The Bake Off Final

IMG_2152We’ve had the Bake Off challenge final… I came… drumroll please… third.  Of five.  A distinctly average performance among my peers, but I definitely had some highlights.

One of them was my final bake (did you notice that “bake” becomes a noun in these competitions?). The brief was a cake that was a British classic – we only had to produce one tier rather than the three featured on the show though (we’re not made of money, and by God, we definitely had enough cake to go around!).

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Double chocolate and raspberry tart

Chocolate & raspberry tartI’ve been hanging round third place on our GBBO leaderboard, and it’s sadly too late to change that now. But, I’m determined to go out fighting!

Here’s my double chocolate and raspberry tart. I got lucky with these raspberries – look at them, they’re neon! – as they’re almost out of season, but these were really tasty.

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Apple and caramel cream horns

IMG_1660Hands up if you’ve ever made a cream horn. I’m guessing nobody, other than the five of us taking part in this challenge (and the Bake Off participants themselves, of course). And with good reason.

They’re a pain in the arse. They require a lot of different processes and techniques, and on a personal note, a week later, I still haven’t got feeling back in one of my fingertips after touching a hot toffee-coated spoon.

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Ultimate Vanilla Crème Brûlée

Creme brulee 3This might be the best pudding I’ve ever made. And it still came second to my friend Charlie’s cinder toffee version in our GBBO challenge!

I used this BBC recipe, but I’ve got fancy pants vanilla essence which contains vanilla seeds, which I used in place of the vanilla pod because I’m not made of money, it gives a lovely flavour and you still get the flecks of vanilla. I also used this almond puff pastry sticks recipe to serve with them, but I found them a bit too dry.

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Hanging baskets: not just for nannas, yo

Scarlett watering hanging basketsI’ve avoided hanging baskets until now in my life, as I, yes, had the recently realised misconception that they are for nannas. And granddads, let’s not be sexist.

Following our harrowing Homebase trip, we ordered some brackets from t’internet and then drilled big holes into our house to make it all pretty like.

In the meantime, you can see that Scarlett dedicated herself ostensibly to keeping them alive (see exhibit A), which was negated by the armfuls of pink blooms she wandered inside to bin the following day.

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