Traybake trials

This week’s Great British Bakeoff challenge feels like a bit of a let down without a Biscuit Dalek or Bavarian Clock Tower, but I reckon I was wise enough to know my limits. I totally admire the splendour of these things, but I think I would need a week away alone in a remote kitchen to have enough time to even come anywhere near to making them. Instead I set my mind on making Becca’s hazelnut and cherry brownies. However, last night I had a notion for making something simple so I decided to try the Tottenham Cake that featured in the “history section” of the GBBO. I do like that part of the show and really hope that the stories are true! It is more or less a sponge bake with nutmeg which, as I have recently discovered, gives a nice kick. It is topped with what is called “lurid pink icing”. This is supposed to be created using Mulberry Juice from the Mulberry tree. Sadly, this was not stocked in any of the supermarkets (!) so I used blackcurrant juice instead. Really straightforward and a really pleasant cake. This is so the kind of baking I love!

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Next up came the brownies. Weirdly, I was unable to get any fresh cherries this week. I must have picked an off week so my brownies had to do without the fresh ones. I also struggled to get blanched hazelnuts so Billy looked up a “how to” on the internet. I think I must have under baked them as the skins did not come off as easily as we would have liked. It can never be good when you are peeling the skin off a hazelnut one by one, with a knife, as you would a potato! Billy certainly felt he earned his brownies this week! There wasn’t anything too complicated about the brownies, just lots of chopping of the glace cherries, hazelnuts and chocolate. Brownies baking in the oven smell fabulous, but I think I may have under-baked mine and under-greased the tin. I had quite a lot of sticking in the tin and discards. (I have a horrible feeling that Paul Hollywood may have declared them “raw”.) Fortunately my good husband ate most of the crumblings tonight with some ice-cream!



I’m not a massive brownie fan, but these are fairly tasty, if a little on the stodgy, rich side. I have made it to the halfway stage now. Fingers crossed that next week’s pastries don’t make me come unstuck. 🙂


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