Saturday, 11 October 2014


What will we do on Wednesday nights now that bake off is over? The final was thrilling and I am so pleased that my favourite won, my favourite never wins... I jinx them from the start simply by liking them!

The wee before the final was patisserie week and the bakers had to create two types of baklava, two types of entremets and a schichttorte. The first two I had heard of, the last I not not. Looking it up I was instantly intrigued, a grilled cake? Would it taste different to a baked cake? There was only one way to find out.

I used the recipe from Paul Hollywood found here. I made tweaks to make it gluten and dairy free, and also had to turn my grill down and cook for 30 seconds less than stated. 

Admittedly it does have the wow factor when you cut into it, all those layers. When I first tried a slice I did not know what to expect and so was not overwhelmed with the texture of the cake, I think I prefer my cakes baked not grilled. Having said that over the next few days the cake grew on me and I have decided I do quite like it after all. Whether I like it enough to spend two hours making one again remains to be seen. Oh and the chocolate glaze is immense. 

In final week I absolutely loved how the bakers went back to basics for the technical challenge. I firmly believe a good knowledge of the basics is what makes a consistently good baker and Nancy helped prove me right by nailing it. 

For my final bake along with bake off bake I am going to make scones, mini victoria sandwiches and some form of mini patisserie and aim to make them all perfect. I will do this next weekend when my parents come see my new flat for the fist time,after walking the hills of Edinburgh I am sure everyone will be ready for a cup of tea and a cake or two!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Chocolate and pecan traybake (gluten and dairy free)

This is a simple to make and deliciously chocolatey traybake, that's probably thanks to the 200g of dark chocolate in here! We enjoyed this so much that we finished it within days of it being made, saying that it does keep well. If you can eat dairy and gluten feel free to use butter and regular plain wheat flour.

 Definitely one to add to the collection, I can see this being made again with different flavouring and nuts for variety,

Chocolate and pecan traybake

200g dark chocolate
100g DF spread (I used pure)
85g golden caster sugar
4 eggs, separated, the whites into a greasefree bowl
85g ground almonds
75g GF plain flour (I used Dove farm)
1/8 tsp xantham gum
Pecans for decoration, anything from 50-100g

Preheat the oven to 160C/180C FAN/gas 4 and line a 25cm square cake tin or brownie/traybake tin with baking parchment. 

Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of barely simmering water and heat gently, stirring every now and then until the chocolate and butter has melted. When cool, but still melted, stir in half the sugar and the egg yolks.

Whisk the whites to firm peaks, add the remaining sugar, then whisk again until glossy. Stir a spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mix along with the ground almonds, flour and xantham gum then fold through the rest. Transfer to the tin and top with lightly broken pecans. 

Bake for 25 minutes, cool in the tin for 10 mins, then lift onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Gluten free nutella bread

Thus is me catching up with my bake off posts. This is from last week where the contestants had to make an enriched loaf. I tweaked this challenge slightly as their loafs involved fruit and I did not want fruit, I wanted chocolate.

The recipe for the braided nutella bread comes from the delightful Gluten-Free on a Shoestring blog and the recipe can be found here.

I did have to make my own nutella as shop bought contains dairy and I will share this recipe below.

The finished load does look beautiful and is the nicest gluten free bread that I have made so far. It was perfect warm from the oven with a little extra nutella and a pot of tea for a special weekend breakfast.

Homemade nutella (Dairy and Gluten free)

100g hazelnuts (skinned)
2 tbsp good cocoa powder (I used green and blacks)
4-5 tbsp of hazelnut milk (Or use almond or soy milk if you cannot get hold of hazelnut)
1 1/2 tbs brown sugar or maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla paste

Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor until they from a smooth-ish paste. Add all the other ingredients and continue to blitz until combined and as smooth as possible. Transfer to a sterile jar and keep in the fridge, eat within a couple of weeks. 

This nutella is a more grown up version, it is a little more intense, darker and not as sweet. I really like this however should you wish to make it sweeter simply add more sugar/maple syrup until it as sweet as you desire. This nutella is quite thick, add a splash more milk if you desire.

As well as the bread this nutella is great on toast topped with a sliced banana!