Make sure Christmas sparkles with one of these fabulous creations from the new Bake Off book

Marc’s chocolate brownie drip cake

Contestant Marc Elliott's daughters Jasmine and Rosie love this cake – he says they buzz with excitement whenever they know he's baking it.

Contestant Marc Elliott’s daughters Jasmine and Rosie love this cake – he says they buzz with excitement whenever they know he’s baking it.

Contestant Marc Elliott’s daughters Jasmine and Rosie love this cake – he says they buzz with excitement whenever they know he’s baking it.

You will need

  • 3 x 15cm sandwich tins, greased, then base-lined with baking paper
  • Medium piping bag fitted with a medium plain nozzle
  • 20cm cake board
  • Cake scraper
  • Cake-decorating comb (optional)
  • Squeezy bottle or small, paper piping bag (optional)

Hands on 1.5 hours plus chilling

Bake 25 mins 

Serves 12

For the sponge

  • 50g (1¾oz) cocoa powder
  • 2tsp instant coffee
  • 6tbsp just-boiled water
  • 100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 275g (9¾oz) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g (6oz) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1tsp baking powder, sifted
  • 100g (3½oz) 70% dark chocolate chips
  • For the chocolate ganache
  • 200g (7oz) 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 200ml (7fl oz) double cream

For the chantilly cream

  • 200ml (7fl oz) double cream
  • 1tbsp icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • For the chocolate drips
  • 75g (2¾oz) milk chocolate
  • 75ml (2½fl oz) double cream

To decorate

  • 100g (3½oz) each milk, white and dark chocolate, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. First, make the sponge. Mix the cocoa and coffee with the just-boiled water to a smooth paste, then set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the beater, on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, until pale and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time.

Add the eggs, one at time, beating well between each addition and adding a little flour if the mixture begins to curdle. Beat in the cooled cocoa/ coffee paste, then fold in the flour, baking powder and chocolate chips until fully combined.

Divide the mixture equally between the lined tins and level with a palette knife. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until slightly coming away from the edges and a skewer inserted into the centre of each sponge comes out clean. 

Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the cream into a small pan and bring just to the boil over a medium heat, then pour it over the chocolate.

Leave for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth and glossy. Leave to cool, then beat with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy.

Make the chantilly cream. Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the cream, icing sugar and vanilla together to soft peaks. Spoon into the piping bag fitted with a medium plain nozzle and twist the end to seal.

To assemble, spread a blob of ganache on the cake board or serving plate and place one sponge on top. Pipe half the chantilly on top, add the second sponge and repeat with the remaining chantilly.

Top with the last sponge. Using a palette knife, spread the sides and top of the cake with the chocolate ganache, then using a scraper, scrape the top and sides until smooth. If you wish, you can use a decorating comb to gently comb grooves into the chocolate ganache.

Chill the cake for 30 minutes. Next, make the chocolate drips. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the cream into a small pan and bring just to the boil over a medium heat, then pour it over the chocolate. 

Leave for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Leave to cool a little until thickened slightly.

Place the chocolate mixture in a squeezy bottle, or in a small piping bag (twist to seal and snip the end).

Pipe drips down the edge of the cake (it’s fine if the drips make puddles at the bottom), then spread the remainder on top. (You can use a teaspoon to create the drips, if you prefer.) Chill for 30 minutes, until the chocolate has set.

Using a potato peeler, shave curls of white, milk and dark chocolate on to the top of the cake to decorate. 

Cherry and chocolate baked Alaska 

This decadent Cherry & Chocolate Baked Alaska is a twist on the classic recipe sure to bring delight on a classic baked Alaska is the ultimate party piece to bring to the table

This decadent Cherry & Chocolate Baked Alaska is a twist on the classic recipe sure to bring delight on a classic baked Alaska is the ultimate party piece to bring to the table

This decadent twist on a classic baked Alaska is the ultimate party piece to bring to the table.

You will need 

  • 1.75ltr pudding basin, brushed inside with vegetable oil and lined with clingfilm
  • 300ml pudding basin, wrapped in clingfilm 
  • 20cm cake tin, greased, then base-lined with baking paper
  • Large ovenproof serving plate; or baking sheet, greased, then lined
  • Palette knife

Hands on 1.5 hours plus freezing 

Bake 15 mins 

Serves 8-10

For the parfait and ice cream

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 150g (5½oz) caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla paste
  • 175g (6oz) 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 600ml (1pt) double cream
  • For the cherry compote
  • 250g (9oz) frozen or canned pitted cherries
  • 50g (1¾oz) caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla paste

For the cake base

  • 2 eggs
  • 50g (1¾oz) caster sugar
  • 40g (1½oz) plain flour
  • 20g (¾oz) cocoa powder

For the meringue

  • 5 egg whites, at room temperature
  • A pinch of salt
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar

Make the parfait. Tip the egg yolks into a heatproof bowl. Tip the sugar into a small pan, add 4tbsp of water and place over a low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. 

Bring to the boil and cook on a high heat for about 1 minute, until syrupy. Pour the hot syrup over the egg yolks, whisking until smooth.

Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the vanilla and whisk for 3 minutes, until doubled in volume, thick and mousse-like, and the mix leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the whisk.

Remove from the heat and plunge the bottom of the bowl into a sink of cold water to stop the cooking process. Leave to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, or in the microwave on a low setting. Stir until smooth, then remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Weigh the egg mixture and divide it equally between 2 bowls, then cover and chill one of them. 

Add the melted chocolate to the unchilled bowl and mix until smooth. Fold in half the whipped cream until no streaks remain. Cover and chill the remaining cream.

Spoon the chocolate parfait mixture into the lined pudding basin and press the smaller, wrapped basin into the middle to make a parfait shell. Cover and freeze for 2 hours, until firm.

Meanwhile, make the cherry compote. Combine the cherries, sugar and vanilla paste in a small pan over a low-medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. 

Cook the cherries, allowing them to bubble gently for 20 minutes, until jammy. Cool, then cover until needed.

Make the cake base. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, on medium speed for 3 minutes, until combined. 

Increase the speed and whisk until tripled in volume, thick and mousse-like, and the mix leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the whisk. Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.

Sift the flour and cocoa into the bowl and, using a large metal spoon or a spatula, fold in. Spoon the mixture into the lined cake tin and level out. Bake for 10 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, make the vanilla ice-cream layer. Fold the reserved whipped cream into the remaining chilled egg yolk mixture. Remove the basin containing the parfait from the freezer and carefully remove the smaller basin. 

Spoon half the cherry compote into the hollow, then spoon the vanilla ice cream on top. Cover and freeze for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

Just before serving, heat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Make the meringue. Whisk the egg whites with the pinch of salt in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk until they form soft peaks. Add the caster sugar, 2tbsp at a time, whisking well. 

Whisk on high speed for a further 2 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is stiff and glossy.

Remove the pudding basin containing the parfait/ice cream from the freezer. Place the chocolate cake on the large ovenproof serving plate or lined baking sheet and spoon the reserved cherry compote into the middle of the cake. 

Working quickly, turn the parfait/ice cream out of the bowl onto the cake, and peel off the clingfilm. Spoon the meringue evenly all over the parfait/ice cream until completely covered, then, using a palette knife, make swirls in the meringue.

Again working quickly, place the Alaska in the oven on the lower-middle shelf. 

Bake for 3-4 minutes, until the outside of the meringue is crisp, golden and starting to caramelise at the edges. Serve immediately (with sparklers, of course!). 

Mini lemon & pistachio Battenbergs

This delicious lemon & pistachio battenbergs recipe is a twist on the traditional cake

This delicious lemon & pistachio battenbergs recipe is a twist on the traditional cake 

We’ve given this traditional cake a twist, not only by making mini versions but also by making them in a delicious lemon and pistachio flavour combination.

You will need

  • 15cm square cake tin, greased
  • 17 x 30cm strip of 2-in-1 parchment and foil 
  • 8 pieces of pistachio-coloured paper, each measuring 20 x 3cm
  • 8 lengths of narrow ribbon (gold is pretty), 30cm long (2.5m altogether)

Hands on 1 hour

Bake 25 mins| Makes 8

For the cake

  • 150g (5½oz) salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g (5½oz) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 100g (3½oz) self-raising flour
  • 25g (1oz) ground almonds
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • Finely grated zest of ½ an unwaxed lemon
  • 25g (1oz) pistachio flour or finely ground Iranian pistachios (available online)
  • 5-6 drops of pistachio extract (available online)
  • Green food colouring paste (optional)
  • 4tbsp apricot or seedless raspberry jam

For the marzipan

  • 160g (5¾oz) ground almonds
  • 80g (3oz) icing sugar
  • 80g (3oz) caster sugar
  • 4tsp pasteurised egg white (from supermarkets)
  • 1 drop of almond extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4. Fold the strip of parchment in half so the shorter edges meet, with the foil on the inside (making a piece 17 x 15cm). Take the folded edge and fold it over again, by about 7cm, to make a crease. 

Take hold of this smaller folded part, and, holding it together, open both the sides out around it so you have a divider with two flat pieces each measuring 17 x 8cm and a 7cm-high piece in the centre perpendicular to them. 

Place the divider in the centre of the cake tin. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. 

Gradually add the eggs, until combined, adding 1 tablespoon of the flour to prevent the mixture curdling, if necessary.

Fold the remaining flour into the mixture. Halve the mixture and add the almonds and lemon juice and zest to one half, and the pistachio flour (or ground pistachios) and pistachio extract to the other half. Add a drop of green food colouring to the pistachio mixture, if using.

Transfer the mixtures into the tin – the lemon in one side of the divide and the pistachio in the other. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and risen. 

Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely. Trim the tops and sides of each cake to level and neaten. 

Cut each cake in half horizontally – to make 2 yellow and 2 green (roughly) 15 x 7.5cm rectangles. Spread the top of each cake rectangle with some of the jam. Make two sandwiches each with 1 green cake and 1 yellow. 

Cut each sandwich evenly into 4 strips, to make eight (roughly) 15 x 1.5cm finger sandwiches. Lay the strips flat and spread the sides with a little more of the jam.

Stack the strips together in alternate stacks to make 4 long, thin Battenbergs. Trim the ends to neaten and set aside. To make the marzipan, place the ground almonds, icing sugar and caster sugar in a small bowl. 

Add the egg white and the almond extract and mix with your hands until it comes together to make a smooth paste. Divide the marzipan into 4 equal portions. 

Roll out the first portion on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, taking care it doesn’t stick to the surface, into a neat square (roughly 15cm) and spread with more jam. 

Trim one end using a ruler to give you a straight edge and lay the long side of a Battenberg stack against this neat edge. Roll up the stack in the marzipan, trim the excess, and cut in half to give you 2 mini Battenbergs. 

Repeat with the remaining 3 portions of marzipan to make 8 mini Battenbergs altogether.

Wrap 1 piece of pistachio-coloured paper neatly around the middle of each mini Battenberg. Tie a length of ribbon around each cake on top of this to secure the paper, and serve.

Fig, pomegranate & cardamom pavlova 

This glorious fig, pomegranate & cardamom pavlova is ideal for sharing throughout the festive season

This glorious fig, pomegranate & cardamom pavlova is ideal for sharing throughout the festive season 

The fig, pomegranate and cardamom, along with the topping of pistachios and almonds, give this version of a pavlova a Middle Eastern flavour. 

You will need 

  • Large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle 
  • 3 baking sheets lined with baking paper, each sheet drawn with a 20cm circle

Hands on 30 mins plus chilling

Bake 50 mins l Serves 8-10

For the pavlova

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 350g (12oz) caster sugar
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 1tbsp gluten-free cornflour
  • 1tsp cider or white wine vinegar
  • 1tsp vanilla paste

For the filling

  • 400ml (14fl oz) double cream
  • 200ml (7fl oz) crème fraîche
  • 50g (1¾oz) icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • 1tsp vanilla paste
  • Seeds of 4 cardamom pods, finely ground
  • 1tsp finely grated unwaxed orange zest
  • 8-10 figs, cut into thin wedges
  • 300g (10½oz) raspberries
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate

To serve

  • 25g (1oz) flaked almonds, toasted
  • 25g (1oz) unsalted, shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4. Whisk the egg whites, sugar and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, on high speed for 8-10 minutes, until the mixture is very thick, glossy and completely smooth between your fingertips. 

Sift the cornflour onto the meringue, add the vinegar and vanilla and mix for 20 seconds to combine.

Spoon into the piping bag. Turn the baking paper on the baking sheets so that the drawn circles are on the undersides. Pipe 1 meringue disc on each sheet of baking paper, using the drawn circles as a guide.

Bake for 3 minutes, then reduce the heat to 120°C/fan 100°C/gas ¾ and bake for 45 minutes, until crisp on the outside and marshmallowy in the middle. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues to cool for 1 hour, then leave the door ajar until cold.

Make the filling. Whip together the cream, crème fraîche, icing sugar, vanilla paste, cardamom and orange zest to soft peaks. Carefully slide one of the meringues off the baking paper onto a serving plate. 

Spoon one third of the whipped cream mixture on top. Scatter a third of the figs over the cream and top with one third of the raspberries and pomegranate seeds.

Repeat this layering of meringue, cream and fruit twice more, arranging the fruit decoratively on the top layer. Scatter with the almonds and pistachios, and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Christmas log cake

This is a sumptuous take on the classic yule log, with the layers running vertically rather than horizontally. It looks impressive on any festive table.

You will need

30cm x 40cm Swiss roll tin, greased, then lined (base and sides) with baking paper l 2 baking sheets, lined with baking paper

Hands on 1.5 hours plus chilling

Bake 14 mins l Serves 10

For the sponge

  • 50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter
  • 7 eggs
  • 150g (5½oz) caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 50g (1¾oz) plain flour
  • 40g (1½oz) ground almonds
  • 40g (1½oz) cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt

For the chocolate meringue buttercream

  • 300g (10½oz) 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • A pinch of salt
  • 250g (9oz) unsalted butter, softened

For the chocolate bark

  • 200g (7oz) 70% dark chocolate, chopped

To decorate

  • Redcurrants
  • Christmas-themed decorations (optional)
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. First, make the sponge. Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly. 

Whisk the eggs, caster sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk until thick and mousse-like, and the mixture leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the whisk.

Sift together the flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the bowl, then gently fold in using a large metal spoon, taking care not to knock out too much air. Add the melted butter and fold again until the mixture is smooth and combined.

Carefully pour the mixture into the lined tin and level with a palette knife. Bake on the middle shelf for 12-14 minutes, until the cake is well risen and springy and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 

Cool in the tin for 2 minutes, then turn out onto a clean tea towel. Peel off the baking paper and, starting from one of the short ends, roll the sponge into a spiral with the tea towel rolled inside. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate meringue buttercream. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth, then remove from the heat.

Put the sugar, egg whites and salt into a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is foamy. 

Continue to cook for about 3 minutes, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens and increases in volume, turns from opaque to bright white, and leaves a ribbon trail when you lift the whisk.

Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk and beat, on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture doubles in volume and becomes thick, stiff, glossy and cold to the touch.

Gradually, add the butter to the cooled meringue mixture, beating continuously until smooth. Fold in the melted chocolate, then cover until ready to use.

The Great British Bake Off: Love To Bake by The Bake Off Team is published by Sphere, £22. © Love Productions 2020. To order a copy for £18.70 go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £15. Offer valid until 5/12/2020

The Great British Bake Off: Love To Bake by The Bake Off Team is published by Sphere, £22. © Love Productions 2020. To order a copy for £18.70 go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £15. Offer valid until 5/12/2020

Carefully unroll the sponge cake and remove the tea towel. Turn the cake so that a long side is closest to you, then cut the cake horizontally into three long strips, each strip about 40cm x 10cm. Spread each with 3-4 tablespoons of the meringue buttercream.

Roll one strip into a tight Swiss-roll shape. Place the end of the roll at one end of the second iced cake strip, then roll this around the first rolled strip – the cake starts to become a short, wide Swiss roll.

Position the end of the roll at one end of the third iced strip and roll again. Carefully turn the cake over and place spiral-side down in the middle of a serving plate. Cover, then chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the bark. Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth and remove from the heat. Leave to cool for 30 minutes.

Measure the height of the cake and draw two parallel lines on each sheet of baking paper lining the baking sheets, positioning them the same distance apart as the height of the cake. Flip the paper over so that you can see the lines through the paper.

Re-melt the chocolate until runny again, then spoon it onto the baking paper between the lines. Spread level with a palette knife and leave to cool (not the fridge) until the chocolate starts to set and loses its shine. 

Mark ridges in the chocolate with a fork, running from one of the parallel lines to the other, to resemble bark, and then leave until set solid.

Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream. Using a palette knife, spread the sides smoothly and create a swirl pattern on top to resemble the rings of a log.

Using a hot knife, cut the chocolate bark into 3cm-wide strips and, using a palette knife, carefully position the pieces all around the outside of the cake, pressing them to stick. 

Decorate the cake with berries and Christmas-themed cake decorations, then lightly dust with icing sugar. Chill the cake until needed and then let it come up to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.