, and Bezza and all will be right again? And whilst we’re at it, why not get James Martin involved too? Just putting that out there. Saturday mornings just aren’t the same without him either. *tear*

img_4708Anyways, I digress. Back to my GBBO challenge!

This week saw the bakers completing various pastry challenges; breakfast danish pastries, a Bakewell tart technical, and finally a Showstopper of 48 ‘amuse-bouche’ (or appetisers) made using filo pastry. Sigh. For ages I’d put off trying to make filo pastry because it’s always looked so unnecessarily fiddly. Why take all that time and effort to roll out sheets of pastry when you can easily buy it ready-made? Am I right? Nevertheless, I did make it… and admittedly it wasn’t that bad. Completely pointless, but not that bad.

The challenge was to make 48 filo ‘amuse-bouche’ to the following criteria:

  • 24 savoury, 24 sweet
  • 4 hours

img_4716This week I settled on using seasonal, autumnal flavours of apples and cinnamon for my sweet amuse bouche, along with pecans… because winning combo.

Then for my savoury I decided to make an appetiser version of the Chinese takeaway classic (and one of my faves), Crispy Duck Pancakes. Crispy duck, cucumber, spring onion, topped with plum sauce all piled onto a filo tart case. Nom.

Here’s how it went…

Continue reading “Sweet & Savoury Amuse-Bouche – GBBO Showstopper Challenge (Week 5)”

Birthday Cake Flavoured Churros – GBBO Showstopper Challenge (Week 4)

img_4581Week 4! Batter Week!

So following last week’s GBBO showstopper challenge of a savoury bread plait centrepiece (and my attempt to make a bloomin’ TREE out of bread!), this week’s episode saw the bakers completing challenges all to do with ‘batter’. Supposedly.

The first challenge was Yorkshire puddings – something I don’t think I’ve seen on GBBO before, and probably something I’ll have a go at in the future. Until then, Aunt Bessie’s got my back.

The second challenge, however, definitely piqued my interest a little bit more. Being somewhat arty, the idea of making ‘lacy hearts’ out of pancake batter seemed like something I couldn’t not try. You know, just to see if I could do it. So I did. (Two GBBO bakes in 1 weekend? Madness.)


The third challenge, and the showstopper, was to make 36 churros to the following criteria:

  • must be sweet
  • any shape/size
  • can be filled/served with dipping sauce
  • 3 hours

Now, unlike the previous two weeks where I instantly thought of an idea and insisted on seeing it through (no matter how ambitious!), this time I actually stopped to plan what I was going to make; possible flavour combinations, dipping sauces, churro recipes etc.

With GBBO being so Pinterest with the lacy heart pancake challenge, I figured I’d do something just as equally Pinterest… ‘Birthday Cake’ Flavoured Churros. Served as a Birthday Cake. You don’t get more Internet than that! From things likes Oreo’s, ice cream, M&M’s, and even vodka, the ‘Birthday Cake’ trend seems to be EVERYWHERE!

What is ‘Birthday Cake’ flavour I hear you ask? Good question! Surely birthday cakes can be any flavour, right? Wrong. Apparently someone somewhere decided that ‘Birthday Cake’ flavour is the simple combination of vanilla and rainbow sprinkles… and it’s stuck! People are throwing sprinkles into errrythaang! Not that I’m complaining, vanilla is a classic and rainbow sprinkles make me happy. 😀

img_4565However, for my ‘Birthday Cake’ flavouring I chose to amp up the flavour by using cream cheese in the filling, as well as adding a bit of almond flavouring too.

I then had a brainwave of stacking the churros together to make them look like an actual birthday cake to add to the Pinterest-ness of it all. And then I mentally high-fived myself.

Here’s how it went…

Continue reading “Birthday Cake Flavoured Churros – GBBO Showstopper Challenge (Week 4)”