The Bake Off Bake Along 2016 – Cake Week

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week

HELLO and welcome to first first in the new series of the Bake Off Bake Along. As a week one tradition, this weeks bake was CAKE!

I for one am really excited that Bake Off is bake on our screens! It’s one of the only programs I’ll watch religiously and joining in the bake off with Rhyme and Ribbons and This Particular last year gave it an extra element of excitement and challenge.

The Great British Bake Off to me signifies the end of summer, and ten weeks of flour strewn kitchen sides, weight gain from weekly indulgences and kneading, mixing, icing, timing, piping, stirring and my way through signatures, technicals and showstoppers I’d never have otherwise thought I’d try.

I already love some of the contestants this year. Val with her quirky dancing and listening to her cakes, Selasi with his effortlessly cool and calm demeanor…

This week we were spoilt for choice with the bakes, between a moist drizzle, zesty jaffas or shiny mirror glaze. Last year I started the Bake Off with a lemon and ginger drizzle, so that one was out. One of my colleagues Jon deems himself king of the giant Jaffa cake and so I was also not keen on trying to outdo him (plus, no offence if you’ve made one this week, but I thought they were a bit easy…).

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 19

So that leaves just one cake bake left, the showstopper.

A tricky, sticky, reflective mirror glaze.

Funnily enough about a fortnight ago I was busy ogling Katherine Sabbaths amazing cake creations, and she often uses a very shiny glaze which I had no idea how to replicate, so started looking into mirror glaze. I thought I’d just save it for a recipe after Bake Off is over, but hey presto, Paul and Mary provided!

Wanting to save chocolate for later in the series, I thought I’d do something fruity this week, using a red or purple glaze of some variety for my cake. As it turns out, on a nice long walk on Saturday, loads of the blackberries were already blooming and we dived into the hedgerows like children, scrambling around picking fruit.

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 23

Wanting a mousse element incorporated in this weeks bake, I settled on a lemon Genoise sponge with a raspberry and blackberry mousse, forest fruit jelly and berry mirror glaze.

There are a huge number of ingredients and steps involved making this bake, so I’m not actually going to list them fully, but I will link you to some of the recipes I loosely based this bake on.

  1. Genoise Sponge Cake (which I added lemon zest to and drizzled lemon juice on once out the oven and hot) Can you believe HOW MANY pips came out of one lemon?!
  2. Raspberry and Blackberry Mousse (plus a cheeky swig of Chambord, though I mostly strained the pulp and seeds before mixing with the whipped cream and just added whole blackberries in the middle layer)
  3. Forest fruit jelly based roughly on the recipe above (pretty much just fruits, sugar, water and gelatine).

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 3

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 5

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 2

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 4

The trickiest bit to actually make the mirror glaze cake was the timings. Lucky it was a bank holiday as this cake took a while! I made the lemon genoise cake base on the Saturday, giving it plenty of time to cool so I could slice it with the fancy cake slicer I got for Christmas. I was pleased with the rise of the genoise, and slicing it was actually quite a neat job.

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 6

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 7

Next, the whipped raspberry and blackberry mousse was layered on top of the two cake bottoms and left to set, followed by the forest fruit jelly. As I only had two cake tins, I then had to wait again for the next layer of cake, mousse and jelly to all set in turn on top.

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 8

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 9

Once piled up and frozen to set, I was really pleased with how the cake looked, forgoing the top cake layer I’d originally planned because the jelly had set far flatter and neater than I could have got the cake top!

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 13

I was nervous about the mirror glaze, having never made it before. Plus, did anyone else notice that every recipe you look at online does it differently?!

Vast differences in ingredients quantities too! In the end I opted for 120ml water to bloom 5 tsp gelatine, then 100ml water + 80g glucose + 300g sugar heated in a pan until clear and boiling. 200g white chocolate was mixed with 185g condensed milk and the hot sugar mixture combined with the gelatine was poured over the top and whisked vigorously to melt the chocolate. It actually seemed to work!

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 10

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Mixing 2/3 with a purple gel food colouring, and 1/3 with a red, I then marbled them together, held my breath and poured over the top of my cake. Amazingly, this seemed to work too! It stuck to the frozen cake. It looked pretty shiny! Hooray!

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 15

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 16

The only thing I will say is, it’s bloody sticky, and also you waste SO much glaze that drips off the cake rather than just on it!

I left the cake to set properly in the fridge and then had some serious fun choosing how to decorate it! Regal, is how I’d like to think of this weeks bake!

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 18

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 17

Taking it to a family BBQ to celebrate his little brother Daniel’s repatriation (he’s been stuck in Canada unable to fly home for a month!) I was so chuffed that everyone enjoyed it and the layers came out beautifully separated!

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 20

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 22

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week 21

Bake Off Bake Along 2016 Cake Week

Cake week for week 1 of the Bake Off Bake Along was a success! Yes, it took me the best part of a day to create, yes it was eaten in about 10 minutes flat, but the achievement of seeing your own hand reflected in the top of a cake was so worth it!

Bring on the biscuits…!!



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  • That cake looks absolutely beautiful (as well as delicious!). So impressed by your mirror glaze! xxx

    • Thanks so much lovely! I was to tbh – I had absolutely no idea if it would work or how it would turn out! xxx

  • Well. You’ve cranked it up a few notches haven’t you?? Foraged fruit, reflections, photos ON THE GRASS!!!
    It looks incredible Alice, really beautiful. And puts my lemon and cointreau drizzle to shame!
    (And I’m well jel of the fancy cake slicer).
    M x

    • Haha setting myself up for a fall I’m thinking! Luckily we were having a BBQ so grass photos weren’t too much of a stretch! 😉 Definitely doesn’t put yours to shame, but your cake was utterly delicious! The cake slicer was from Tiger would you believe?! Funnily enough after last years Bake Off, I was bought quite a few baking related goodies for Christmas last year! Looking forward to cracking them all out this year hopefully!

  • Oh, this looks glorious!! I eased myself into the bake along with something simple, but now I wish I’d tried a little harder! I love the ripple you achieved in the glaze, and your layers look beautiful. It’s so impressive!
    Beth x

    • Ahh thanks Beth! I started last year with a drizzle and as it was bank holiday and I had more time than I’ll get in the next few weeks, I thought I’d start with a tricky one! xxx

  • OMG Alice this is the most beautiful cake I’ve ever seen! I bet it tasted great too, I love the idea of the mousse layers. Way beyond my skill level but I wonder if I can convince my boyfriend he’s up for a challenge 😉

    • Bet you it wouldn’t be – it just took a lot of recipe reading and time and patience to create! xxx

  • Wooah there Alice this is the most incredible looking cake ever! So beautiful and I bet it was the tastiest too. Xx

    • Thanks so much my lovely! Apologies that there isn’t even a crumb left to bring next weekend, but you *may* get to try this weeks biscuits, depends if I make them one evening or if I run out of time and have to resort to Sunday instead! xxxx

  • Alice! That is so impressive! It’s beautiful and could 100% be sold in a shop 😀 Looks like something I would order for my birthday haha beautiful colour, and lovely fresh fruit, I vote for you for Star baker!! 😀
    Oh and I’m also a fan of Val and Selasi :)

    • Thank you, praise indeed!! 😀 Really looking forward to this week too! xxx

  • Whoa, that looks amazing! Well done!

  • It never occurs to me to bake along with GBBO, my mind tends to get distracted by wanting to buy whatever food it is they are making so I can eat along. I was kinda gutted cake week was first as I wasn’t prepared. Really need to get myself some biscuits for tomorrow!

    Wow your cake looks good, I’m so impressed with your mirror glaze, I’ve been craving one ever since last week’s show!

    • You basically watch the show on a Wednesday and then post up your bake the Tuesday after (so you have nearly a week to bake it and have a lag time of a week…) so you could still join in!! You should do, it’s so much fun! xxx

  • Your cake is so beautiful–you certainly got the glaze down! I’m loving both Selasi and Val as well :)

    • I was terrified of the glaze, but it was actually easier than I thought it would be! xxx

  • Impressive! Berry-flavoured cakes are my favourite :-) H x

    • Especially hand-picked berries right? (also possibly because they are FREE!) haha xxxx

  • Woo this looks amazing!! What an achievement cake, looking forward to the rest of the bakes!

    • I’m worried I’ve set the bar high with this one, because over the next few weeks I’ve got quite a few busy weekends and won’t necessarily have enough time to do the showstoppers! xxx

  • Kirsty Newton

    Wow that mirror glaze you could see your own face in that. Look bloody incredible. Excited to see what’s to come and I’m already obsessed with the Bake Off again this year.

    Kirsty x

    • It’s genuinely one of my favourite programs! I had to take a photo with my hand in it because I was impressed by how shiny a glaze could be – apparently it’s all about the condensed milk that makes it that way, who’d have thought it?! xxx

  • That looks pretty amazing!! It must have been such a fun challenge to do over the weekend. After seeing this, I might join into the bake off bake along too!

    • Do it Eline! You’ve still got time to link up your recipe too! :) It’s so much fun and really challenges you as a baker! xxx

  • Your cake honestly looks phenomenal! Like unbearably lovely! Huge congratulations! xxx

    • Ahhh Amanda that’s such huge praise, thank you, I was very proud of it when it was finished! The next few weeks are incredibly busy so I might not be able to be quite so ambitious, but we’ll see!! :) xxx

  • This cake looks so good!!! I love the bake off, I have watched it yet but so excited to catch over the weekend.

    The Beauty Load

    • Ahh I can’t believe you’ve managed to hang on for so long without watching it! xxx

  • It looks amazing, Alice! That mirror glaze, and the neat layers… Setting the bar high! :) x

    • Thanks lovely, ‘m not sure the next few weekends will have the same amount of time to dedicate to bakes, so we’ll see what happens next, maybe I should have started with an easier one?! xxx

      • Well at least you started with a bang! :) And same goes for me, I’m not even sure I’ll manage to bake every week this year. I’m translating three books at the same time at the moment (while reading, reviewing and scouting). Days off are a rare treat right now! xxx

        • Woaaa you’re superwoman! What do you scout? Still, even if you manage to do half the bakes that’s still fun! I’m hoping to still do them all, but I fully understand that some of them won’t be able to be as time consuming as others! xxx

  • You are definitely the winner this week. Unbelievable! Plus wild fruits – amazing! I am totally impressed! Are you doing the Viennese whirls this week? I think I am going to give them a go tomorrow. It seems the wrong season for gingerbread houses somehow!

    • Haha thanks, you cutie! :) Yes I did Viennese whirls – I was camping for most of the weekend so had no time for anything fancy! I’d have loved to do a gingerbread statue though, I love the stuff!! 😀 xxx

  • Wow this is definitely a showstopper, the slices are so perfect!x

    • Thank you lovely! The sponges were slightly different thicknesses, but hey ho it was delicious and it turned out better than I imagined! On to this week….!!! 😀 xxx

  • Zoe Bloss

    This looks absolutely glorious! I really wanted to give it a try when I saw bake off but I’m a bit nervous. Big kudos to you, that’s one beautiful cake!

    • There’s still time to join in! Just link up your posts with Amanda or Ala and tag everything #bakeoffbakealong 😀 Next link up goes live for biscuit week tomorrow! :) xxx

      • Zoe Bloss

        Ooo I might give that a go! xx

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  • Victoria

    Oh my gosh, that cakes looks so beautiful! Good job! I’ve been watching so many cooking shows lately that I really really want to try to make a fancy cake like this soon. We don’t get the Bake Off show here in the USA but on Netflix they did have one of the seasons of the Bake Off recently and so I got a feel for the show and really wish they’d air it here. Mary Berry is quite an intriguing lady. I really loved the show and now I understand what all the hype is about! :)